Investing in Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence During Recessionary Times (Part 2 of 2)

November 3, 2008
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In my last post, I talked about how, during a recession, corporations often make the mistake of downsizing and reducing their expenditures on managing information and enhancing business intelligence. In this post, I’d like to look at how smart executives in specific industries can better position their companies for  survival in tough times by pushing all kinds of data closer to those dealing directly with the customer.  

In past recess


In my last post, I talked about how, during a recession, corporations often make the mistake of downsizing and reducing their expenditures on managing information and enhancing business intelligence. In this post, I’d like to look at how smart executives in specific industries can better position their companies for  survival in tough times by pushing all kinds of data closer to those dealing directly with the customer.  

In past recessions, cross-Industry experts have exploited BI in financial management, product management, category management, supply-chain management, business performance management, analytical  marketing, and sales actions along with customer loyalty successes. And for the past several years, a number of companies have done very well after implementing Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW) or moving to the newer focus of BI.

Reviews and analysis have led me to believe that there is a marked difference in what is transpiring in many companies when they provide detailed data closer to the customer contact person, enable managers and executives to view and manage data from across multiple organizations, and combine views of data that reflect multiple resources.  

Achievements in recessionary times?

What has been observed and learned? The closer the data is to the customer, the more effective the decisions are and the much quicker the action. When action is taken to manage resources directly, the results are highly positive, in both the short- and long-term.  

Examples abound across the many case histories of firms that have succeeded in managing through recessions while also positioning their management team for acceleration in business, revenues, profits, and shareholder value. Let’s take some  examples from the recession of 2002-2003 and the subsequent five years to mid-to-late 2007.

Leadership firms such as Federal Express, 3M, Royal Bank of Canada, National Australia Bank (NAB), WESCO, Nationwide Insurance, NCR Corporation, BNSF, Union Pacific, METRO Germany, WellPoint, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, YUM Brands, and Harrah’s Entertainment all enjoyed double or triple stock price appreciation during the period following the last recession (2002 to 2007). Each of these companies also won awards for excellence in Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, and/or creative analytical investments.

What common actions have created this high value?