Dr Pietro Micheli, associate professor of organisational performance at the University of Warwick Business School, found in a new study that relevance, reliability and usability are the key to obtaining business intelligence in the ‘big data’ era:

When Crown Computing, which develops and supplies workforce management solutions, invited me to deliver insight into the ‘factors for success’, it gave me a chance to highlight how the business world has undergone transformation in recent years due to the amount of digital information available.

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This information comes from a variety of different sources: inside the organisation, customer records and the wider business environment.

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There has been a massive boon as automation has reduced errors and increased the speed of which reports can be generated.

Company records and customer feedback mechanisms are ideal data streams to inform forecasting and reviews.

This insight can inform the organisation and highlight emerging trends in areas such as consumer behaviour.

For example, the type of goods a customer may regularly buy in a retail outlet or traffic flow on an arterial road.

Internal records can also help a company assess its workforce capability and performance, ensuring that the organisation has a lean management approach and is responsive to changing needs.