Business Intelligence and Pattern Recognition


In the hyper-competitive reality of today’s business environment much is riding on effective pattern recognition. Business intelligence, and how we use it, has become the identification of business “patterns” or trends with the fewest possible facts, and this identification needs to occur quickly, accurately and efficiently as opportunities come and go with increasing rapidity. Execution on these opportunities needs to also happen quickly as the changing environment can make a late response irrelevant, and ensure that your competitors are responding to the same opportunity. Effective use of business intelligence is the best methodology for sustaining successful pattern recognition and identifying opportunity for your company. This is both data intensive, and incredibly dynamic. As you scan the competitive horizon for opportunities, you must give consideration to:

  • Challenges of finding order in chaotic and conflicting inputs of info and data
  • The ability to quickly refine options to the best opportunities
  • Know when you have enough information to make an effective decision
  • Knowing that effectiveness is directly related to your ability to overlap intelligence
  • Development of a concept of the pattern, or opportunity, that you are looking for
  • Being neutral about the data… optimism defeats the purpose of intelligence
  • Don’t be risk averse, mistakes are a learning experience and help you to improve

We’re surrounded by companies that are doing this incredibly well. Think about the pace of change in consumer electronics or the real estate market. Think about the fluid environment of international diplomacy and economics. The business intelligence teams at organizations like Google, Apple, investment banks, insurance companies, large real estate developers, the Chinese government and the CIA devote tremendous resources to the accumulation, analysis, and refining of huge and complex data with the soul purpose of identifying patterns that signify opportunity. By and large all of those organizations also execute on that opportunity with expediency. So should we. This is not to say that we should vacuum vast amounts of information into super computer managed data bases. We should take the intelligence we gather, though, and systematically analyze it for the indication of change, of patterns of change, that signal opportunity for our organizations. This can begin with a simple and ongoing analysis of:

  • How have your clients changed in the last year?
  • Which client businesses are experiencing growth, and which are challenged?
  • How has the economic environment affected the markets you operate in?
  • What has changed in the competitive environment?
  • What new capabilities/products/services are competitors introducing and why?
  • What is happening in related businesses and markets?

Thanks to for the conversation and sharing his thoughts on this.

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