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Loshin: Self-service technology helps bring BI into CRM programs

Customer intelligence has long been an important aspect of business success for many companies. However, when organizations try to incorporate data analytics capabilities into their frontline customer relationship management (CRM) programs, overwhelmed IT and business intelligence teams often cannot meet the need for immediate action, which can result in missed business opportunities. In a webcast presentation recorded for SearchBusinessAnalytics, consultant David Loshin said self-service technology can help circumvent the business intelligence (BI) bottlenecks and put valuable information about customers in the hands of customer service workers when they need it -- if the process is managed properly.

In his presentation, Loshin explained that self-service BI tools reduce dependence on IT and BI professionals by giving end users the ability to access and analyze data themselves. Those capabilities allow IT to "oversee the mechanism by which that information is being delivered, as opposed to having to be the custodians who are crafting the end result on their own every single time," he said. And with a variety of analytics uses for CRM data, including integrating customer profiles with analytical results and engaging in data discovery applications, Loshin also pointed out the benefits that business users can gain by steering their own data analysis efforts and customizing BI processes for their specific needs, turning to IT for help only when needed.

To successfully integrate self-service technology into the CRM workflow, Loshin emphasized the importance of understanding the technical profile of user communities so knowledgeable users can be given the ability to create their own queries and reports or provide their own parameters to shape the data analysis. He highlighted the flexibility self-service BI provides for accessing multiple data sources and shifting focus quickly, which allows operational workers "to be driving the analysis, not just the individuals with Ph.Ds in statistics." As business users gain control over CRM data and become increasingly IT-savvy, Loshin noted that the question they ask often shifts from, "Is there a business opportunity?" to, "Can you give me the data so I can figure out if there's a business opportunity?" With that, he said, there may be some hope of BI self-service tools enabling faster data analysis and decision making as part of CRM programs.

In the webcast, hosted by SearchBusinessAnalytics Executive Editor Craig Stedman, Loshin further explored techniques and strategies for managing self-service BI implementations. Viewers will:

  • Gain insight on ways self-service BI technology can address BI bottleneck challenges.
  • Learn about how data access and visualization tools enable customer self-reliance.
  • Get tips on developing a strategy for achieving self-service BI success.

Text by Hannah Pullen-Blasnik, editorial assistant. Email us at editor@searchbusinessanalytics.com and follow us on Twitter: @BizAnalyticsTT.

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