What is Business Intelligence?


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Unless you’ve been actively hiding from all forms of media for the past year, you’ve heard about business intelligence. A Google search of the term yields 108 million results. So what is Business Intelligence? Business Intelligence is the practice of using Big Data to gain insight and drive change within an organization. A pretty broad definition, right? How do we do Business Intelligence at Customer Relationship Metrics?

Much of the work we do with/for our business partners is based in call centers. Call centers have been dubbed “the center of your universe” for very good reasons. Terabytes of data on the customer experience are collected each year, from customer email addresses to compliments, product quality issues, questions, wish list items, consumer behavior, online presence and preferences, etc. There’s not a better place in an organization to be if your slice of heaven is data, data and more data! But much of the data collected in call centers is “raw”, unstructured, in a hard-to-use format, and/or disconnected from other key data points.

What Customer Relationship Metrics does in Business Intelligence engagements is use a completely hosted reporting and data aggregation tools to bring disparate and largely unrelated data sources together into a platform where analytics are then possible. Analytics provide business partners with a means to identify relationships and to prioritize metrics in terms of capture and analysis, in what manner existing data can be best leveraged, and in many cases conducts the analysis that reveals opportunities, bottle-necks and risks within the organization that when rectified, result in top-line growth and bottom-line savings by improving the customer experience.

The organization depicted below is falling below their Call Resolution goal for the year. An analysis of resolution performance (from a customer perspective) revealed that the second largest department (in terms of call volume) is performing 15% below goal. This department accounts for approximately 33% of all calls and therefore represents the largest opportunity for improving the organization’s call resolution performance. This department is also lagging on the KPIs first call resolution, repeat call resolution, service level, and average handle time. This additional insight reveals that this department is experiencing failure in delivering resolution not only on initial contact but on any further contacts customers deem necessary to attain resolution. The repeat call problem, combined with above average handle time makes the issue of non-resolution a very costly one.

An analysis of customer comments about non-resolution revealed the following:

  • 22% of customers complained that agents did not seem to care about the customer’s problem or expressed no desire to help the customer.
  • 11% of customers indicated dissatisfaction with the amount of time they had to wait to reach an agent.
  • 40% of customers perceived that a specific line of company products were lemons (requiring multiple repairs for the same / a recurring problem due to product quality).
  • 27% of customers reported dissatisfaction with the company’s resolution to lemons

Based on the pie-chart above, there are a number of issues preventing this department from attaining its operational, financial and experiential goals, a majority of which can be tracked to a manufacturing issue. This department needs to address and correct the issues related to apathetic agents by giving them the skill to effectively deal with the customer dissatifiers. A majority of the issues causing this department to operate outside of set objectives are completely outside of this department’s control but within their ability to control the customers’ reaction/perception/experience.

  1. Manufacturing issue associated with a specific line of company products.
  2. The way in which the organization has chosen to remedy the manufacturing issue is falling short of customer expectations, causing them to call repeatedly, “shopping” for a better option.
  3. Customers “shopping” for a better offer are calling repeatedly, increasing the department’s incoming call volume beyond the point that the existing staff can support the call volume and remain within “optimal” call parameters (service levels). These customers are irate and unwilling to take “No” as an answer, extending calls beyond projected length, exacerbating the already high call volume.
  4. As a result, agents are getting “burned-out” and customer-service is suffering.

This feedback, the financial loss associated with diminished faith in the brand and the operational costs incurred by this department is critical analysis to provide to sales and manufacturing to spur improvement. Manufacturing likely knows that there are quality issues with this product line and may be a direct result of the push for cheaper parts, however, it is unlikely that they included the long-term repercussions of their parts selection to the brand in their cost/benefit analysis. Bringing such costs and opportunities to light is one of the many benefits of Business Intelligence.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Carmit DiAndrea
Carmit DiAndrea is the Vice President of Research and Client Services for Customer Relationship Metrics. Prior to joining Metrics, Carmit served as the Vice President of Behavior Analytics at TPG Telemanagement, a leading provider of quality management services for Fortune 500 companies. While at TPG she assisted clients in measuring behaviors, and provided management services to assist in affecting change based on newly created intelligence.


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