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Until recently, enterprise CRM solutions, business intelligence (BI), and big data solutions were separate tool sets, often siloed within enterprise IT.  Now, more and more companies are realizing that relying too much on big data analytics risks losing the personal approach to selling – and separating the insights gained through enterprise CRM solutions and other forms of data analysis risks missing critical insights.

Today’s sophisticated big data solutions combine CRM, business intelligence, and big data analytics in a sophisticated system that delivers reports and dashboards generated from larger datasets.  Increasingly, we’re seeing clients developing real time or near real-time reports that deliver a snapshot of business activities that helps identify where actions need to be taken to improve sales, support, marketing, and finance.

For these companies, big data solutions and enterprise CRM solutions have become the source to answer questions generated by business intelligence systems.  It’s one of the biggest trends in enterprise IT, and most analysts think it’s going to continue to be a major area of investment for the foreseeable future.

Big Data Solution’s Second Wave

Despite all the hype and media coverage surrounding big data solutions, many companies are only in the early stages of mining the potential that is available.  Over the past two years, the first wave of big data solutions was harnessed in most companies.  Now, companies are focused on using the information as a competitive advantage – not just surviving or rebounding after the recession.

Whether that means upgrading or expanding their enterprise CRM solutions, developing a better business intelligence system, or building the back-end systems required to mine massive amounts of data, there are three things that nearly every company is doing as the second wave of big data solutions makes its way into the enterprise.

  1. Building More Sophisticated Analytics — Developers are becoming more sophisticated in their attempts to glean value from vast repositories of unstructured data. This requires developers who understand the sophisticated algorithms that enable successful “what if” and “if this, then that” decisions.
  2. Leveraging Advanced Analytics Differences – As companies have begun to understand just how much unstructured data was left out of their traditional business intelligence solutions, they’ve begun to develop or use advanced analytics solutions that dig deeper into data.
  3. Simplifying Big Data Tools – High-performance computing and analytics tools (such as Hadoop) require specialized skills, and in many parts of the country, it’s becoming harder to hire the top talent required to uncover the valuable insights companies want. We’re just now seeing the release of applications that provide access to the insights that big data solutions can offer, without the complexity.  We are beginning to get calls from our clients to help them in developing or deploying new tools that mine big data for the depth of insight, performance and ease-of-use available from traditional BI running on traditional data sources – without requiring data scientists to review and analyze the process.

Don’t Let Big Data Overwhelm Your CRM Strategy

Big data can make a big difference in a CRM strategy – or it can become overwhelming.  But the truth is that terabytes of cloud-storage big data doesn’t add value to your CRM strategy without context. For instance, if you add Twitter data to your CRM solution, you can quickly find that attempts to adjust to negative Twitter feedback can make any company insanely reactive.  When data from Twitter is blended with information from other data sources, and placed within the context of all customer and prospect feedback, it becomes useful, actionable information – not just a prod to take action outside of a clear strategy.

When devising a big data and CRM strategy, it’s critical to use the technical skills that already reside within your IT department.  If you’re a smaller organization, reach out to an IT staffing firm with CRM solutions experience.

According to Gartner research director Jim Davies, “Technical prowess is the key to capturing the voice of the consumer through a variety of unstructured data sources. Enterprise IT professionals have to determine the most appropriate data architecture and analytical models/techniques to extract key customers insights at an individual level and an aggregate level.”

Once the data is organized, the reports and insights that you’ll get from the combination of enterprise CRM solutions, business intelligence, and big data solutions will be able to deliver real competitive advantages you can’t get any other way. Looking for help with a big data, CRM, or BI project? InfoVision has trained, experienced data analysts and developers available for on-site or turn-key projects in one of our development centers.

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