How Business Intelligence propels Digital Transformation


So what’s the glue that connects IT, HR and business? Of course, it is Data!

Today data can and should be used to fuel our businesses and to spread updated knowledge at all company levels and functions.

Alsghaier and colleagues reported how a team in a specific digital business center worked with McKinsey to analyze if data driven companies were doing better. They interviewed the administrators of 330 public companies asking them about their technology and management policies. The authors found that companies in the highest position of industry which used the data driven decision making approach, were on average 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than other competitors. 

The Challenges of Business Intelligence

 According to Brownlow and his team the challenges are threefold:
  • how to extract data
  • how to refine it
  • how to ensure it is utilized most effectively.

Businesses and other organizations that fail to align themselves with data-driven practices risk losing a critical competitive advantage and, ultimately, market share and the accompanying revenue. For today’s businesses, effective data utilization is concerned with not only competitiveness but also survival itself. [3]

Many companies have already faced the challenge. Business intelligence today helps organizations transform data into business actionable insights. It comprises the strategies and technologies used for analyzing data and presenting actionable information. Common functions of Business Intelligence technologies include reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.

Business Intelligence to Increase Performance


At MindForest, we totally agree with this vision: managers and employees should use business intelligence to improve business’s performance.

But we also think that business intelligence can and should be used to help people improve their mindset and push them to leverage new opportunities.


Finally, data can deliver fresh knowledge to every employee’s desk. Data can empower people and can make them more accountable for their decisions.

New technologies create value when organisation’s leaders go back to the fundamentals:

Digital transformation is often less about a radical rethinking of the business than about learning how to use digital tools to better serve customers.

This may require internal reorganization, including breaking down silos to serve customer needs and use data [1].

The Use of Business Intelligence in a HR Context 

Let’s take a look at a project where Business Intelligence has been applied to HR to help managers and employees to improve overall business performance.

An international restaurant chain uses HR data to increase customer satisfaction and revenues [4]. Operating a mix of franchised outlets, as well as corporate-owned restaurants, the company was suffering from annual employee turnover significantly above that of its peers. Business leaders believed that closing this turnover gap could be a key to improving the customer experience and increasing revenues, and that their best chance of boosting retention lay in understanding their people better.

They started by:

  • defining the required data and KPIs:
    • Employee personalities
    • Behaviour is data-filed
    • Financial data
  • defining the KPIs to be predicted:
    • Speed of food delivery
    • Customer satisfaction KPIs
    • Sales

Data was shared with a full business intelligence solution and after four months results were already positive in the first market:

  • Customer satisfaction up 100%
  • Sales increased by 5%
  • Some managerial assumptions were disproved
  • Values and leadership styles were deemed more important than extra compensation

It appears that executives who can complement experience-based wisdom with analytically driven insight stand a much better chance of linking their talent efforts to business value.

Business intelligence applied to HR helped managers:

  • Explore and discover new data and insights about business and HR processes.
  • By using one source of truth, company’s leadership shared much faster insights, comments and actions to take.

Results could be shared easily with middle managers and restaurants managers in each market: new knowledge empowered people to change choices and behaviour.

But why this is possible? How can data help change internal processes?

Let’s analyze the difference between an offline reporting system and a modern online business intelligence solution.

Read more: Mind Forest (Source)