Business Intelligence isn't just about seeing how many cans of beans you sold last month.  It's about figuring out how to sell even more in the future. 

It might also be about selling insight into who buys your beans!

A Tel Aviv-based startup called Pursway (formerly Datanetis) is getting $6 million USD in funding to build BI software that can sort through retail transactions to identify who influences a company's product or services sales.  Calling their application "breakthrough," they claim it will change the way companies deal with their customers. Read more about this on the Xconomy website.

This sounds vaguely similar to what The Kroger Co. has been doing for years with their partner Dunnhumby USA.  Marketing experts (and spouses) Dunn and Humby had worked with United Kingdom supermarket chain Tesco to turn it into a powerhouse using a new concept of customer loyalty programs. 

Kroger worked with the UK couple to take this idea to the next level.  They recognized that, in addition to increasing grocery store revenues, loyalty cards provided a goldmine of retail knowledge nuggets.  With the customer's identity now associated with a card that is swiped with each transaction, Kroger can tie individual people to purchases.  With demographic information, they can associate product purchasing with specific groups of customers and make better decisions.

But that insight is important to other firms as well.  Instead of using the data just for its own purposes, Kroger can share it with their product suppliers such as Kraft, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble.  In the past, these firms would not have known exactly who bought their products at the Kroger store.  Now, consumer product goods companies can purchase customer information from Kroger (probably at a bigger profit margin than Kroger sells those cans of beans).

Are you sitting on a goldmine of data? 

Perhaps some BI software could help you turn those digital bits and bytes into cold hard cash.