How to Use Pervasive Business Intelligence to Transform Your Business

An emerging core competency of every business is being able to deliver real-time analytical intelligence to those who need it. Advanced technologies such as pervasive business intelligence and active data warehousing can help businesses leverage their portals and Web 2.0 techniques to deliver fresh, timely information to users. Here, Knowledge Center contributors Dave Schrader and Dan Graham offer 10 ways to use pervasive business intelligence to dramatically transform your business.


Call it pervasive business intelligence, active data warehousing or even IT-enabled synchronicity. It's an enterprise-scale information infrastructure built on a central data warehouse, and it delivers credible intelligence to a company's operational front-line employees, partners and customers in real time. It makes your front-line employees and associates 10 times more productive and prepared to drive profitable performance. And it is becoming a core IT-enabled competency for cutting-edge businesses.

Let's call it pervasive BI, because it delivers relevant insight everywhere, across the company and beyond. It is an information system that can drive profitable multichannel personalization in customer communications, prevent supply chain disruptions, optimize inventory, catch fraud as it happens, track packages in transit to monitor environmental changes, and better serve individual passengers as they travel-and all in fractions of a second. An Active Data Warehouse (ADW) is the term for database platforms which support a pervasive BI system.

Rather than elaborate in detail on the technology architecture, let's look at some real-world examples of things companies can do today using pervasive BI. The following are 10 ways companies can be much more effective using pervasive BI:

1. Smarter inbound call center agents

With "Do Not Call" lists in many countries preventing outbound calls, inbound callers represent the best opportunity to sell new products and services from the call center. Studies show they are 10 times more responsive because "people do not hang up on themselves." But how does a customer service representative know what to offer? Does the customer service representative know that the caller was on the corporate Website today, browsing but not buying? By having data available and delivered in real time through pervasive BI, the customer service representative can make relevant offers that will more likely result in sales.

2. Personalized next-best-offer on the Web

On the Website, there are only a few seconds to find the "next best offer" for a consumer and try to get them to buy. This requires data-a lot of it. The Website needs to balance the latest marketing campaigns, the consumer's preferences dating back a year or more, and any consumer interactions with the Website the same day. Optimizing all of this in real time to close more business is an automated form of pervasive BI.