BI Works For 'Old Line' Industries Too - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Information Management
01:19 PM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp

BI Works For 'Old Line' Industries Too

It's not just companies in 'dynamic' industries that are making the most of business intelligence.

I'll admit that in the past when I've thought about business intelligence in action, I've envisioned companies in dynamic industries: rapid-fire, transaction-intensive businesses in retail or the software industry that battle razor-thin margins in a constantly shifting competitive environment. These businesses -- the ones with the cutting edge technology and fickle customers and Web-based commerce channels -- they're the ones that use BI, right?

The answer is that yes, they do. But they're not alone.

As our Business Intelligence Pipeline case study on U.S. Borax reveals, companies in so-called "mature" industries know how to squeeze advantages out of business intelligence too. The mining company operates one of only two major borax mines on earth, tracing its roots back more than a century to when it used pack animals to haul borates up out of Death Valley. Its list of customers in the industrial products manufacturing industry essentially doesn’t change from year to year.

But U.S. Borax is using reporting and analysis technology, and using it ambitiously. The company not only tracks its own sales to gauge demand and thereby set prices, it does its best to track sales throughout the entire global market for refined borates. The company uses business intelligence to bring all that data together and serve up myriad market reports. With that knowledge in hand, U.S. Borax finds its own advantages in a market that doesn’t shift enough to create new, unexpected ones.

Business intelligence is about companies understanding their markets, their operations and their processes -- in short, understanding themselves. It only makes sense that even businesses in long-established industries have a lot they can learn, and their own unique advantages to gain. U.S. Borax proves as much.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll