Business Intelligence Advisors (BIA), Inc.: Finding the Hidden Meaning in Corporate Disclosures
Business Intelligence Advisors, Inc. (BIA) was an investment research firm that had developed methods to help professional investors discern when CEOs and other executives in publicly traded firms "either lacked confidence in or were conveying less than complete or reliable information" in their public statements. BIA aimed to give its clients a better way of interpreting information provided in analyst calls, media interviews, and other events where executives publicly faced skeptical questions and had to give unscripted answers. BIA's methodology used verbal and nonverbal cues to identify executives who parsed their words too carefully or displayed discomfort with what they were saying. In analyzing the case, students will learn about the role of information in markets-how investors get it, how they process it, and why it matters. The case asks students to evaluate why BIA's methods might work and to analyze how BIA should leverage its approach to build a sustainable business.