We all understand that the fundamental goal of every business is to earn a return on investment on its capital that exceeds the cost of its capital. Companies can be successful at ROI in two basic ways: To stay in an industry where the competitive conditions are favorable and the rate of ROI is above the competitive level or, if an industry is tough, win all the competitors and have ROI above the average in the industry. So, if your enterprise exists in the industry with high competition then it is time to have a strong business strategy, to be really better than average.
Every successful CFO or CEO knows that companies should advance in corporate strategy (decisions that include mergers, allocation of corporate resources and etc.) and in business strategy (the performance in the industry). The definition of these both strategies is not separation but rather a hierarchy – the success in the business strategy will lead to big success on a corporate level. But as your enterprise grows the distinction between business and corporate strategies gets greater and it is harder to keep up with business level with its details. That is what Business Intelligence about – it helps you track and analyze your company on the level of a consumer or an employee and have a strong business strategy. Having BI tools you will be able to work with internal environment of your business (resources, processes, capabilities) and thereby to capture the data of targeted departments (HR, IT, Manufacture) that you would like to improve.
However data about competition is more difficult to capture. Most of this data is not even publicly available. Still, a lot of competitors share their prices and success stories that you can analyze and compare with your business performance.