Quotients come in many forms, but the type we inevitably hear of most is the “intelligence quotient”. Known by its popular initialism “IQ”, it is our individual intelligence gleaned from a test mapped to a number and grouped to highlight how smart we just might be. It’s not a number that defines you, but rather one that bands you by association. Scores of 90 to 109 are considered normal, below lacking, and above being smart. Reach above 140 and you might just be a genius.

But IQ isn’t the only type of quotient. There’s also a collective measure known as a business intelligence quotient, helping determine if your business has the right skills to achieve the desired return on investment.

What is your BIQ?

Stephen Hawking once said “people who boast about their IQ are losers”, but business intelligence quotient might be different altogether. You may already know that the IQ score doesn’t technically define intelligence, beyond a vague grouping of what the collective intelligence is. Similarly, your BIQ isn’t something that can be recognised as a grade. Rather, business intelligence quotient is less about a score and more about an indication of how a business is suited in the market.

Forget the score because you don’t need that here. To grade your BIQ, instead, focus on the requirements of competing in today’s challenging world. Consider your customers, your clients, your KPIs, and your ROI; consider every detail you have and every source of data, and ask the question that helps set BIQ apart from everything else: do you have enough? The answer might be yes, but if the answer is no, fear not, because that’s normal. Business intelligence is measured by what we know and our desire to always know more. It delivers an understanding of the comings and goings of the day-to-day, and what those details will result in. Your BIQ is as big as you need it to be, and if you always crave more information to make your business quotient bigger, it can help you in the long term.

How can business intelligence help?

Working out what makes up our business intelligence quotient is a collective project, and requires not just individual sources, but those from across a company. Corralled into the same understanding, it delivers information about the known and the now, to the prediction of what lays ahead tomorrow. Take the data gleaned from customers, which can offer swathes of analytics to decide on potential cost-cutting measures, customer-centric experiences, and ways to deliver coming features your buyers expect and demand.

Business intelligence information is dependent on each company but should be found across the business, in silos and departments where problems exist. Every business has at least one, and sourcing what needs to be changed arises from what needs to be done. Tap into these sources, and a treasure trove of information awaits, raising the hypothetical score of your BIQ a point, and allowing you to do more for your customers.

How to find and harness your business intelligence quotient

While the score is academic, the necessity for finding a business intelligence quotient is not, and it requires special skills. As such, organisations struggling to take advantage of their data and develop a BIQ should consider the hiring of a business intelligence analyst as a consultant. Able to deep dive into a company’s resources, BI analysts uncover the information lurking under the hood, combining data harvesting, analysis, and knowledge management to ensure businesses have the right quantities of data not just for decision-making, but for strategy as well.

A relatively new field, business analytics forms a part of data science, and gives a mouthpiece for big data, allowing it to speak for itself. When connected with a skilled business intelligence analyst, data can dance and deliver the details worth doting on. Mix that with the information already a part of organisational BIQ and you have a recipe not just to calculate and elicit actionable insights from your business quotients, but for further success, as well.