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.
Of course you can order our book here too.
Dr. Huub Vinkenburg has recently been awarded by the Dutch Network for Quality Management for his important contribution to the (critical) quality improvement in the Netherlands. In 1995, Huub Vinkenburg received his doctorate with the thesis “Encouraging perfection; critical factors in improving services.”
Sigma (corporate quality management platform) editors asked a number of colleagues, including me, to reflect on some of Dr. Huub Vinkenburg’s statements. I chose his statement on the measurability of service. The following is my argument, which was more concisely presented in Sigma magazine (issue no. 5, November 2015).
The municipal organization is under constant pressure. New developments, new responsibilities, and the demand for new perspectives are ever increasing. Consider:
The guidelines: oriented on process, information, area, the public, results and performance
Manner of working and managing: demand-driven, Information-based, and so forth
The call for the expansion of the management function and agility in decision making and implementation.
Did you know that 90 percent of all the world’s data has been collected only in the past few years? It’s almost impossible to imagine today’s world without the word ‘data’. We’ve been aware of data’s possibilities for only a few years. And yet, it appears that we’ve not been making maximum use of all those opportunities because we use only 12 percent of all data collected by organizations. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule; there are organizations that have discovered the potential of business intelligence. Companies where analytics get deeply rooted in business operations in a short time and that serve as the basis for making daily decisions.
Rituals Cosmetics, Noord-Holland Noord Safety Region, and Tempo-Team recruitment agency have been nominated for the award for the ‘Smartest Organization of the Netherlands’. The Dutch Business Intelligence Award jury will announce that today. These three organizations excel in effective, intelligent, and agile business processes through the smart use of (big) data. On December 3, 2015, the winner will be announced during “Intelligence at the Speed of Business” annual conference.
On December 3, the 9th selection of the ‘Smartest Organization of the Netherlands’ along with the corresponding awarding of the Dutch Business Intelligence Award 2015 was conducted. Noord-Holland-Noord (North Holland) Safety Region was named as the winner. They took home both the public award and the jury award. The jury reports and justifies their choices. An intelligent, agile organization
The field of Business Intelligence (BI) has developed significantly in recent years. It is increasingly used both as a tool to incrementally implement improvements and to innovate. Ten years ago the emphasis was on the use of smart technology to unlock data, especially in terms understanding the organization better. Today, the emphasis is on the advanced combination of smart management and the structural use of business analytics in supply chain processes. The major drivers of this new emphasis are the ever increasing turbulence and uncertainty that affect organizational operations today. This makes it increasingly complicated for future developments to be noted. The time remaining for the organization to react is short, often too short. Adequately implemented Business Intelligence helps the organization to be properly informed as soon as possible; the smart organizing and re-designing of processes are mandatory prerequisites to respond quickly. Timely informing and short reaction times are the two key conditions for a smart, agile organization.
North Holland Safety Region is the top winner of the Dutch Business Intelligence Award 2015 and was nominated as the Smartest Organization of the Netherlands. The organization is a great example through the use of smart data combinations and interactive dashboards in reducing acute heart attack care processing time by up to 20 minutes. Data-driven improvements with major human and social impact, which are appreciated both by the Jury and the public.
Information ‘tells’ us more about the situation. Something that we did not know for example. Information can also confirm whether our assumptions are correct or not. Then we can decide to take action with the intent to manage towards the desired situation.
I knew there was a party tonight, but after I heard that my favorite band is playing, I decided to go. To go or not go, to do or not to do; they are simple choices. Decision-making is often more complicated.
Municipalities are working to make an impact on citizens and entrepreneurs. The key question here is “How can we increase our public value?” This means that organizational competencies such as results orientation, performance orientation, continuous improvement, and innovation are important in order to properly demonstrate its function in societal participation. In short, municipalities must explore new avenues.
Company processes are the arteries of an organization. When an organization grows and puts on weight, these arteries become narrower and eventually get blocked altogether. Getting people to work together becomes more difficult, the organization structure and the company hierarchy play a more important role and management becomes more difficult. We pay less attention to the needs of the customer. The “organization jungle” with its countless departments, business units, task forces and all their meetings becomes so dense that we can no longer see the wood for the trees. This is true for not only our staff but also for our customers.
The Passionned Parabola™, a part of the annual Business Intelligence Tools Survey by Passionned Group, has revealed that the large traditional IT companies risk losing their position as BI market leader. They lack focus.
The vendors who occupy the best positions in the Parabola, namely SAS, MicroStrategy, Qlik, Tableau and Yellowfin BI, are all companies that focus completely on Business Intelligence and Analytics.
Business Intelligence and innovation are two concepts that belong together. However, practice shows that little has changed in the BI world for the last 25 years. We’ve been building data warehouses for decades with Kimball stars, and most organizations use business intelligence exclusively for reports and ad hoc queries.
The real added value of these traditional Business Intelligence applications has disappeared because its technology is hopelessly behind and remains complex for end-users. Where are the promising innovative BI tools that would really align with the market demand?
