Instructions: 1) Read the “Business Intelligence in Practice 2.2” on Cablecom in Sabherwal below. Use the web and the citations mentioned in Sabherwal, Chapter 2 below to obtain additional information about the organization and the specific BI effort described there. Then evaluate how the four BI capabilities work together to make this BI effort successful.
You are tasked with developing a detailed white paper to the Senior Management of your firm. The white paper should be addressed to John Lynch, COO, UPC Cablecom, and should include:
1) An overview of the technologies that enable Information Integration and how they work at upc cablecom.
2) A detailed review of how these technologies allowed upc cablecom to become the market leader in Switzerland. Any embellishment necessary to make your point will be accepted. The goal is to document a convincing argument that the current practices are working and should continually be enhanced to ensure success.
3) The white paper should answer potential senior management questions, such as:
a) What are the main points of information integration and how does it fit into the firm’s existing structure?
b) How does information integration help with business intelligence?
c) What are the drivers behind the perceived need for this capability?
d) How do the four BI capabilities espoused by Sabherwal work together to make the upc cablecom BI effort successful?
e) What are the benefits to the firm?
4) The white paper should be a minimum of 1500 words (excluding references), and be double spaced, with font no larger than 11 points.
5) All references should be properly cited according to APA guidelines.
Information management within the organizational setting is an aspect of great importance considering the importance of such information in determining the progress of different areas. Organizational information may come from different sources depending on the structure and the kind of business that is done. Nevertheless, integration of the obtained information is highly important in ensuring that it is understandable and can be shared among the relevant teams within and without the organization to effect approaches that would promote good performance. This White Paper reviews the various business intelligence technologies and integration efforts at UPC Cablecom, and seeks to advocate for the effectiveness of these approaches in facilitating the organization’s effectiveness in promoting consumer satisfaction and reduced consumer turnover.
Customer attrition is an issue of great importance to any organization considering the difficulty to regain customers that have already been lost (Lincoln & Lashley, 2011; Blattberg, Kim, & Neslin, 2010). The satisfaction of customers by the services of the business are highly dependent on the ability of the organization to evaluate the customer needs and to address any arising issues in a timely manner. Importantly, customer retention is retention of the lifetime value of such a customer, both in terms of their influential power over other customers and what they spend. UPC Cablecom faced a major challenge when it came to the retention of its customers, as the company could hardly hold onto its customers in as much as it had increased its efforts towards gaining more customers (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). It was clear that customer dissatisfaction grew after the customers had entered into a contract with the company and that complaints started being raised from the ninth month. A few months of complaining would lead the customers into breaking from the contract. This is an issue of great concern to any organization considering the cost associated with winning new customers as compared to that of retaining the ones that have been won (Marcus, 2014).
An organization stands a better chance to gain an increase in their profitability by retaining customers as there are better placed to discover the particular customer’s lifetime value (Saxena, 2009). By retaining customers, organization also gain “promoters” as the retained customers advocate for the company’s products or services and facilitate the growth of the business via word of mouth. With such considerations, it is evident that UPC Cablecom was facing a major problem with the high rate of customer turnover. This challenge was aggravated by the lack of a network of information within the organization that would inform the organization of the changing trends of customer satisfaction and hence effect changes that would be directed towards promoting change (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). As such, the organization was in the dark with reference to its customers as they did not have a deeper understanding of the needs of the customers and continued promoting practices that led to dissatisfaction among the customers. There was no system of information integration within the organization, an aspect that made it difficult for the organization to determine the trends in the causes of dissatisfaction and to address them effectively (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011).
Information Integration and Cablecom’s Structure
Business intelligence advocates for the collection and combining of information from various sources, including unstructured and structured information, to allow for easy analysis of such information (Elbashir, Collier, & Sutton, 2011). Information across the organization is important in determining the trends and the various areas that require attention in order to facilitate profitability. In the case presented, UPC Cablecom was facing a challenge in terms of retention of its consumers and hence it was important to obtain information that would allow them to develop a clear understanding of why their customers could not stay until the end of their contracts. Nevertheless, in as much as an organization may have different sources of information, separate analysis of such information may fail to provide a clear understanding of the underlying implications (Isik, Jones, & Sidorova, 2013). As such, information integration allows for unified collection of data, which can later be analyzed to establish the various trends in different areas of significance and promote organizational success.
