Important Evolution From BI to Actionable Intelligence

Dec 20, 2019

Many leading organizations utilize Business Intelligence. But are they also using Actionable Intelligence to compete… aren’t they the same thing?

The United States Navy has been at the forefront of defining the role of information and its importance to warfighting capabilities. It compares information’s importance to the introduction of dreadnoughts, aircraft carriers, and nuclear power. The Chief of Naval Operations has elevated information to the Navy’s “Main Battery.” These changes, according to the DoD, require technical and behavioral modifications to how data is collected and processed.

The public sector can create similar value by gathering intelligence that can be appropriately and quickly utilized—i.e. that can be transformed into actionable intelligence. Why is this important to your organization?

Comparing Business Intelligence to Actionable Intelligence? What is the Difference?

There are a lot of big words that get thrown around in the world of Business Intelligence, and it’s easy to get lost in a whirlwind of interpretation. It also demonstrates that the business intelligence term can mean different things to different people, depending on their organizational focus and perspective. So, how do you compare and contrast the differences?

Business Intelligence is using analytics from the rearview mirror and using historical data to guide decisions. Actionable Intelligence, on the other hand, is aimed at looking into the future to see what is going to happen. The goal of actionable Intelligence is to aid the organization in anticipating what’s coming so they can take proactive actions, while business intelligence will tell you what already happened.

At the core of Applied Intelligence is the belief that it can boost a company’s strategic capabilities against industry peers. Actionable Intelligence can be transferred into real actions that can be used to either launch preemptive product innovations or prepare for a defensive strategy.

Why is Actionable Intelligence Important and What are Examples?

Applied Intelligence is a necessity in a vigorous world of immense information growth because it empowers organizations with fundamental insights and enables decision-makers to predict, evolve, and take decisive actions.

This distinction is crucial as both will provide you with different and possibly more important, not less, insights. While Business Intelligence is essential to improve your decision-making based on past results, actionable Intelligence will help you move forward and understand what might be going to happen.

Examples of actionable Intelligence include pricing elasticity against movements from competitors, supply chain optimization based on emerging population or demographic changes, early warning on threats to the business or customers from a holistic perspective, and behavioral advertising.

What is Ovesto’s expertise?

Ovesto’s experience in this area is significant. At a Fortune 50 omputer hardware manufacturer, our interim executive assisted in the development of a single view of the customer strategy; business intelligence software and hardware selection; actionable intelligence center of excellence (COE); and strategy for a single view of products and locations.

At a Fortune 100 specialty retailer, our leaders developed the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) strategy that evolved the retailer from using Business Intelligence to competing based on Applied intelligence. The team also developed a single view of the customer strategy and helped implement one of the most comprehensive solutions in the marketplace. Lastly, we guided this retailer through their solution for a location, product, asset, and attribute-based actionable intelligence.

Actionable Intelligence


Actionable Intelligence

John R. Miles is the founder and CEO of OVESTO, the leading provider of on-demand executive staffing. Ovesto provides transformational leaders for fractional, interim or project assignments. Miles is widely viewed as an expert on digital disruption and business transformation. He is a highly sought after speaker, consultant, and writer. Miles has significant business experience a Fortune 50 CIO, Fortune 100 CISO, and seasoned private equity leader in COO and CEO roles across several diverse industries.


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