You can’t live without it. What information do you use? There are profound differences between Dutch companies and institutions. Various rounds of Dutch BI Award proved this to be true.
Some organizations adhere primarily to Performance Management; that is, how well do certain departments or employees groups perform? We can see this approach even in healthcare, where they look at outcomes of a particular treatment methods. However, such an approach has been generally a retrospective one. Fortunately, there are organizations that are trying to look forward.
Controllers like to keep things manageable and help organizations with keeping KPIs in order. This is understandable and good from a risk management perspective, but modern controllers must now know everything about Big Data. This is because established KPIs and manageability have to clear the way for Big Data and innovation. Organizations that lose sight of this transition risking completely missing the boat.
Entrepreneurs analyze data in order to innovate, to adjust their strategy, or to think up an advertising campaign. But business intelligence does not make sense if it only draws some data from a database, explains expert Daan van Beek.
Simply put, business intelligence is data collection within your own sector in order to do smart things with it. Explaining the term is not needed when mentioning Big Data, a term that is used to indicate big amounts of data.
The term ‘Big Data’ covers virtually all articles about information technology and management information. The candidates for the Dutch BI Award have also shown in recent years that they are serious about Big Data. But what exactly is Big Data? Many, including myself, struggle with the term. There is a lot of confusion about Big Data because there is no generally accepted definition. We all know that it has to deal with large volumes of data involving fast processing time and several different manifestations. This doesn’t say much, because what is a large volume? What is fast and what are several different manifestations?
In the Passionned Tasting “View BI from the Other Side” on August 26, 2015, we propose a discussion on a number of BI challenges. The growth of Business Analytics/BI is turbulent, and the market is increasingly demanding. Our experience shows that the BI organization is under increasing pressure, should perform better, and needs to make a shift. Do you recognize the following?
Losing sense of direction: the organization (suddenly) takes up all sorts of projects related to Big Data/data mining without letting BI team know or to be involved. The BI officer in charge feels he/she has lost control. Meanwhile, users complain about data quality.
Customer focus is a well-worn term and it seems so obvious. Especially in light of the fact that customers generally have numerous options to choose from. Customers can endlessly collect information on the internet and, so they mostly know exactly what they want and how they want it. Yet it still seems difficult for businesses to be customer-oriented. Not that they don’t think it’s important: every year, in the Netherlands alone, tens of millions of Euros are spent on change management, staff training, CRM systems, and processes.
In 2014, the Rotterdam’s community wanted to bring more cohesion to all BI activities. It started with information architecture and the description of a strategy. A pilot project focused on school dropouts, along with Passionned Group, must now show how it works in practice.
Communities become increasingly aware of their long-standing policy cycle based on multi-year plans failing to work so well as used to. There is also a growing need to be flexible and to be able to stay in tune based on available current data. Willy Groenewold, senior information management adviser at the CIO office of the municipality of Rotterdam, has therefore introduced the term ‘information-driven working’ at the municipality. “It’s a somewhat more value-free term than business intelligence, chosen in order to break free a bit from the technology and from the ‘that’s-not-for-me’ feeling.”
When a dashboard is delivered from a Performance Management initiative, sometimes the creators then sigh: “Nothing happens with the numbers”. In this brand new white paper, senior consultant Rick van der Linden creates a clear framework for effectively managing with figures and supporting the discussion about it.
The fact that nothing happens with the figures is extremely unfortunate and can have many reasons. One of the reasons that we least like to see for figures to be unable to turn into actions is that they have no explanatory power, except for a predictive capability. They just reflect a fact.
Minne van der Sluis has been working as an Associate Partner at Passionned Group since April 1, where he devotes himself to issues related to Big Data, Data Science and Data Warehousing. “Big Data allows clients to improve their approach to their customers, products, and employees resulting in better processes and their outcomes and, ultimately, to make the leap to innovation. These are the actions I want to take.”
This article looks at dumb organizations, what characterizes them, and how their business intelligence can be improved. A breakthrough is needed, but first let’s have a look at a brief profile of the smartest organizations in the Netherlands.
How do the smartest organizations behave? Organizations in our study (266 organizations) that managed to achieve excellent results thanks to business intelligence – the brainiacs – know that they must use information consistently for analysis and action.
Customer-oriented business is crucial when it comes to CRM and the proper approach to the customer. Much has been written about customer-oriented business, but an actual putting it into practice remains difficult. In this article, Dick Pouw presents the 7 main causes and provides tips on how to deal with it.
By Dick Pouw, Associate Partner with Passionned Group
If you want a successful customer-oriented business, it should be clear what you stand for. The client’s vision must be inspiring for employees, customers, and other stakeholders of an organization. This must be the dot on the horizon, where everyone can work towards. Employees, customer-oriented processes, and the supporting systems should be focused on this goal.
