Business Intelligence Boom Looms For ‘The Mobile Continent,’ Stakeholder Says

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Written by Dana Sanchez

An Atlanta-based telecommunications company with offices in South Africa and Australia reports growing interest in advanced business intelligence tools in Africa due to the proliferation there of social media, mobility, data, consumerization and need for enterprise agility, according to HumanIPO.

Business intelligence is the method and technologies that gather, store, report and analyze business data to help people make business decisions.

Next-generation business intelligence is fast being accepted as a critical tool for success in business, particularly in the mobile space, said Ayanda Dlamini, LGR Telecommunications business development manager.

“Africa is a mobile continent, with individuals and enterprises leapfrogging landline and moving directly to high speed mobile connectivity,” Dlamini said. “In line with this shift, enterprises need dashboards that deliver on-the-go access to critical business and market information allowing them to make key decisions faster.”

Throughout Africa, organizations of all sizes are turning to these tools to harness the knowledge found in large quantities of data, which can result in insights they can use to be more competitive, Dlamini said. “We see this in particular in the mobile space, where operators across Africa face declining voice revenues and seek new revenue streams in an increasingly competitive environment.”

Voice calls represent 60 or 70 percent of interactions and they’re declining, according to another report in HumanIPO. Other communication channels including SMS, email, social media, instant messaging and fax make up the other 30-40 percent an they’re slowly increasing, but voice will not disappear completely “in the foreseeable future,” according to Karl Reed, a marketing and solutions officer at South African company Elingo.

“Simple (voice) queries will become the domain of automated responses, through a variety of other channels,” Reed said. “This is because of changing consumer demands and the variety of new communication channels available to them.”

Business intelligence was used in the past to analyze historic patterns and data within a business to help understand customer behavior and operations. Today, however, Dlamini said the pace has changed, largely due to social media platforms, which means change now happens in minutes.

“In line with the move to mobile, simplified, more intuitive data visualization tools are increasingly in demand, allowing users to assess status at a glance, and drill down into relevant content on… small screens,” Dlamini said. “With the advent of tablets and consumerization changing the enterprise computing space, enterprises across Africa are demanding full functionality on their smart mobile devices; they want to take to the figures more.”