person holding a pen and marking business intelligence graphs and charts

With the rise of big data has come an increased interest in business intelligence, or BI, software. Essentially, what BI software does is analyze an organization’s data to help zero in on where the company’s strengths and weaknesses are, as well as allow business leaders to make better-informed business decisions.

Although BI software hasn’t historically been used much in contact centers, that’s starting to change. Contact center managers are realizing that BI solutions are actually a great fit for the industry – after all, BI software runs on data, and contact centers are highly effective data-gathering operations.

This is especially true if the contact center is using additional enterprise solutions as well, like Enterprise Feedback Management software or Customer Experience Survey software.

So what should you be looking for in a BI tool to implement in your contact center? Here are some key areas of development.

Data discovery

One of the biggest areas of interest in BI right now is data discovery, which is basically a more intuitive, faster method of getting data for one-off or occasional questions.

Data discovery tools, which are often embedded within larger BI suites, have a flexible functionality so that the BI data can be accessed easily, both for the purposes of analysis and general collection. Unlike data pulled from a full BI solution, results from data discovery are presented in a much more visually appealing way, without too much data query formatting or developer language.

Everything from data on basic questions, to possible future trends, to developments within an organization’s workflow can be spotted using the discovery method. That’s part of why a recent survey of 2800 BI professionals on BI trends found that it was “very important” to a majority of respondents.


The definition of self-service business intelligence is not as obvious as the phrase would suggest. It doesn’t necessarily mean that any contact center employee can access a BI system and get the data they need.

Rather, it means that the BI data can be delivered in such a way that it can be analyzed be someone other than a data analyst.

Using the self-service model, a user would be able to work with intuitive software – a program that can anticipate what the user needs and adapt the information it provides to that purpose in simple, easy-to-understand terms – to find the data they’re looking for.

In other words, in a self-service system, the results are filtered through the user’s own instincts, with a data-governance system in place to prevent them from coming to an incorrect conclusion.

Master data management

Like data discovery, master data management is a technique designed to make data sharing easier and faster.

With master data management, all of an organization’s BI data is placed in one file, called a master file. This file provides a point of reference that all users will have in common, and also streamlines the process of data-sharing among those in different departments.

It’s helpful to have all your data in one place when the sales department and the customer service department ask the same question – with something like data discovery, those two queries could return different answers. With master data management, every department should get the same answer to whatever question they ask.

These are just a few of the most attention-drawing trends in BI software – there are many more. But judging by the amount of interest in these three key areas, it’s easy to believe that contact centers that put their attention on these early will get the best results from their BI software.

For more on the latest technology for contact centers, read our post “Contact Centers and Cloud Technology.”

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