While Business Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, and other forms of metrics-driven insights into corporate behavior have burrowed into select areas of Fortune 500 companies, the use of this technology in broader markets is in its infancy at best. There is potentially a huge opportunity for companies to tap into what is essentially a greenfield opportunity; the vast majority of companies in the US (and globally) are small businesses, with the same problems and challenges as the multi-nationals on a much smaller scale. The primary challenge for small businesses is a lack of sophisticated tools to analyze their business processes, and the hidden, or secondary problem with this is that even if a sophisticated solution was available at a reasonable price, most business owners wouldn’t have a clue as to how to get started.
The day to day processes that define how a business operates are generally not technical in nature, but they are very transactional. Most people tend to deal with the same types of situations on a regular basis, and as such tend to become “experts” in specific aspects of their part of the transaction flow. It’s this type of granularity that is begging for a business intelligence overlay; connecting the expert analyst capabilities with expert process capabilities is what will move this forward, with one caveat. The analyst has to adapt to the process expert, and for two reasons; analysis has to fit the business model, and most important, the process expert is the customer, who is well within their rights to expect to have their needs met.