Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.Tim Berners-Lee
There is an ongoing debate on the relationship between Customer Relationship systems (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) and which one can bring more value to businesses. Many companies consider that by owning CRM, they do not need BI since both systems share several similar functions – most notably in using historical data to identify critical trends. Although it may seem tempting to rely just on CRM, is this really the best choice?
The relationship between CRM and BI
To begin with, let’s explore more closely the connection and differences between CRM and BI solutions. CRMs are all about optimizing companies’ customer interactions. They can track each step of the customer journey with the end goal to improve the whole customer experience and build a better client-centric strategy. In this sense, CRM systems provide vital data that can help businesses acquire new customers and retain existing ones.
BI, on the other hand, can analyze large volumes of data and deliver insights, which can then serve as the basis for predictions of future trends, allowing businesses to prepare in advance for changes in their industry landscape. BI-generated reports can provide crucial information for various external factors, such as market conditions and competitor performance. Unlike CRM, which is strongly consumer-centric, BI does not focus on one specific part of the business and can be used across all business functions. Furthermore, most BI platforms come with many convenient visualization tools that can structure the data into comprehensive dashboards with various graphs and charts.
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