This is our blog about designing and implementing Intelligent organizations. Within this area of expertise we write often about the following subjects BI, analytics, the tools, decision management, data visualization, BI success, Business Intelligence concepts, data management, continuous improvement, and the organization of BI & Analytics.
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Software developers and analysts are experts at coming up with new acronyms and exotic-sounding names for their platforms, BI tools, features, plug-ins, and add-ons. NLG, VBD, MOLAP, BIaaS, federated analytics, augmented intelligence, the Prep Conductor, Vizzes, smart analytics, the list goes on. End-users have the unenviable task of looking past the jargon and trying to judge all new announcements on their own merits. A critical attitude, focusing on the promised functionality, will get you far.
Earlier, we covered two different approaches to defining KPI requirements: the strategy-driven approach and the process-driven approach. Today, we’re covering two other methods: the data-driven and the market-driven approach.
Earlier, we covered the strategy-driven approach to determining KPI requirements. Today we’ll cover the process-driven approach. Closely examining your business processes in the framework of the process-driven approach will give you insight into how your organization adds value, and how you can measure the performance of its activities.
The business processes are a crucial starting point for defining the information needs and improving the performance of the organization (Kerklaan, 2009; Van Leeuwen, 1997; Tideman, 1993). This approach gives “certainty” that the required information is also relevant for the user. “Every company on earth consists of processes. Processes are what companies do” (Hammer, 1995).
Research among almost four hundred organizations has shown that the famous PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is crucial to achieving better business results. Not only can it improve your profit margins and drastically reduce workloads, it can also lead to increased customer satisfaction. Dr. Deming’s quality cycle has proven to be the foundation of using management information and KPIs to achieve great success.
There are various approaches you can use when identifying, defining, loading, benchmarking, visualizing, and operationalizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This article will discuss the strategy-driven approach, a top-down method where the mission, strategy, and goals of the organization are the starting point.
To start off, we’ll answer the question of how to derive a strategy from the organization’s mission, and how to derive indicators from goals.
The number of projects, programs, and portfolios is rapidly growing all around the world. Over the past forty years, project management has become a prominent discipline that’s undergone a lot of development and has become highly visible.
However, despite this growth in the field, the amount of successful projects isn’t growing at the same rate. Studies show that only twenty percent of all projects are completed successfully. The biggest culprits that cause failure: limited budgets, poor communication, unmotivated team members, not enough time, wrong priorities, and scope creep.
Software developers and analysts are experts at coming up with new acronyms and exotic-sounding names for their platforms, features, plug-ins, and add-ons. NLG, VBD, MOLAP, BIaaS, federated analytics, augmented intelligence, the Prep Conductor, Vizzes, smart analytics, the list goes on. End-users have the unenviable task of looking past the jargon and trying to judge all new announcements on their own merits. A critical attitude, focusing on the promised functionality, will get you far.
The world around you is changing. Your organization is changing. The demands the organization places on management information is also changing.
Not everyone gets excited about the prospect of discussing information entropy, shadow IT, and technical debt. But for Martijn Evers, it’s all in a day’s work. We had an animated discussion about holistic data management and the art of taming bulls.
Together with Ronald Damhof, Martijn Evers, co-founder of i-Refact, started an online movement dedicated to perhaps the ultimate job of the future: full-scale data architect. It’s a job that has to suit you. “Usually, you’re born a data architect”, the self-appointed data missionary says. In other words: abstract thinking has to be in your genes. That’s why organizations usually call on people with real passion to fill this key role.
In practice, Martijn Evers, co-founder of i-Refact, believes there’s a desire for data architects with a holistic vision (read part 1 of our interview here). Architects that can effortlessly switch between various modes. He jokingly refers to the contrast between a gorilla architect, who is assertive and supported by the direction, and a guerrilla architect, who doesn’t have a wide base of support in the organization due to all kinds of politically sensitive matters, and thus is forced to operate under the radar.
If the challenges associated with Big Data are handled well by making things relevant, digestible, and specific, you can go from Big Data to Right Data and then make the Right Decisions. Then, you’ll be able to make the four Vs of Big Data work to your advantage: you’ll see more and see better as an organization!
Volume: see more.
Velocity: spot things faster.
Variety: see more detail and more nuance.
A large pharmaceutical wholesaler opted to implement a new BI tool, switching from their old one, in order to distribute and share management information. The company is currently using Business Objects and wants to make a change. The selection of a new tool can be finished as soon as:
The reference visit at another pharmaceutical wholesaler leaves a positive impression.
There has been an international workshop.
