High level Business Intelligence Cycle

The Business Intelligence Cycle:

Value creation is fundamental to all businesses. We see this as a closed-loop process that drives both strategic initiatives as well as tactical operations. For some this process, or one like it, is well documented while for others it is repeated over and over with little conscious thought. To get the most from your BI investment we recommend implementing the following BI cycle:

Discover – Unlock hidden patterns in your data that reveal new insights, opportunities and risks

  • Identify hidden patterns that reveal new or expanded markets and customer segments for marketing
  • Make instant decisions that minimize fraud, risk and losses
  • Identify safe and secure suppliers to protect the brand


Plan –  You must first decide what to do, balance the risks with the rewards, determine how you will measure success, define measurable objectives or KPIs and establish a plan. Your plans and strategies must be thoroughly communicated to all of your employees.

  • Set and translate strategy
  • Create plans, budgets, and forecasts
  • Balance the risks with rewards
  • Define measurement and monitor risk and results


Inform – Once you understand your performance, you need to report out to both internal and external stakeholders. In many cases, there are also requirements to formally disclose financial and regulatory information.

  • Prepare consolidated financial statements for management and regulatory purposes
  • Disclose data to internal and external stakeholders
  • Comply with industry regulations


Anticipate – You must always scan the horizon for opportunities to improve existing processes, new business opportunities and risks.

  • Anticipate customer churn or employee attrition
  • Predict how risk may impact company performance
  • Model and optimize profitability of products


Whether large or small, companies are leveraging technologies to enable this process and to put data to work in real-time.

Analytics technologies can guide you in this process as well as provide critical insights that help you to optimize the business. These technologies can decipher the vast amounts of available data and put it into the hands of critical decision-makers. Investments of this type pay off. Nucleus Research reports that analytics investments return $13.01 for every $1 spent.