Technology April 14, 2016 Last updated September 22nd, 2018 2,000 Reads share

Data, Analytics, and Visibility: 3 Pillars of Insightful Business Intelligence

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BI or Business Intelligence is critical in ensuring your organization can make the best strategic and operational decisions no matter what happens in the market. It also enables enterprises to leverage almost any situation to their advantage. Whether it is a game-changing tech, a social movement, or a major search engine update, having solid BI will ensure you make the best decisions each time.

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#1. Data

Data is the first foundation of solid BI. It is an umbrella term that encompasses all relevant information for your company. This could include market intelligence, industry news, internal data, and competitor information, among others. Thanks to the internet, there is so much data being exchanged freely across cyberspace. The key is to know exactly where to look for data you can leverage.

Here are some of the best platforms and resources you can use to find data:

  • Google Trends – For online businesses, Google Trends is a great way to spot trends and relevant statistics especially for search engine marketing. Here, you can research the performance or quickly find the best performing search terms to fuel your SEO.
  • New York Times Developers – New York Times’ website enables you to “hack” their database using several APIs. You can browse a complete archive of New York Times news with the “Article Search” API, have a look at the most forwarded and shared posts with the “Most Popular” API, and so on.
  • Freebase – Freebase is a website that contains organized data on of people, places, events, and everything else worth talking about. The entries are coming primarily from the online community with over 3 billion facts and 58 million topics.
  • Hash At ItHash At It is a quick way to search major social networks for the top trending hashtags. This is an efficient way to spot social media trends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
  • gov – – owned by the US – is one of the best ways to access all sorts of government data. This includes industries such as energy, finance, manufacturing, health, business, and agriculture.

#2. Analytics

In addition to the data that will enable you to formulate business strategies, the next pillar for business intelligence is analytics. The key difference between data and analytics is that the latter focuses on analysing measurements and statistics, mostly based on the data that you gather, collect and store.

Analytics is imperative for optimising certain aspects of your business such as you marketing and advertising campaigns. It offers more actionable and direct measurements that can guide your optimisation decisions. This includes budget management decisions, website design, and content strategy. Furthermore, analytics can be used to study directly your competition.

For businesses looking to establish or expand their online presence, an integrated web metrics, competitor analysis, and social media dashboard is the best way to acquire structured analytics. Following are examples of such platforms:

  • Cyfe – Cyfe is a unified social media dashboard that will help you stay ahead of analytics data from all areas of your online marketing – from email marketing to social media. This is done by integrating widgets for various services and data sources such as Shopify, Freshbooks, Facebook, Aweber, Gmail, and Salesforce.
  • KISSMetricsMarketing automation has become one of the key tenets of BI today, and KISSMetrics is one of the solutions that enable small to big businesses to make the most out of their data. With smart funnel, path and conversion reports, as well as triggers for notification, the solution can help improve the quality and quantity of leads and conversions.
  • CrazyEgg – The website is perhaps any business’ primary digital presence, and tools like CrazyEgg can help improve the user experience, thus ensuring better engagement and more return customers. The platform helps keep track of how users engage with the site through a heatmap, which will help designers and developers tweak and optimize to improve UX.

#3. Visibility

All in all, insightful business intelligence is all about visibility in every facet of your enterprise. Data and analytics give you a clearer picture of your entire business. These will supply you with the information necessary to make sound data-driven decisions. Essentially, they help you gauge where you are now and where your company will go from here.

To make full use of data and analytics, you must also reflect back and identify areas to improve in your business. This includes your operational costs, marketing plan implementations, and branding. Remember that BI only removes all the guesswork and helps you set business objectives for the short-term and long-term. But only you can act upon the data you have and make well-informed actions.


No person can come up with the perfect blueprint for a successful business. Business Intelligence is the key to adapting to any change and leveraging any event for growth. Even in the most competitive industries, any company will surely survive and strive by securing the three pillars of insightful BI.

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Daan Pepijn

Daan Pepijn

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