Table: Get Smart
Business Intelligence software lets companies navigate the oceans of data in their computer systems to better track their operations and ward off problems. Here are ways the software helps:
After September 11, Las Vegas was empty because customers weren't flying. Harrah's (HET ) dug into its data with BI software, found gamblers within driving distance, then sent special offers. Within two weeks, its hotels were full again.
British Airways (BAB ) used BI software to analyze complaints about lost luggage and found it needed to better advise customers on minimum transfer times so handlers could get their baggage onto connecting flights.
Toyota (TM ) is using BI software to bring its financial, parts, and production data into a central location. With the info easily accessible, the carmaker now takes just a week to close its books at the end of each quarter, down from a month.