Using BI Data for Good, Not Evil

Table of Contents

    Business Intelligence (BI) is powering organizations across the globe, and examples of its effects are in the news daily. Unfortunately, stories of malicious intent are typically the ones that get the most publicity. The negative stories often involve millions of innocent people that had no involvement or even awareness that their information was being analyzed. The latest and most scrutinized instance is the recent violation involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the entire incident is realizing it’s not a unique case. It’s merely an example that was brought to light and publicized. Similar activity is rampant across many social media platforms, which should be a serious consideration for anyone who engages with such sites.

    However, that same BI technology is being employed pervasively across virtually all industries in positive ways. When used in emergency call centers, for example, data analytics can save lives. In agricultural environments, it can save crops by measuring weather data. There are numerous examples of how BI and data analysis create value, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and increase profits.

    Public Transportation

    Mass transit authorities are always working to improve services for the public. Primarily that means more accurate schedule adherence, but it also means increased profitability. Accessibility to data analytics on route schedules, vehicle maintenance and rider information, for example, provides a wealth of knowledge that enables better decision-making that can positively affect each of these areas.


    Competition to attract and retain top students is an increasing challenge for universities across the US. To improve enrollment stats, these institutions are working hard to enhance first-year students’ overall experience by analyzing all sorts of data relevant to student life. Applying what they learn can help reduce incidents of low GPAs and lower dropout rates.

    Fashion Industry

    Trends and fads come and go faster in the fashion industry than just about anywhere else. With access to data analytics, suppliers are able to delve into greater insights on specific market trends and better forecast which styles and product lines are worth big investments. BI is providing buyers with more information on consumer demand than ever before.

    The ultimate goal for organizations implementing a BI solution is to improve competitiveness and organizational performance. Often implementations include embedding analytics into existing applications. According to one recent article, 93 percent of applications currently have some form of embedded analytics. The key to success in these cases is ease-of-use which determines the level of user adoption.

    • Ensure your analytics system is kept current with the rapid evolution of BI capabilities.
    • Review your systems on a regular cadence to evaluate the following success factors that are crucial for eliminating wasted time and employee frustration.
    • Employ consistent branding between existing apps and analytics screens so they appear as one system and simplify user experience.
    • Choose a system that enables you to engage with analytics data without switching from one system to another to save time.
    • Allow your users to customize reports, add new connections and create visualizations to eliminate IT intervention and resulting backlogs.

    If you’re in the midst of reviewing your BI analytics tool, or if you’re researching to find the right solution for your initial installation, take a test drive of ClicData’s BI solution. An experienced BI professional can walk you through each aspect of the solution and answer any questions you may have regarding your specific needs.