Many MSPs may not realize this, but with “actionable insights” they can strike GOLD! It’s only a matter of presenting the right data, at the right time, to the right people with the right device.

Having insights that are actionable means that you can make strategic, well thought-out decisions that can drive positive business outcomes for your MSP business. Business intelligence and analytics are two tools that MSPs can use to drive “actionable insights”, but the methodologies and approach of each can be very different.

The fundamentals of business intelligence

Simply stated, business intelligence is collecting data from multiple sources, both internal and external, transforming and normalizing that data in order to provide valuable actionable insights for making data-driven business decisions. Utilizing an integrated data model comprising various data feeds (financial, customer, sales, marketing, prospect, inventory, etc.), you can answer those top of the mind business questions that you have for your MSP business.

For example:

    • What type of customers are likely to buy a particular product or service?
    • Which marketing campaigns are more successful than others, and why?
    • What factors are impacting my customer retention?
    • What is my customer satisfaction by region, by product, by vertical?
    • Where should I be putting my marketing dollars?

What about analytics?

The difference with analytics is analytics are integrating business intelligence tools within business process applications. Therefore, allowing your managed services practice to be more productive, work smarter, and make business decisions in real-time without leaving or interrupting the natural flow of the day-to-day workflows. Nonetheless, analytics still provide “actionable insights” without necessarily taking into account the big picture.

Here, we are more looking to provide immediate feedback or analytics, in order for a given business workflow or process to continue seamlessly. For example:

    • Analyzing leads from a sales campaign, and determining in real-time which potential customers are most likely to turn into a positive outcome, or sale.
    • Leveraging the power of analytics to determine where to focus your MSP sales team’s calling efforts.
    • Gathering and analyzing vital information as part of a workflow, before committing an approval or authorization.
    • Illustrating key factors that will help determine the right path or decision.

What MSPs should apply

So, how do I determine what I need for my MSP business, or within my departments in terms of business intelligence or analytics? Do I need both?

Clearly, there are benefits for MSPs when it comes to business intelligence and analytics. These are key to monitoring business trends, detecting significant events, and getting the full picture of what is happening inside your managed services practice. It is also important to optimize processes, increase operating efficiencies, drive new revenue, and improve the decision making of the company.

Photo: SFIO CRACHO / Shutterstock

Posted by Dennis Faust

Dennis Faust is Manager of Business Intelligence & Analytics at Anexinet. Prior to joining Anexinet, With thirty years of technical experience, Dennis has excelled in large project implementations with international experience and an IT engineering, telecommunications, and data analytics background.

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