Information integration forms the best approach for UPC Cablecom to effectively analyze information about customer satisfaction considering the disparate sources and formats of such information. The organization’s customer insight and retention team and the marketing group both established avenues through which they would obtain information from the consumers. Such approaches included the use of text messages, voice calls, and emails, among others (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). With information from such sources differing in terms of structure, identifying trends is a challenge, an aspect that makes information integration a perfect fit for the Cablecom as it allowed the organization to successfully analyze all the sources of information in an integrative way, and establish mechanisms such as follow-up services, which allowed them to reduce the rate of turnover.
How Information Integration Helps Business Intelligence
Business intelligence involves transformation of data in its raw state into information that is useful and can be employed in the decision making process (Loshin, 2013). In the organizational setting, such data is obtained from different sources and requires proper integration in order to make meaning out of it and use it to effect change. As such, the major benefit of information integration to business intelligence involves the combining of data from different sources into a single set of information that can then be analyzed and conclusions drawn from it (Chen, Chiang, & Storey, 2012). One of the implementation approaches of information integration involves creating a data warehouse. The characteristics of such a data warehouse constitute the benefits of information integration towards the business intelligence. One such benefit is that they are subject oriented. This means that they allow an organization or department to establish data that focuses on a particular area (Popovič, Hackney, Coelho, & Jaklič, 2012). Case in point, in Cablecom’s case, a data warehouse concentrates on customer satisfaction.
Another characteristic of a data warehouse is that it is integrated, meaning that it allows input of data from different sources into a single format that can be used across the organization (Brijs, 2013). As such, information integration allows organization in the business intelligence process to overcome any challenges that they face, including the inconsistencies and conflicts that surround the naming of unit measures. Case in point, at Cablecom, embracement of SPSS software allows for the collection of data in different formats including audio from the call center, numerical data from customer surveys, and demographic data, among others, all of which is converted into a sequence that is easy to analyze.
BI technologies employed by Cablecom
UPC Cablecom selected an array of software as integration tools from the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) based in Chicago. In addition, they employed some Clementine data mining products. One of the SPSS products procured by the company was the SPSS Basic statistics, which was aimed at developing an insight into customer satisfaction through an analysis of the responses from the consumers (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). The company also employed the SPSS Dimensions product, which was aimed at carrying out researches in form of surveys on the consumers and informing the organization on the various areas of consumer satisfaction that ought to be addressed. The SPSS text-mining product was also utilized for the purpose of analyzing natural language text (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). These technologies are used by the organization to access data from different sources within the data warehouse of the company’s Oracle.
Each of the technologies plays a major role in transforming the data to information that can be easily understood an integrated among other forms of data, hence effectively inform the necessary stakeholders. It is only by understanding the needs of the consumers that an organization can be able to establish strategies that would allow it to satisfy them (Oliver, 2010). As such, these technologies have allowed UPC Cablecom to properly understand its consumers and the different perspectives with regards to their service. Hence, the company has been able to establish proper initiatives that have allowed it to effectively address the needs of the consumers. Such initiatives include the customer-service follow-up, which has contributed to a reduction in customer turnover (Sabherwal & Becerra-Fernandez, 2011). Through analysis of consumer information, the company is also able to identify consumer who are dissatisfied by the products and services they are offered, allowing it to follow-up such customers and to determine the factors that lead to their dissatisfaction, hence responding to such factors in a timely manner. As such, the new approach has been instrumental in the increased level of satisfaction among the Company’s consumers and its tremendous growth to a major player in the market.
is clear that information integration is an important part of business
intelligence as it allows for the merging of information from distinct sources
into a set of information that can be easily analyzed. Information is power and
it is only by understanding the needs of the consumes that organizations can be
able to regain their bargaining power. Cablecom has been able to establish an
effective network of information within its premise that has allowed the
organization to effectively meet the needs of its consumers and to combat the
problem of consumer turnover, which had escalated to risky levels. Hence, it is
evident that business intelligence is one of the important areas that
organizations ought to address as they allow them to effectively understand
their environment, both external and internal, and the various areas that they
can capitalize upon to facilitate increased returns.
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