Driving Economic Development: The Importance of Business Intelligence 

By |2023-11-10T15:30:01-05:00November 15th, 2023|News & Media|

In the digital era, an increasing number of businesses are realizing the transformative potential of business intelligence (BI) in decision-making and acquiring a competitive edge. Beyond businesses, Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) can also leverage the power of BI to encourage investment in their regions.

This article discusses the strategic utilization of BI for economic growth, shedding light on its benefits for EDOs and providing a roadmap for successfully integrating BI into operational strategies.

How Economic Development Professionals Can Harness Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence can be a powerful tool for economic development professionals seeking to enhance their decision-making processes. Utilizing BI, EDOs and Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) can accurately identify growth-driven industries and regions, cater to expansion or relocation requirements of specific companies, and strategically pinpoint relevant firms for targeting.

BI databases facilitate effective identification and engagement with potential investors, providing insightful findings about their demographics and preferences. This information equips EDOs and IPAs to formulate targeted marketing strategies, outreach programs, and offer personalized assistance to prospective investors.

How Business Intelligence Can Benefit Economic Development

BI plays an instrumental role in assisting economic development professionals make sound decisions by offering crucial insights that can significantly enhance decision-making processes and foster growth. Leveraging BI can help identify untapped opportunities, streamline operational efficiency, and mitigate risks for EDO’s and IPA’s.

BI’s effectiveness lies in its capacity to identify patterns, opportunities, and challenges, subsequently informing decision-making.

Identify Trends

The use of business intelligence allows economic development professionals to extract meaningful insights from vast datasets, unveiling patterns and trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. This enables economic development organizations to make informed choices, optimize resource allocation, and anticipate market shifts, enabling organizations to stay ahead of the curve, fostering innovation and competitiveness within their region.

Identify Opportunities

By leveraging business intelligence insights, economic development organizations can align their investment attraction strategies with market demands, enhance their operational efficiency, target leads that have the highest return on investment (ROI) protentional.

Identify Challenges

Business Intelligence tools equip Economic Development professionals with the insights needed to identify and address potential risks and challenges effectively and develop resilient strategies. This enables economic development professionals to be better equipped for various factors that slow growth such as economic downturns, regulatory changes, or shifts in consumer preferences.

 Inform Decision-Making

Business intelligence tools gather, analyze, and visualize a wide range of data and analytics, helping economic development professionals make informed decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of current market conditions, trends, and potential opportunities or challenges.

Establishing a Business Intelligence Unit in Your Organization

Creating a Business Intelligence (BI) unit can enhance decision-making and considerably improve your organization’s overall efficacy. If you’re looking to initiate your own BI unit, employing trusted industry tools is critical.

Here are five highly recommended BI tools for economic development professionals embarking on a BI journey:


A B2B data platform offering contact information and company event data, including recent funding, IPOs, hiring trends, recent awards, new locations, internal promotions, and executive Hires


A provider of comprehensive business information about private and public companies. Their content includes investment and funding information, founding members and individuals in leadership positions, mergers and acquisitions, news, and industry trends.

FDI Intelligence:  

A global database that has been tracking over $1 trillion of incentivized investment projects since 2010.

FDI Benchmark: 

A database that tracks cost and quality competitiveness of nearly 1,000 countries, states and cities in 65 sectors with nearly 1,000 data points


Datanyze is a cloud-based sales intelligence and lead generation solution that enables organizations to generate sales prospects.

However, bear in mind that these tools are just aids that can be used by economic development professionals in their BI unit. They provide a solid foundation for a BI team to analyze, but the broader the dataset, the more comprehensive the analysis. Therefore, setting up a BI unit requires significant resources. If establishing your own BI unit isn’t feasible, consider reliable industry leaders to outsource your BI needs. Your organization can still reap BI benefits without the expenditure and effort required to set up a BI unit.

ResearchFDI’s Business Intelligence Solutions are tailor-made to assist economic development and investment attraction professionals in identifying corporations most likely to invest in their regions. We combine optimized targeting and database development techniques to equip EDOs with necessary investment attraction information.

FDI365 is a leading online BI platform designed by ResearchFDI for economic development and investment attraction professionals. It identifies 365 potential expansion-fit firms per annum based on each client’s value proposition, investment criteria, and regional advantage. Our Business Intelligence team analyzes all leads using key growth indicators and proprietary primary data collection techniques to identify the most promising investors.

If you are ready to take your business intelligence efforts to the next level, get started with us today and discover just how effective business intelligence solutions are in driving economic growth.

By |2023-11-10T15:30:01-05:00November 15th, 2023|News & Media|
stef small
VP Trade and Export Services, ResearchFDI
Stefan is a FDI and trade development expert, frequently offering advice to economic development and trade promotion agencies on the latest global business trends and insights. His areas of expertise include international trade, FDI, B2B sales development, digital marketing, and data analysis. Stefan has successfully planned and executed numerous trade missions on behalf of various public and private clients at major industry trade shows. As an important figure in the industry, Stefan actively participates in several trade associations, including SIDO, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and AMCham, showcasing his dedication and commitment to the trade development sector.