When it comes to data, businesses need to have their eyes on the end goal. In the past, big data was all about collection. However, data without insights and actions can sometimes lead to unused spreadsheets and irrelevant reports. With outcomes like this, it’s not surprising that 72% of companies do not believe their Business Intelligence (BI) tools make a significant impact on their business.

Store Relationship Management (SRM) platforms don’t just stop at gathering data. By uncovering actionable information, they help you connect data to decisions and motivate stores to take action. SRM platforms are not BI tools. They go beyond the typical static, ad hoc reports to deliver specific insights which stakeholders use to make decisions and lead change.

As we compare BI with SRM, we have some hard questions to ask you about the effectiveness of your data tools. How can SRM help you use data to achieve your business goals?

Centralizing Knowledge

Enterprises deal with a lot of data from a variety of sources—POS systems, sales goals, marketing promotions, and more. That’s a lot of data in a lot of different places. Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is challenging. Do you have data visualization that is easy to access and use?

Access to information isn’t really the problem, though. Most medium and large companies have a business intelligence solution but have seen chronically low adoption by key stakeholders. For instance, a 2014 survey found adoption of BI tools has been flat (around 22 percent) since 2005, in spite of strong market growth.

Where BI tools fall short, SRM platforms are designed to deliver a single source of truth for every user who logs into the platform. With this, enterprises can align their entire organization, empowering managers and team members to have smart conversions and meaningful interactions.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

BI tools generate reports that include a whole bunch of data with limited access to context or goals. When you see BI reports, does it seem like a complex riddle that someone else has to solve for you? In recent survey by Teradata and Forbes, 48 percent of respondents cite data-driven decision-making is challenging, even with sophisticated analytics. So how do most companies handle it? They have a BI expert who has to interpret BI tools for the rest of the company.

An SRM platform offers targeted insight, helping the entire company see the full picture and make educated decisions from it. It allows you to monitor and track store performance against corporate objectives. By focusing on core corporate KPIs and delivering insightful takeaways, SRM turns data into valuable information that the entire company can quickly understand and use to make decisions.

Movement in Concert

Management teams have tall responsibilities that require a lot of focus in the right places. Does your organization successfully communicate data insights to their management teams? In the same survey by Teradata and Forbes, 44 percent of respondents reported putting what they’ve learned from their “big data” into action is a significant challenge. Managers we’ve talked with say they don’t have time to chew on data from BI tools, and they usually don’t get the data from their company anyway.

An SRM platform ensures managers and stores move in concert with the rest of the enterprise by giving everyone access to corporate KPIs and strategies. Management teams also have functionality to create action plans and track accountability to achieve corporate goals.

A quick and dirty summary: The major differences between BI and SRM:

BI tools enable enterprises to collect and analyze a large quantity of data from multiple sources, and they deliver ad-hoc reports that a small group of data users can interpret. In order to better connect data and enterprise-wide actions, SRM delivers curated information (the important data that matters) to add the context necessary to enable decision-making. SRM is also aimed at users across the entire enterprise, so everyone can focus on their performance opportunities.

Store Relationship Management platforms like, CoEFFICIENT®, are developed to centralize communications with easy-to-read dashboards and comprehensive metrics, eliminating the challenges of working in the field. CoEFFICIENT has been proven to help align store performance to corporate strategies with layers of visibility and enterprise-wide KPIs.

To learn more about CoEFFICIENT, download our case study on how we helped Nissan Canada achieve customer retention across 188 dealerships.

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Image source: luckey_sun, Copyright 2012