There is a constant debate on whether Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Business Intelligence (BI) is more effective in helping a business succeed. This is because BI and CRM tools share a number of the same functions – most notably in using historical data to identify key trends that businesses can leverage to their advantage.
However, industry experts are still at odds in determining the best analytics solution for businesses. In this blog, we take on this long-standing battle between BI and CRM, and discuss the key differences between them to help you uncover the best analytical tool for your business.
BI tools and CRM tools were built for different purposes.
BI was developed with a strategic need in mind – the need for intelligence that informs strategic business decisions. As businesses faced unstable economic conditions and became more competitive, knowledge became a source of success. With the evolution of media and customer power, the size of organisational data grew at an exponential rate and this data unstructured and hard to interpret. BI was born in order to rationalise large volumes of data into reports that deliver insight, which then formed the basis of predictions of future conditions, allowing businesses to prepare in advance. The analytics side of BI involves external elements such as market / industry data and competitor performance to generate a comprehensive strategic report. BI, is therefore not centred around one specific part of the business and is focused on the business as a whole.
CRM, on the other hand, is more consumer-centric. It is referred to as a complete system that helps a business execute almost every part of the customer experience, from marketing, sales, support and service. With tight competition, business goals went beyond making a sale and towards retaining customers. Soon, business leaders knew they needed to create better customer relationships to survive in the market. There was an unmistakable need for better customer service and later, customer experience. Since then, CRM has been leveraged by businesses to help them build better customer relationships.