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November 9, 2023

What is the difference between a business intelligence and a customer intelligence platform?

Companies continuously strive to leverage the power of data to make informed decisions and gain a competitive edge in today's data-driven environment. Business intelligence and customer intelligence tools are two key concepts in this field. While they're similar sounds, they serve different functions and have different areas of application. Business intelligence BI and customer intelligence CI are related concepts that focus on different aspects of a company's data and information needs. 

In this article, we'll cover all you need to know about the differences between these two critical aspects of data analysis in the following sections: 

  • What is customer intelligence platform?
  • What is business intelligence platform?
  • What is the difference between business intelligence and customer intelligence tools?
  • How to integrate CRM and business intelligence?
  • Conclusion

What is customer intelligence platform?

Companies use customer intelligence (CI) to find the most efficient methods to communicate and engage with customers by gathering and analyzing huge amounts of data. So, what is customer intelligence? It is the compass that guides businesses toward delivering exceptional customer experiences, enhancing satisfaction, and building long-lasting relationships.

Customer intelligence tools enable businesses to understand customer needs, problems, purchasing behaviors, preferred products, demographic information, and more. However, for the purpose of developing deeper comprehension and more significant commercial interactions, information and actions regarding customers are reviewed.  

In addition, the goal of gathering CI data is to apply the knowledge to personalize the customer's experience. According to Google, 90% of leading marketers say personalization significantly contributes to business profitability. As a result, it makes it possible for agents to anticipate and respond to customer needs in a more conversational and sympathetic manner.

What is business intelligence platform?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a comprehensive term that includes the procedures, equipment, and technology used to gather, analyze, and display data on the overall operation of a company. This involves data from various sources such as financial documents, operational measurements, and supply chain data. However, businesses are thereafter able to perform queries, generate reports, and do additional analysis on the data that is provided.

BI aims to provide insights into a company's overall health and performance, supporting decision-making across multiple facets of the business. Business intelligence tools are crucial for companies to maintain competitiveness by providing clear visibility of their data. The statistics present that nearly 50% of all businesses already use BI tools. Also, projections show continued growth in the coming years. However, businesses are able to take suitable action that will improve the company, such as cost-cutting, after reviewing and analyzing the data.

What is the difference between business intelligence and customer intelligence tools?

Business intelligence provides information on a company's internal operations, while customer intelligence provides information about customers.

1. Different purposes

  • Business intelligence (BI) - is used to provide insights into a company's overall performance and to support strategic decision-making. It helps companies identify trends, opportunities, and challenges across various departments and operations, not limited to customer-related activities. BI was created to organize massive amounts of data into reports that provide insight, which in turn served as the foundation for forecasts of future events, enabling companies to plan in advance.  The analytics component of business intelligence uses outside sources, such as industry and market data and competitor performance, to provide an extensive strategic report. As a result, BI is focused on the business as a whole rather than on a single aspect of it.
  • Customer intelligence (CI) - is specifically aimed at improving interactions with customers. It is a full system that aids in practically all aspects of a business's customer experience execution, including support, sales, marketing, and service. Company goals have shifted from earning sales to keeping customers in the face of tight competition. However, a customer intelligence platform ultimately leads to better customer satisfaction, retention, and growth. Live platform offers you one place for effective customer-oriented communication.

2. Data Sources

  • Business intelligence (BI) - has access to a large variety of internal and external data sources. External sources may contain market data, industry trends, and competitor analysis. Internal sources can include sales data, financial records, and operational metrics. However, these reports may be shown as charts, graphs, or infographics since BI has the ability to visualize data, which makes it easier for analysts to see trends and draw conclusions from the data. Moreover, BI encompasses data beyond just customer-related information.
  • Customer intelligence (CI) - The only databases that CI may access are those that are connected. However, customer data, which may come from several sources such as customer surveys, social media interactions, website analytics, and customer transaction records, is the main source of data used in the customer intelligence platform. The core of CI is customer data.

3. Tools and Technologies

  • Business intelligence (BI) - Business intelligence uses various technologies like data warehouses, reporting tools, and analytics platforms to process and present data for decision-makers. However, businesses utilizing BI tools require a qualified analyst with business experience to handle data and identify trends.
  • Customer intelligence (CI) - Customer segmentation, sentiment analysis, customer profiling, and customer journey mapping are some of the most sophisticated tools and methods used in customer intelligence. It could make use of solutions for customer analytics and customer relationship management (CRM). 

CRM usually provides data to sales and marketing employees.  They could find it simple to customize the program and generate reports, but CRM is about more than just reporting. To take full advantage of the tool in improving customer interactions and identifying trends that could help in providing a better customer experience, you need an experienced marketer or salesperson.

Customer intelligence platform

How to integrate CRM and business intelligence?

Understanding the main distinctions can help you combine CRM and business intelligence tools to enhance the efficiency of your company.

1. Select the Right CRM and Business Intelligence tools

It's critical that the BI solution you use is appropriate for your specific company needs. It's important that the business intelligence tool integrates with your current CRM software via an application programming interface or front-facing integration. Select CRM and business intelligence systems that work well together and have strong integrated features. Integrating the product will enhance your customer profile, allowing you to segment and personalize interactions with your customer base.

2. Reassess your KPIs

Your customers will choose your key performance indicators (KPIs), which will help you achieve your business goals. Continuously evaluating key performance indicators is crucial for monitoring business environment changes, and identifying trends, competitors, and risks. Additionally, determine what specific data you want to extract from your CRM system and how you plan to use it with your BI tool.

3. Clean the data

To maximize the benefits of your program, you must also work with clean, reliable data, obtaining information from unreliable sources is enough. However, to clean and ready data for analysis, use ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) procedures. This could include normalizing, cleaning, and building data models that are appropriate for business intelligence reporting.


Today companies require business intelligence and a customer intelligence platform as essential capabilities. They provide a deep understanding of operations and customers, enabling data-driven decision-making. In today's data-driven business environment, you can gain a competitive edge by combining the wealth of customer data stored in your CRM system with the analytical capability of BI tools.

Businesses may promote a culture of informed decision-making and provide great customer experiences by recognizing their unique qualities and combined strengths, which will eventually lead to growth and success.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about how the Live product family can help you to boost your global customer experience strategy. 

Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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