AI may be currently dominating the discourse, but BI (Business Intelligence) is proving to be a term with staying power through 2019, both for BI tool vendors and end-users. Nevertheless, BI vendors dating back to the early days of the field are having a hard time staying out of the danger zone. Microsoft, on the other hand, is rising above the pack with Microsoft Power BI. This product has the potential to become the de facto BI standard. These are the results of the BI & Analytics Guide, the ultimate overview of the BI market.
In a recent poll on our website about Business Intelligence, we asked visitors to give us their opinion about the following statement: “A business intelligence track can’t succeed if…”. Below, you’ll find the results of this poll.
As we recently pointed out, data literacy is a hot-button issue. Only 24% of the decision-makers in international business spheres indicate that they have complete confidence in their own ability to read data, work with it, analyze it, and discuss it. This alarming conclusion was drawn by the worldwide Data Literacy Project. Spoiler alert: 2019 and beyond could be the year of data literacy.
The concept of literacy is a lot broader than most people think, according to Wikipedia. It’s the ability to work with information, understand it, and use it with purpose. In the Netherlands, Princess Laurentien has been working tirelessly to promote literacy since 2001. At her behest, the Foundation for Reading & Writing was founded in 2004. Although the foundation achieved successes in its fight against illiteracy, the war is far from won.
Data is becoming a bigger presence in our lives every day, whether we know it (or like it) or not. Naturally, this doesn’t just affect individuals, but businesses too. Smart use of data separates the winners from the losers. The most prominent Business Intelligence trends for 2019 are all about (use of) data, and above all: using data responsibly.
Change is a fact of life. New software, processes, and system updates cause minor upheavals on a daily basis. And that’s to say nothing of the digital transformation. Without learning about the psychology behind change processes, without clear communication, and without investing in human, “warm”, contacts, such projects are doomed to fail. Those are the steadfast beliefs of Ericka Petrignani, associate partner with Passionned Group. With her refined stakeholder approach, she’s helped many organizations out of a tight spot. What’s the “secret sauce” she uses in change projects?
Do you want to stay ahead of the competition and give your customers the best possible experience? Become a data-driven organization. Instead of making decisions based on opinions, gut feeling, who yells the loudest, or because “that’s just the way we’ve always done it,” your organization will take action based on data and facts.
A study by the MIT Center for Digital Business shows that organizations that make data-driven decisions have 4% higher productivity while earning 6% more profit. That may not seem like a lot to some, but over $1 million in profits, we’re already talking about $60,000. That amount of money can get you a pretty decent BI system. Other studies have shown that successfully using BI can lead to 33% more satisfied customers. And with IoT applications, we can save $63 billion worldwide in healthcare. You can find many advantages of data-driven working in all kinds of areas. That’s why you should make data an integral part of your company’s DNA now, in just five steps.
A strategy plotted out in a good strategy map can be a lasting competitive advantage, but only if you can make sure that you’re doing different things, or doing things differently, than the competition.
Artificial Intelligence is a hot topic. Algorithms can determine the notes of a new perfume. The high-art world has been scooped by a portrait painted by an algorithm and signed with the code: minG maxD Ex[log(D(x))]+Ez[log(1-D(G(z)))]. These are two random examples of relatively innocent, yet surprising, applications of AI. However, algorithms can also inspire fear. Crashing self-driving cars, smart speakers that take over the entire house, algorithms that thoughtlessly dismiss job applicants based on gender or sentence suspects without mercy. Can algorithms be used for the good of mankind?
Algorithms are essentially no more than a recipe, a simple set of instructions. Computers are algorithm machines, modeled to save data, apply mathematical formulas to it, and deliver new information as output. A simple example of a so-called If This, Then That algorithm is: “If the temperature in a house falls below a certain threshold, then the heating will turn on.” But what about more advanced forms of AI? Because there’s a general lack of understanding surrounding algorithms, we’re debunking six common misconceptions.
As project leader, you’re cradling an ambitious BI project, and you’re looking for theoretical and (especially) practical frameworks. You know that you can achieve better results using the right management information. Googling “Business Intelligence” returns 527 million results. “BI Tools” narrows it down a bit, but still returns 855,000 hits. Discussions are spreading out in all directions and it’s hard not to get dizzy. If you want to get serious about working with BI, it’s easy to end up in a roller coaster. You’ll want to get both feet on the ground again as soon as possible. But BI is dreaming, daring, and especially doing. But you don’t have to start from scratch; you can learn from the growing pains that others have already experienced. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. after all. Learn to recognize these symptoms and avoid them, or deal with them. This stories are based on the goals and ambitions of the hundreds who have taken our Business Intelligence training course.
Strategy maps are an excellent way to visualize and communicate the company strategy and its management. In the public sector we usually talk about policy instead of strategy. Passionned Group believes that a strategy map isn’t only useful in the context of performance management, but also as an instrument for scenario planning, organizational development, and making investment decisions.
