The need for business intelligence and what we mean by it…
As we have written in our forthcoming book, there is an urgent need to improve the M&A process through the use of business intelligence techniques. Just to be clear at the outset as to what we mean by the term ‘business intelligence’, we show here part of the introduction to that book:
In the realm of corporate activity, mergers and acquisitions (‘M&A’) have played a defining role in shaping the corporate landscape over the past century. Given the breath-taking pace at which M&A transactions transform corporations and the sheer scope and scale of modern-day deals, it is no surprise that the work of investment banks and corporate finance boutiques alike has come to dominate the headlines. Yet, for all the bravura of M&A, such transactions also carry a high degree of risk as a result of the premiums paid and the organizational upheaval caused. The lament heard after most failed deals is that certain elements were not known, indeed it will often be claimed that they could not have been known. Any intelligence specialist will tell you that all things are knowable — it is merely a question of how badly you want to know and how hard you are prepared to work to acquire that informationexplain that everything can be known.
For definitional clarity, when we talk about `business intelligence’ (often called ‘competitive intelligence,’ particularly in the US) we are referring to the `business intelligence function’ not the hard and soft information systems which have identified themselves as `b systems.’ The function itself (sometimes called ‘corporate intelligence’) is a vital aid to managerial decision making in any industry and at any time. By furnishing companies and other organizations alike with detailed and timely information about the commercial and competitive environment, the ‘art’ of intelligence enables companies to determine more accurately where they have been, to orientate themselves in the present, and to plan for the future.