With 'Big Data' and 'Business Intelligence' on par with 'User Experience' and 'Customer Experience' in terms of popularity with organizations and management, I wonder why it is that most of the business systems and infrastructure put in place are not used also to collect and analyse customer research data? Is this due to the normal organizational division between internal systems versus external products/services or something else.

I have heard the term 'user intelligence' being used before, and this is even the name of a company that seems to base some of their design services around data analysis and business intelligence. Is this term being used at all in either the business systems area or UX design? Can it be used to describe this type of cross over between business and design teams?

  • I'm not sure I would describe it as a crossover. Business intelligence is just analysing data to inform business decisions, so I would say that analysing data to improve user experience is a type of business intelligence.
    – Franchesca
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 8:45
  • @Franchesca if that was the case, then I would have expected it to be easier to discuss these things with the business intelligence team, but it never is...
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 22:17

1 Answer 1


The sort of data usually found backing Business Intelligence is based on data used to carry out business. Basically the data only exists, because it was required to do business and likely was stored for this same reason. So Business Intelligence was born out of finding value from pre-existing data.

The main issue with user experience data is the type of data it requires is not necessarily being captured because it wasn't essential for business. Trying to make a case for capturing this data and then putting tools in place to capture it requires additional work. This additional work has not been considered until market pressures have mandated 'User Experience' as key to running a successful business.

'User Intelligence'

The term 'User Intelligence' could be considered too 'loaded' a word combination to expect it's adoption. I'm referring to the fact that it could be taken as meaning 'IQ of users'.

This is certainly a space that could use it's own word to bring it into the limelight.

  • If the company is using information from users to carry out its business (e.g. Facebook) then would user information be considered part of business intelligence? Good point about the word intelligence being used, probably same point can be made about the term 'army intelligence'.
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 4:18
  • The point I was trying to make is that historically Business Intelligence data has been based on information that is not directly related to customer experience. Certainly new forms of data on the customer experience should become part of business intelligence, but giving it a brand name may help bring it to light and not muddy it with other business intelligence data.
    – Thurstan
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 7:02

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