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BI in a Recession
How to Gain Market Share

by Heather Bell, Director of Marketing, www.logixml.comThursday, March 26, 2009
Far from being a costly luxury, BI is the right tool to win more market share during a time of recession. Winning market share depends on choosing the right BI solution as well as implementing it in a smart way.

Abstract

In a recession, many companies tend to play defensive, slash investments and hope for the good times to come back. Others realize that while their competitors are hurting may be the perfect time to go on the offense and gain market share. To do this, a deeper understanding of one’s vertical and operations is essential, which will lead to a more focused positioning as well as the targeting of areas for aggressive improvement. A thorough command of data through BI is the way to achieve this goal, provided that a few important requirements are met.

Executive Summary

We are in a recession. The recession and its effects are here to stay for at least two more quarters. In most verticals, customers are being cautious with their money and investments. This means that the pie is smaller, and that competition for this finite share is more intense.

Or it should be.

During times such as this, most companies fall within two categories. There are those who play defensively--cutting staff, cutting costs, concentrating on the highest-revenue product lines and customers, and hoping for the bad times to go away. Smarter companies, however, realize that the time when their competitors are hurting may be the most opportune moment to go on the offense and gain market share.

The second kind of company is the company that will not only perform better during the recession, but come out of it as a leader in their market. How does this kind of company go about such strategy?

The first thing is to aggressively identify areas of improvement, as well as redefine and strengthen one’s positioning. Then, corrective measures must be put in place to both eliminate inefficiencies and exploit untapped potential, aiming for excellence rather than for sufficiency.

To do this, a strong command of data is essential, which is where BI becomes a necessity rather than a luxury.

All this is the reason why we are witnessing two general market-wide trends as it relates to BI:

  1. BI is becoming pervasive within organizations, since in a recession most companies operate on an essential crew and each employee must act like a knowledgeable entrepreneur in his area and often beyond
  2. High-value BI tools are being preferred--which is why we are seeing a rise in solutions licensed based on the server rather than the user.

These two trends are being adopted aggressively by companies wanting to treat the recession as an opportunity instead of a calamity. These companies realize that this is not the time to satisfy the need for BI with complex products that are expensive to buy, lengthy to set up and resource-intensive to maintain. Nor it is the time to turn towards open-source BI, since the technological consistency of a whole platform--essential to make the most out of data--does not come (if at all) without a substantial investment in time and IT resources.

Thankfully, today there are many choices. Successful companies understand that they should only buy as much BI as they need to fulfill the specific strategic goals towards which they aim, but that this investment needs to be extremely high-value.

Learn the characteristics that make a BI solution optimal during a time of recession, and read about a real-life case study of a company that is using BI to gain excellence and improve market share in their vertical.

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