Innovation Navigator … July 2024


Innovation Navigator … July 2024

Teeing up Business Intelligence: The Parallels Between Golf and BI Tools 


Embarking on a journey into the world of golf, amid parking conferences and grateful camaraderie with fellow players, I have stumbled upon unexpected parallels between this sport and business intelligence (BI) tools. As I navigate the intricacies of both, the similarities are striking. 


What is BI and How and Why Is It Used?  

BI encompasses the technologies, applications, practices, and processes that transform raw data into actionable insights for businesses. It serves as a guide, aiding organizations in data-driven decision-making and offering insights into their operations, customers, and markets. 


BI serves as a cornerstone, facilitating strategic decision-making and enhancing business performance. By analyzing vast datasets, BI unveils hidden trends and correlations, empowering decision-makers to align choices with organizational goals.  


Through timely and accurate information, BI optimizes operational efficiency, streamlines processes, and enables effective resource allocation. Moreover, it identifies market opportunities, anticipates customer needs, and mitigates risks by providing insights into market trends and customer behavior. Tracking key performance indicators ensures proactive intervention and continued growth. 


BI in Parking 

BI is a driving force in the parking industry, shaping operations, enhancing customer experiences, and optimizing revenue streams. Its applications are varied and impactful: 

  • Demand forecasting. Through sophisticated analysis of historical parking data, BI tools accurately predict future demand, enabling operators to allocate resources efficiently, adjust pricing strategies, and mitigate congestion. 
  • Revenue optimization. BI identifies revenue opportunities, such as underutilized parking spaces or peak demand periods, enabling operators to optimize pricing and promotional activities for maximum profitability. 
  • Customer analytics. By delving into customer data, BI uncovers trends and preferences, informing targeted marketing efforts, refining customer segmentation, and elevating overall satisfaction levels. 
  • Operational efficiency. BI empowers operators to monitor facility performance, spot operational bottlenecks, and streamline processes for improved efficiency, cost reduction, and elevated service standards. 


By harnessing the power of BI tools, parking operators gain actionable insights, driving operational excellence, enhancing customer satisfaction, and maximizing profitability in a fiercely competitive landscape. 


Parallels with Golf 

Playing golf and using BI tools have five key parallels. With both, I need to plan my shot, aim for accuracy, visualize data (i.e., see the green), learn and improve, and track performance.  


Just as I meticulously plan my shots on the golf course every time I step up to the ball, I have come to understand the importance of planning and strategy in business. BI tools act as my caddy, helping me analyze data and make informed decisions. Before I take a swing, I assess the distance to the hole, consider the wind direction, evaluate the line on the green, and identify any hazards in my way. Similarly, in business, I use BI tools to gather data, analyze market trends, and identify potential risks and opportunities. By having a clear plan in place, I can make better decisions and increase my chances of success both on the course and within my organization. 


In golf, accuracy is everything. The same goes for BI tools. As I aim for the fairway, businesses aim for accurate insights. Choosing the right BI tool is like selecting the right club — it makes all the difference. Just as I adjust my aim based on the terrain and conditions, businesses must choose the right BI tool to suit their specific needs and objectives. Whether it is data visualization, predictive analytics, or reporting capabilities, the right BI tool can provide businesses with the accurate insights they need to drive growth and profitability. 


My golf pro keeps telling me to visualize the fairway to help me line up my shots. Similarly, BI tools provide visual representations of data, making it easier for me to understand trends and patterns quickly. Whether it is a bar chart, pie graph, or heat map, visualizations help bring data to life and make it easier to interpret and analyze. It is so much better than just looking at rows and rows of numbers! Just as I rely on visual cues to guide my shots on the golf course, businesses rely on data visualizations to guide their decision-making processes and identify new opportunities for growth. This speed in decision-making is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment, where every moment counts. 


Just as I am always trying to improve my swing, businesses are always looking to improve their operations. BI tools help identify areas for improvement and track progress over time. Whether optimizing supply chain logistics, streamlining manufacturing processes, or enhancing customer service, BI tools provide businesses with the insights they need to make data-driven decisions and continuously improve their performance. By analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitoring business metrics, businesses can identify trends, patterns, and outliers, and take proactive steps to address any issues that may arise. 


Like keeping score in golf, businesses track performance metrics using BI tools. It is a way to measure success and identify areas for growth. Whether tracking sales performance, monitoring customer satisfaction, or analyzing market share, BI tools provide businesses with the data they need to evaluate their performance and make informed decisions. By setting clear goals and benchmarks, businesses can track their progress over time and adjust as needed to stay on course and achieve their objectives. 


Driving Home the Point 

While I may still be learning the ropes of both golf and BI tools, the similarities are obvious. Both require planning, accuracy, continuous improvement, and performance tracking. By leveraging the power of BI tools, businesses can gain valuable insights to drive success, much like a golfer uses the right clubs to navigate the course. Additionally, sometimes you need the assistance of a professional. It was from my pro that I learned when my ball goes to the right, my grip is off; when it goes to the left, my swing is off, and when it goes crazy, then I am just off. When you are not getting the results you need, reach out to a professional. They are there for a reason and are usually worth the investment.  


Whether you are on the fairway or in the boardroom, the principles remain the same: plan your shot, aim for accuracy, and forever strive to improve your game. With the right strategy and tools in place, success is within reach both on and off the golf course. 


Katherine Beaty is Executive Vice President of Customer Experience for TEZ Technology. She can be reached at 

Article contributed by:
Katherine Beaty, TEZ Technology
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