In this article I’m going to share some of my experiences from the SAS Analyst Conference, May 27 – 29, 2015, in Marbella. I had a one-on-one meeting with Scott Gidley, senior director Research and Development, and we had an interesting discussion about the future of data management, Hadoop, Big Data, data warehouses, and Data Lakes.
I see a clear trend in data management and integration: the role of the data warehouse is changing rapidly and a lot of analytics will be done without it. Data warehouse developers should be warned!
In this article I’m going to share some of my experiences from the SAS Analyst Conference, May 27 – 29 this year in Marbella. The first slide Jim Davis, executive vice president of SAS, showed had instant impact: their revenue growth over the last 39 years. Year over year a steady growth without any big difficulties, now earning a revenue of more than 3 billion dollars a year.
Foremost I was wondering what the driving forces are behind that continuous growth and success. I think there might be lessons for all businesses in that, especially for the companies that are operating in the BI and Analytics arena.
An important issue, including in the public sector, is the lack of cohesion in programs and projects, especially when it comes to technology and organizational development. That leads to programs and projects getting in each others’ way, or even striving for diametrically opposed goals, or being far too ambitious. That costs lots of money, because program goals and the desired changes can’t be achieved, or they’re achieved later at much lower costs.
So far on this website, we have reviewed various general principles for creating more agile organizations. Aspects that stand out are coherence and integration. Research confirms (Collins 2004) that companies, which continue to perform very well for several years ensure that everything improves coherently. Organization and technique, culture and strategy, perseverance and belief, employees and managers, processes, structures and systems all have to reinforce and serve one another. In this way we can cooperate better.
With the acquisition of three major BI suites, the BI market is again experiencing a remarkable phase. For a market that has been consolidating for years, it is not something special but, in this particular case, it concerns open source software. This makes it remarkable.
The first major question is of a general nature: how can you adopt a product that consists of open source code and a loose, alternative community? This can be achieved by commercializing the support and assigning it to a company, capable to ensure durability.
“It’s almost science fiction what we do with BI.” Elie van Strien is commander of the Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Department. Two years ago, his fire department was chosen as the Smartest Organization in the Netherlands, thanks to a revolutionary BI innovation: Fire Department Intelligence. This year, Van Strien is a member of the jury for the selection of the Smartest Organization in the Netherlands 2015, organized by Passionned Group. Commander Van Strien feels like a little boy in the BI toy store.
Companies and organizations that need temporary extra capacity or expertise can go to Passionned Group from the start of 2015 for quality specialists and interim managers who will optimally fit in the organization. The interim managers are among the best in their field and are ingrained in the Passionned DNA: they are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and results-oriented. The interim managers shall ensure that the changes are accepted by the organization, and that they thereby become entrenched.
Martijn Stuiver (40) has been the Director of Continuous Improvement at Passionned Group since the beginning of this year. Martijn is an expert in the field of change and behavior and will help customers of Passionned improve themselves continuously and learn how to be innovative. “Change is difficult,” says Martijn, “but if the objective of the change coincides with the goal of the team, the work becomes more fun and the team members end up producing better results.”
Passionned Group is about to enter a new phase in which interim assignments are going to occupy an increasingly important role to help and retain clients. Changing market trends play an important role in this.
He or she should be a driven professional with his/her own sales responsibility. Your primary objective will be to generate revenue by placing interim managers and specialists with customers. This means that you will know better than anyone else how to position Passionned Group well with prospects (new business). You should be a fully-fledged (substantive) discussion partner for clients and are perfectly able to comprehend issues and hiring needs, and you should be able to translate these things into concrete assignments.
Dividing the organization up into effectors can increase the speed at which the organization responds and adapts. Effectors are flexible, autonomous and market-oriented teams that act as a unit. In their purest form such effectors can be seen as small organizations within the large organization, often responsible for one or more processes. However, they frequently use the organization’s common infrastructure and its standards and values. These people are very motivated and collaborative.
The first five of the fifteen process steps of the Business Analytics cycle are usually fully executed by computers. This paragraph takes a closer look at the various processors – the most important stakeholders of Business Analytics – that play a role in the last ten process steps.
Figure: a variety of processors within an organization process information and knowledge and keep the organization on track.
The adaptive capacity of an organization depends largely upon how well the organization processes information. It is therefore important that the handling process– the second process of the large Business Intelligence cycle – is well designed and supported within the organization. We define a number of steps within this process. These are shown in following figure.
Figure: The BI cycle consists of 15 process steps where data is converted to information and knowledge.
Fast as lighting, when we consume (new) information we will run through existing structures and connections in our minds so that new knowledge and information can be connected to what we already know. We are, as it were, trying to fit this new information into our brain, which either happens comparatively easily or with some considerable amount of effort.
During the internalization process, people should ideally be aware of which fixed beliefs and assumptions they, unknowingly or in fact knowingly, use. Unfortunately, various studies show that we tend to see what we want to see and that our brain is extremely lazy and prejudiced. “We like to think that our judgements, beliefs and opinions are based on solid reasoning. But we may have to think again.”