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  • The vast majority of users and managers of business intelligence (BI) data believe they are maximizing the value of this data, according to a recent survey from Clutch. The resulting report, "Business Intelligence Data Analytics Survey 2016," reveals that organizations are collecting data from a wide range of sources: internal, business systems, structured data, unstructured data and social networks. Through BI investment, companies are benefiting from improved statistical analysis, data management and visualization. Tech and business users are also developing preferences with regard to the categories of data that are analyzed, such as internal data over external. However, by making the right investments and acquisitions—and hiring the right data specialists—they may find that external data delivers greater value. "Internal data's popularity is a result of its accessibility," according to the report. "It is data pulled from within the business, such as performance metrics. On the other hand, gathering external data takes more effort. But if a company wants to grow its audience, it needs to collect and analyze external data—demographics, characteristics, buying habits—so it can target potential customers better." The report includes best practices for BI data efforts, and we've adapted some of those here. More than 290 managers and employees who use BI data analytics tools as part of their job took part in the survey.