Examples of Large Companies Using Business Intelligence Successfully – And What You Can Learn from Them

With data becoming more accessible and an integrated part of daily life, most businesses today can (and should) harness its powers to make business decisions that can bring them closer to their goals.

From small retail stores to large corporations, data is shaping the way we do business, from understanding our customers to streamlining our internal processes. Organising raw data so that is useful is a critical part of this process.

Once organized, the task of interpreting and analyzing that data to gain insight paves the way to a gold mine for businesses. There are powerful tools and techniques that put these insights at the fingertips of businesses. That’s what we call Business Intelligence.

Let’s look at few real-life examples how it is used in large companies and see what we can learn from them:


Recently, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated that their biggest competitor is sleep. You read that right.

They are so good at what they do, that the only thing stopping their customers from using their service is the need for sleep. He further said that “When you watch a show from Netflix and get addicted to it, you stay up late at night. We’re competing with sleep, on the margin.”

But what keeps people from coming back to Netflix? The ability to know which types of show you’re most interested in. After finishing a good movie or series, Netflix will show you TV shows or movies related or similar to what you’ve already shown interest in and entice you to watch more, thus preventing you from cancelling your subscription.

By fully understanding their customers, even on an individual level, they were able to provide the products that customers will likely watch. But on a larger scale, data effectively tells them which TV shows and movies to buy, what to keep, and what to remove from their roster.


Amazon, a hybrid tech meets retail company is one of the best examples of successful use and implementation of Business Intelligence.

Amazon, one of the key innovators of Big Data and Business Intelligence, not only provides recommendations based on users’ search and purchase history (which is what many companies now, like Netflix, do). Amazon will start the process of shipping a product before you even buy it!

Anticipatory Shipping, as their patent is called, is the process of shipping an item to a customer in anticipation of the purchase. Amazon is so confident in their Big Data that they know you will order a product before you even confirm it. By the time you click the button to close the sale, your product is already on its way.

Harnessing the relationships in their data means that they are not only making decisions on past events, but can undertake precision forecasting to drive operations and customer experience.


For retail stores like Tesco, it’s always a challenge to move things off the shelf, especially for perishable items that could be wasted.

To combat this, Tesco introduced its loyalty program with Clubcard starting in the mid-1990s. This card, while many competitors use it only to promote discounts and coupons, was used by Tesco to gain insights.

The results? They were able to increase coupon redemption by 3%-70%, save almost 100 million pounds in stock that could have been expired using predictive analytics, and optimise their stock-keeping system.

The data they were able to gather helped them form insights about customer behaviour patterns and have used this information in a lot of aspects of the business, from marketing to inventory, and probably, even staff scheduling.

These large companies used data and Business Intelligence to their advantage and helped them grow to be industry leaders. On the other hand, as a small business organisation, what can we learn from these giants to help us achieve our own success?

Focus On Providing Value

All of these businesses used data to provide more value to their clients. Whether it’s recommendation of relevant products, faster delivery, or tailored mailing and coupon promotions, their focus was to continuously add value to their clients’ lives. The opposite is also true, where many businesses are potentially harming their customer relationships by ignoring these signals or offering irrelevant services.

Data-backed Decisions Work – If They Are Accurate

There are quintillions of data points that can be gathered every second. But knowing which data to gather, interpreting it correctly, and making decisions based on processed data is the key to making data work.

Business Intelligence Applies to All Business Types

Others might think BI only applies to businesses related to tech, finance, online business or other larger industries. However, it’s evident from the examples above that the same principles can be applied whether you’re in the digital marketplace or operating physical retail stores.

Furthermore, it tells us that if these large companies can gather, segregate, and analyse data in unprecedented volumes, it would be a million times easier for smaller businesses to handle a smaller amount of data with less risk of inaccuracy and less amount of time and money.

Technology is continuously evolving, making it faster and easier to collect data. To make use of that data, however, correct analysis and interpretation are all necessary for us to make decisions that will move our organisations toward greater success. The structuring of that data starts before it is even collected.

Global Enablement is your partner in making data work for you. Contact us today to find out the best solutions for your business!

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