Is Business Intelligence Really a Function of Risk Management?

by AR Risk Intel, AR Risk Management Study Room, ESRM intelligence, Risk Technology, Security Risk Management

Business Intelligence has become known as an industry all itself. Although ambiguous and defined differently depending on who you talk to, it seems there should be some clarification of what it really is and what it really means to an enterprise. The practice of creating corporate activities without representation and without clear goals often leads to inefficiency and waste. At Alpha Recon, we argue that business intelligence is actually part of risk management operations and should be owned by risk professionals. The core of business is the analysis of risk vs. opportunity. It stands to reason that the better you are at determining both will give you an advantage and likely more success in business.

Let’s examine some of the purported tasks of business intelligence operations:

  • Understand competitive environment both in terms of products, companies, and strategies
  • Understand client and market demands and changes to those demands
  • Understand pain points and personas involved in decisions
  • Understand talent pool dynamics and retention levers
  • Understand performance of products, services, and key metrics
  • Understand costs, margin dynamics, and areas for opportunity and efficiency

There are many more. If you take a close look you will realize that many of these activities are attempting to monitor risks and opportunities. Product risk, competition risk, strategic risk, cost risk, market risk, and performance risk are all displayed here. In fact, there is a risk in not having an effective RISK RECONAISSANCE mission to monitor and understand emerging trends, changes, and resulting opportunities. For something as important as the health and viability of a business, it seems that more companies should be focusing on risk management as a core competency of business and not as a cost center or liability control mechanism.

The chance to plan ahead and rise above competition

Until business leaders, risk professionals, and C-level executives realize through catastrophe or failure that their very existence and growth depends on risk intelligence, they will ignore it and sweep it under the rug as a “variable and subjective cost.” It’s much easier to close eyes and ears and operate blindly without taking into account the constantly changing dynamics of their business and the world’s impact on it. Many companies get lucky, and the critical unknown risks they face don’t completely destroy their business. However, in the increasingly data-centric and intelligence-driven world we live in, your competitors will eat your lunch and luck will not hold out forever. Business intelligence is a cornerstone activity of overall enterprise risk management and it needs to have a proper place in budgets, plans, and across organizational silos. Over the next 10 years, the enterprises that invest in, and make decisions based on, timely and multi-source data-driven intelligence will own the markets they seek and will maintain their leadership once they have it.

Contact Alpha Recon today at or schedule a demo to see how your school can benefit from the most advanced security risk management solution on the market.

Toby Houchens

CEO & Founder

Toby is a risktech and ESRM futurist who earned two Master’s degrees in Biology (Neuroscience) and International Relations in addition to becoming a member of the US Army Special Forces, more commonly known as the Green Berets. After leaving the military with over 10 years of risk management and intelligence experience, Toby founded Alpha Recon to be a risk technology innovator in enterprise security risk management (EsRM). Focused on rapidly changing and diverse risk management challenges across traditional corporate boundaries, Toby is a proponent of strategy and intelligence-focused risk management, limiting liabilities while advancing opportunities and outcomes for business with the help of machine learning/AI. Toby is an unconventional thinker who believes that solutions have remained siloed, irrelevant, and rarely lower risk or provide opportunity for organizations and their assets in a measurable and proactive way.

Toby served around the world in high threat areas advising senior military, foreign governments, and U.S. government officials and dignitaries. Engaging with local communities he gained first-hand security and risk management experience in complex environments. During this time, Toby became an expert in risk management, intelligence operations, and threat mitigation with an appreciation for proactive and practical methods. His equal appreciation for deep learning and risk models to synthesize multi-variate data and make it valuable is evident in Alpha Recon’s software approach. Toby’s theories and ideas about holistic risk understanding and strategic management challenge the status quo and will no doubt result in better practices and solutions to help the performance of enterprises around the world. Toby enjoys speaking about innovations in risk technology, measurable risk management, and building consensus for enterprise security risk management around the world.

Toby is currently on the technical committee and working group for ESRM on behalf of ASIS, developing the Enterprise Security Risk Management guideline.

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