For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), competing with larger enterprises feels like an uphill battle. While big companies invest heavily in data analytics to drive decisions, SMBs typically lack the resources and skills needed to extract actionable insights from their data.
But the playing field is leveling thanks to a new approach called generative business intelligence (BI). Generative BI makes it possible for any business user – not just trained data scientists – to get valuable insights and make predictions from data through natural language conversations. This democratization of data analytics unlocks a world of possibilities for SMBs to leverage their unique data for competitive advantage.
Generative BI is for all industries
Generative BI makes sophisticated analytics accessible without specialized skills. SMBs can now leverage expertise that was previously out of reach.
For instance, an online retailer can gain a deeper understanding of customer behavior by posing questions to generative BI such as: Why do some customers abandon their shopping carts? What product bundles tend to drive higher order values? And how effective are my email campaigns at recovering abandoned carts? By analyzing relevant customer data, the system can uncover underlying trends and patterns. It may determine that certain products have unusually high abandon rates and recommend bundling them with complementary items. Or it could identify specific customer segments more likely to complete purchases after receiving personalized email offers.
As another example, a furniture manufacturer could analyze sales, web traffic, and social media data to understand regional differences in customer preferences. These inputs can inform localized inventory planning and merchandising strategies.
Finally, a healthcare provider may uncover trends in appointment cancellations and no-shows based on variables like location, doctor, day of week, and more. They can then take targeted actions to improve patient retention.
These types of insights can directly inform strategic decisions around marketing, merchandising, and customer retention. SMBs can rapidly experiment and optimize based on the data-driven recommendations surfaced by the AI.
Generative BI drives agility and efficiency
The bottom line – Generative BI enhances business agility by providing fast and flexible self-service analytics. Users get answers immediately instead of waiting days or weeks for reports. The AI delivers insights tailored to the exact problem at hand, rather than static, one-size-fits-all reporting.
This helps SMBs respond faster to emerging opportunities and challenges. With generative BI, they can continuously analyze data from across the business to guide day-to-day operations and strategy.
It also boosts team efficiency. Employees spend less time on manual data manipulation and can focus on higher-value work. Subject matter experts like marketers and product managers are empowered to gain insights without intermediation from data analysts.
The future of data-driven business decisions
As generative AI continues developing, every business – regardless of size and resources – will be able to tap into data as a strategic asset. Companies that embrace this shift can disrupt established players who are stuck in traditional analytics models.
Employees at all levels must be comfortable asking questions of data and willing to test recommendations. Performance metrics and incentives should tie back to data-driven decision-making. With the right foundation, generative BI can transform SMB operations.
The path to leveraging AI for competitive advantage starts with an introspective look at your data challenges and opportunities. What key unanswered questions could drive better decisions if addressed? How could boosting team productivity through self-service analytics impact your bottom line? Would real-time insights accelerate your ability to respond to customers and the market?
By focusing generative BI on high-impact areas first, SMBs can set themselves up for scalable success. Soon, these capabilities will be table stakes for any company that wants to deliver value to customers and keep pace with the market. SMBs that lead the way in adopting generative BI will have the advantage as the competition scrambles to catch up.
About the Author
Jon Reilly is an innovative and results-driven executive with more than 20 years of experience in product management, business development, marketing, and operations. Reilly currently serves as the Co-Founder and co-CEO of Akkio, a generative AI and machine learning platform designed specifically for data analysts.
Prior to founding Akkio, Reilly served as the VP of Product & Marketing at Markforged, where he played a critical role in the company’s growth and success. With a strong background in the tech industry, Reilly held various leadership positions at Sonos, Inc. He began his career at Sony Electronics, where he contributed significantly to the development of a wide range of consumer products as a product manager and electrical engineer.
Reilly holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College – Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business and a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Gonzaga University.
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