Understanding customers is a preoccupation for many BI experts. Slicing and dicing information to find hidden trends and make better decisions is a big part of what BI has to offer, but how do you apply this knowledge at the point of interaction? Traditional BI offers some challenges in this regard. First, BI is primarily about the analysis of historical information. It may be as fresh as yesterday, but it rarely is focused on the present moment. For analysis, BI must consume a fair amount of historical information in order to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Traditional BI is not good at dealing with the here and now and making decisions that deal with one specific customer.

Setting up the proper environment, figuring out the right offer and making the most effective pitch is the front line of the consumer products and services world. All the work that goes into understanding your customer is focused on making sure things go smoothly at the point of interaction. This is where you make an impression and hopefully a sale, and it is the convergence of operational and analytical processes for your business. To make my point, allow me to share a personal story. 

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