A common mistake made in an organization that is implementing a business intelligence (BI) system is to include only data from that enterprise. This may suffice if the BI system is aimed at internal issues like reducing costs through a study of operational data or tracking sales bookings against quotas per geographic region. However, this is a myopic practice if the BI system is to look at business entities influenced by the external world such as product movement information and customer profiles. For instance, studying the customer data from within your enterprise can be revealing, but it cannot place your customers in the context of the broader market; you may miss out on opportunities that cannot be seen in your internal customer data.
THE HURWITZ TAKE: For decades, companies like Information Resources, Inc., Nielson and Dun and Bradstreet have made a good business of collecting, cleansing and normalizing information to add value and reselling it to brick- and-mortar companies as so-called "syndicated data." Some companies pay millions of dollars per year for syndicated data because it gives them a broad picture of the entire market they're in, not just their little piece of it as represented by internal data. For example, companies that produce consumer packaged goods (CPGs) have long augmented their product movement data with demographic data purchased from Nielson or Information Resources to get a more complete and far-sighted view of consumers and how they relate to the movement of CPGs through a distribution chain. Likewise, Dun and Bradstreet has been a staple source of syndicated data about businesses.
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