Forearmed is forewarned, as the adage goes and business intelligence (BI) fulfils that purpose in varying degrees depending on whether a brand’s data assets are put through descriptive, predictive or prescriptive type of analytics. At the core here is analytics which is about discovering, interpreting and communicating meaningful patterns gleaned from the data assets. This, combined with strategies and technologies deployed by a brand on its data assets to enhance its competitive advantage and serve its core mission, is what BI is about. Investing in BI capacities and capabilities is therefore not an option for brands wanting to survive, let alone grow.
So if it is an investment, then what are the returns? And more importantly, what value does this investment bring in for the brand? The value impact is contingent on the type of analytics the brand is capable or desirous of deploying- descriptive (what happened), predictive (what will happen) and prescriptive (what needs to be done to make it happen). The optimal value is in the harnessing of prescriptive insights.
“We should not only use the brains we have, but all that we can borrow.” — Woodrow Wilson
And what sort of data lend themselves to such prescriptive insights that a brand can leverage to meet its core mission of delivering on the product or service? The answer is customer sentiment data. You are not what you claim to be, but what others perceive you to be.
Investing in mining sentiment data goes beyond the usual what happened and why. Real-time insights provide a wealth of opportunities for customer recovery, retention, and amplification of brand virtues. And this isn’t restricted to customers alone. Having a pulse on the sentiments of employees, who are the internal customers is equally important. Afterall, a happy employee makes for a happy customer.
Sentiment analysis (Figure 1) belongs to the prescriptive analytics side of the analytics spectrum, which helps brands get things right by enabling them to take the right action at the right time. These prescriptive insights are value drivers for ensuring long term viability of a business and the returns on investing in such intelligence solutions far outweigh the costs. Thus, the underlying metric that should be the focus of attention is the return on intelligence as it serves as a precursor to validate the more conventional return on investment.
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