Business processes, or repeatable chains of events that lead (on average) to an understood change in monetary or strategic position, can be optimized to improve repeatability, speed, expense, revenue, and, ultimately, profit or loss. At the head of an organization with business processes is a leader, or a team of leaders, who must monitor how their changes are affecting the performance of these processes.
In the smallest (stable) organization, the processes are simple enough for one person to oversee. An example is a quick turn-around buy-and-sell organization which purchases an item and expects to sell it within a relatively short period of time at a profit. But, as an organization grows and forms relationships with other organizations, the processes to manage and account for these relationships become more and more complex. Soon, the extent of the processes is such that no one person could monitor them all, without help from the appropriate tools or processes.
Leaders of organizations, aware of the need to sift through and make use of large quantities of information, often have processes in place to allow them to see patterns and to strategize based on how the organization is performing as a whole. Once in a while, it is very useful to have consultants from the outside look at the processes, understand their purposes, and propose alternatives based on a broader cross-section of experience, strong database expertise, and natural inclination to think both inside and outside of 'the box'.