The Future of Business Intelligence: Business Analysis Automation

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Today’s business leaders have more data at their fingertips than ever before. Most businesses use more than a dozen tools to run their business, ranging from CRM, Payments, Accounting to Analytics. Each of these systems have become a fountain of data about your business, providing a wealth of information. 

At the same time, the rise of big data and the quickly plummeting cost of computing (thanks to the cloud) means these tools have become omniscient. Gone are the days when you had to pick and choose what data to save in a data warehouse, all of these cloud tools store everything they know about your business forever. Even better, they allow you to ask any question about it and get an immediate response.

So, why do today’s business leaders make fewer data driven decisions?

The explosion in data available to leaders today has quickly outpaced their ability to deal with it. With so much data, it is hard to fall back on the traditional tools of business analysis like Excel and even SQL databases. Even with all of your data at your fingertips, how do you know what questions to ask to get the answers that you need? How do you know where to look when it would take years for you to look through every dimension of every metric just once?

Overwhelmed by so much data, leaders are falling back on their gut instincts on how to run their business. It was easier when there were only 6 metrics for your business, but when there are 600,000 it is harder to trust the data since you never know what you are missing. When faced with overwhelming information, we all fall back on what we know.

At Outlier, we believe the problem is not with the leaders, their data or even the tools they have at their disposal today. In fact, the tools at their disposal are amazingly powerful. What leaders need help with is knowing what questions to ask of all their data to get to the answers that help them make decisions.

We call this Business Analysis Automation.

This new generation of tools will bring insights about your business to you everyday, combining data from all the different places it might live. These insights will cover unexpected changes in your customer behaviors, demographics and conversion rates and empower you to take action before these changes affect your KPIs. Instead of wondering what might be hiding behind your dashboards, you will start your day with a breakdown of all the hidden opportunities and problems in your data.

Just like Sales Automation and Marketing Automation, Business Analysis Automation does not replace people. Sales Automation removed the need for people to do the repetitive and mindless tasks associated with lead development, so they could focus on the strategic questions of sales planning and positioning. Marketing Automation removed the need for people to manually organize campaigns and segment users, freeing them to focus on strategic marketing and brand positioning.

In that same way, Business Analysis Automation frees business analysts and executives from spending their time combing and exploring their data. Instead, they focus on making the right decisions for their business based on what their data is telling them. Instead of focusing on the tactics of data exploration, you focus on the strategy of your business.

Outlier is the first Business Analysis Automation product but I hope there will be many more. Tomorrow’s leader, armed with Business Analysis Automation, will no longer wonder about what they might be missing. Instead, they will be empowered by their data to make even better decisions.

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