Ten years ago "business intelligence" was a phrase you would only hear at a Fortune 1000 company or at a business school. But today it's something businesses of any size can leverage to make them more competitive and drive better decision making.

As companies have adopted SaaS offerings like HubSpot, Shopify, and Zendesk, they have access to more data about their customers than ever but the data is locked in individual silos. But what if you could fix that?

The general idea is to centralize all of your data in a single location. Depending on your needs, it may be a traditional database like Postgres, a "next gen" solution like Snowflake, or something unstructured like a "data lake". In every case the goal is the same: to enable business users to ask questions, query data across the organization, and have answers in minutes not days.

Wondering what types of questions can be answered?
Which marketing channel produces
the most profitable customers?
Your bookclub
Who are my "super users"? Your Mom
Which locations are seeing
an increase in foot traffic?
Your kitchen
Which accounts are likely to churn? The ones with cows

Glad you asked:

  • First, we’ll collaborate with you to figure out what data is important and how to access it.
  • Next, we’ll work on building an Extract Transform Load (ETL) pipeline to move your data into an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data warehouse like Amazon Redshift or Snowflake.
  • The final step is making your data available to query by using a business intelligence product like Looker or an open source alternative.

And just like software, data projects evolve, so this outlines a v1.0 strategy. Future versions could involve machine learning or 3rd party data sources.