Business Intelligence vs. Predictive Analytics

This month, we welcome a guest blog post from our Business Analyst, Bryan Sauka.

BryaBryan manages Whereoware’s business intelligence tools, develops predictive models, analyzes data, and identifies trends to help Whereoware clients make data-driven decisions.

If last year’s buzzword “big data” is about capturing and understanding data, intelligence is about achieving big-picture insights and making data actionable.

Today, we’re breaking down business intelligence (BI) and predictive analytics to help you understand how each can impact your business.

What is Business Intelligence?

BI is a strategy of combining data from various sources to tell a more compelling and complete story about your business or industry. The BI tools available today can combine and process massive amounts of data very quickly to help you make informed, data-driven decisions. Common functions of BI include reporting and benchmarking. Let’s dive into an example of each to see how BI works.

Challenges Marketers Face

A common email marketing reporting challenge businesses face is that their event and results data is stored in separate systems. For example, the results of how many emails were sent, opened, and clicked are in one system; while the associated email revenue is in another.

If you have a lot of data (and who doesn’t?), combining data sources efficiently using traditional tools, like Excel, is nearly impossible. With BI, you can easily connect and combine these sources to see the entire customer journey in one location. This gives you the opportunity to dive deep into the data and reveal insights you never knew existed – every marketer’s dream!

Domo, Business Intelligence


How Do You Stack Up in Your Industry?

Next, we move on to another vital part of BI – benchmarking. Benchmarking is incredibly valuable to businesses, because it measures your key results against others in your industry.

With benchmarking, you see your strengths, and where you need to improve against your competition for various metrics. BI combines all those metrics and offers baselines, so you can plan incremental improvements.

So, what is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is used in every business, from determining your credit score to identifying at-risk customers. Predictive analytics looks for patterns in your historical data and applies statistical techniques to predict what will happen with a certain metric.

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. You don’t need advanced math or stats degrees to figure this stuff out. The predictive tools available today can turn your entire organization into data scientists.

Tools We Love

The real power comes from combining BI with predictive analytics. The best predictions come from having large amounts of clean data from various sources.

At Whereoware, we use the BI platform Domo to build and manage the data we want to make predictions on. We then layer predictive analytics modelling using the Kraken platform by Big Squid. Kraken processes all that clean data prepped in Domo, tells us what model to use, and how certain metrics influence our predictions.

Big Squid Predictive Analytics

Get Started with BI + Predictive Analytics

Put down the TI-83 calculator.

To get started with BI and predictive analytics, you first need to define the objective – what is your goal? For example, what do you want to predict?

The next step is to determine what kind of data you need for your prediction. Sales data? CRM data? Email engagement data? Whatever the data sources, you will need to gather, define, and cleanse the data you need to make your prediction. This is where a business intelligence tool like Domo can really help. Domo simplifies this process and stores all the relevant data right in one location.

Once you have your clean data, you need a way to build and deploy your model. In the past, this usually required a data scientist to handle all the math, statistics, and heavy coding that was needed to build the model. For those that don’t have access to data scientists, Kraken by Big Squid is an excellent tool.

Kraken will first access your newly cleaned dataset right from your business intelligence tool. Kraken will then allow you to easily select what you want to predict and helps you choose the best model for your prediction. Kraken will help take your analytics to the next level by not only making predictions but showing you how to influence the outcome.

Still not sure where to start? Watch our co-hosted webinar with Big Squid: Predictive Analytics 101.