By Eddie Short, partner and head of business intelligence at KPMG

Against a backdrop of evidence suggesting that business performance will suffer because organisations are failing to manage their customers’ data, Eddie Short, partner and head of business intelligence, argues that companies are spending too long looking at the past, in the hope it gives an insight into their future.

“For far too long organisations have been focusing on past performance in the mistaken belief it is the only way to help plan for the future," he said.

"The problem is that executives have been caught up in a cycle of allowing processes they employ to drive conflicting and overlapping data. Whilst they can aggregate that data to report bottom line performance, it doesn’t help identify future threats or opportunities for growth.

“The fact is that if organisations are to succeed they should spend less time focusing on reports and business intelligence and more on creating an intelligent business - that has its finger on the pulse of future demand.

"Businesses that can anticipate what their customers want, what their stakeholders need and what the marketplace expects will be in a far better place to take action — these businesses ensure their data drives their processes. Good business is, after all, about responding to market needs, not reacting to a trend.

“As the economy continues to stutter, how a business plans for the future will be critical to its long term survival and success. The fact is that business intelligence can no longer be about keeping score. It has to add value by adding a predictive dimension.”

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