The election of the Smartest Organization of the Netherlands, the Dutch Business Intelligence Award, is in full swing. Organizations from various industries are vying for the title, including an online bank, a mortgage agency, a sustainable plantation, a national bakery chain, an international trade business, a large government institution, an educational institute, a very progressive healthcare agency, a consultancy, and various retail companies.
Advice, research, and project management are serious matters that require a high degree of responsibility, involvement, and objectivity. These are our specialties. By working closely with you and your employees, and with crystal-clear communication, we deliver keen, executable advice. This is why dozens of clients have already used our services. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider contacting us.
The worldwide business intelligence and analytics software market revenue will reach 22.8 billion US Dollars by 2020, according to Statista. In 2008, the revenue for this market was only around 7 billion USD.
Organizations use Business Intelligence software to perform thorough analyses to steer the course of their business operations. The demand for this software hasn’t suffered from any economic crises, according to market research company Forrester. Organizations need the analyses provided by these programs, especially during economic downturns. Medium-to-small companies will purchase more BI Software. Currently, 30% of the revenue comes from these companies. Forrester expects that number to grow to 36% in the next five years.
The Gemiva-SVG Group aids people with a mental, physical, or multiple disability, and people with non-inborn brain damage.
Gemiva asked Passionned Group for advice on the architecture and organization of its data warehouse, plus advice on which ETL tool to use. The advice project was completed to great satisfaction, and was rated a 9 out of 10 by Gemiva.
The organization itself has to be organized. It sounds cryptic, but we’re referring to the activities and resources needed to support and improve the organization or company. We could call this the organization’s overhead and management.
We’re talking about coordination by, for example, procedures and guidelines, Human Capital Management, process management, information management, ICT, finance – basically everything that isn’t part of a company’s core activities. That includes management layers and steering on strategy.
In this technology-driven world, we like to believe in progress. It can be easy to forget that “new” isn’t always better. A prime example of this is the “data lake” phenomenon: a figurative lake of data, which became a hype in Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data circles. Many companies rushed to jump on the bandwagon and built their own data lake. But was this such a good idea, or would it have been better to think about what can be accomplished using a data lake first?
As a leading consultant in Business Intelligence, we offer a small but high-quality range of Business Intelligence services. Our Business Intelligence guide focuses on what you want to achieve in the near future, what the business benefits are, and how to get there, in 5 steps.
Big Data has many potential advantages. It can provide new insights into consumer behavior, show you in which areas the organization can work more efficiently, predict future changes, and much more. However, many companies forge ahead into Big Data without being adequately prepared, and charge straight into a pitfall. Research shows that about 60% of Big Data projects stumble out of the starting blocks. How can you make sure that your organization doesn’t become a statistic?
From time to time, the debate about the usefulness of KPIs rears its head. Recently, two Insead Professors, S. David Young and Kevin Kaiser, wrote that KPIs are not good barometers for value creation. Indeed, they say that KPIs often destroy value. KPIs send the wrong stimuli to employees, because they are rewarded based on hitting arbitrary targets.
Business Intelligence has been used to help organizations work more information-driven for years, and it’s showing no signs of stopping. According to Daan van Beek, CEO of Passionned Group and author of the Data Science book “Data Science for Decision Makers & Data Professionals”, BI still serves as an umbrella term, and even covers the Artificial Intelligence and Big Data hype. We had a conversation about data-driven working and the careful balancing act between the ‘old’ BI world and the ‘new’ AI world.
The demand for data scientists is rapidly growing. This function is becoming increasingly important within organizations and its salary is growing to match its importance. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that the lack of analytical and management talent in successfully implementing Big Data is one of the biggest challenges the USA is facing.
The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that there are four to five million openings for data scientists in 2018 alone. The hunt for data scientists has been opened. This jack of all trades in your organization should possess many talents in order to help shape and direct the explosive amount of new possibilities provided by big data. But is this realistic?
Over the past 20 years, responsibility for Business Analytics has shifted within organizations. First BI was placed with the IT manager, later it was given to a CIO or CFO. And sometimes it was given to the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). Now the idea is that BI & analytics will end up with the Chief Data Officer (CDO). One of the research agencies predicted two years ago that 90% of larger organizations will have a CDO in 2019. An enquiry amongst our larger customers makes it clear that this percentage is not even close to being reached.
Karl E. Weick, in 1969, already talked about “organizing” instead of “organization” in his revolutionary book The Social Psychology of Organizing. With that, he turned the earlier philosophy of organizations on its head. “To organize” is a verb, which is precisely the difference between it and the static noun “organization”. It implies action. It’s about what people agree to do, and what image is created by the process of interaction.