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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Business analytics improves the process of value creation in organizations in two ways:
There are managers who use business analytics to achieve strategic goals or solve vital problems of their organization.
Other managers involve business analytics specifically to create new opportunities for their organizations, by encouraging necessary innovations through Big Data and necessary changes made in time.
The most frequently asked question during management training sessions is “how do I get my employees motivated?” If anything of this worked, managers would do but the following: figure out something for them, use some tools, send them to a training, convince them of the importance of different behavior, get on the soapbox, give a pep talk.
However, those measures are rather arbitrary, while success is not guaranteed. During the implementation process, more guidance is provided by an internal communication plan, which should be considered before all other various messages that are communicated, such as the sense of urgency, the importance of ambitions and objectives, working out objectives and impacts in the workplace, progress made, the first results. This type of internal communication is important because it is expected to fill up the gap between the ‘captains’, those who think and decide which way to go, and the ‘stokers’, those who spin the pedals to make the changes successful.
A successful strategy will result in increased turnovers with the target groups and sometimes beyond. Of course, the Business Intelligence company hopes to achieve an increase in earnings, as well. This depends on the costs incurred by the company. The ideal strategy always shows an increase in sales and profits. Unfortunately, that dream is shattered; all good things come to an end.
The premise of the strategy life cycle is that the turnover stops growing for various reasons (saturation, competition). At a certain point – no one knows when in advance – the turnover first stalls and then starts decreasing. A successful Busines Intelligence company would not keep profits at the same old level. The time for new product offerings, a new strategy and a new cycle comes.
Change is hard. This goes double for organizations which do all kinds of different things, like the government. Given society’s pressure on them to perform better, many governments are betting big on digital services. What can be done through the internet, what has to be done in person? According to the plans, at least 65% of government services should be provided through the internet. Citizens and entrepreneurs can do business with the government using the internet in many cases. At first glance, that’s not a bad result.
When introducing performance management, employees always test whether they have influence. It is not about listening patiently to an employee, but, rather, about hearing what he says. What is more obvious, people who should concentrate on behaving as an indicator in the cockpit, are actually involved in the development of this indicator. So, giving the influence means creating a single line with the use of the principle of ownership. This implies that the indicators are developed by or with the managers and employees (the team) to which they relate. Moreover, they are involved in identifying and determining the best measures to get the indicator position in the target area.
‘The Agile Organization – Agility-Based Strategy in Practice’ has been recently published, which is the latest book written by Mr. Leo Kerklaan. Besides being an associate partner at Passionned, Leo is an administrator, lawyer and author of several successful management books, including ‘The Organization’s Cockpit’. In honor of publishing his latest book, he talks more about the insights that the book brings up, and he also shares his opinion on the intelligent organization.
Passionned Group has closely watched the market for Business Intelligence & Analytics for many years. Every year we release more updates of our globally used Business Intelligence Tools Survey and the Passionned Parabola for BI & Analytics. The current edition of the survey has again been completely updated in March 2016 with the latest versions of the available BI tools. The main changes:
Louis van Gaal has achieved and accomplished a lot as a coach. His views on improving sports performance show a great analogy with that of the PDCA cycle. “My motto has always been: analyze, implement, evaluate. I measure as much as possible.” What makes constant measuring so important? And why should you apply more energy to good indicators? How important is it for you to work with common KPIs and indicators at every level in your organization?
One of the ways to anchor continuous improvement is to work with KPIs in the workplace. When introducing this concept at a client’s organization, one of their team members asked if there was a convenient overview of the key principles around KPIs (key performance indicators). She wanted a cheat sheet! I’ve written a couple of key KPI tips & tricks below. There are more, of course, so if you think I’ve missed something, feel free to leave your comments below.
More and more organizations see the benefits of Business Intelligence and Analytics. Thanks to continuous innovation, more and more data becomes available. This leads to useful and surprising insights into both the private and public sectors, which use the acquired information increasingly smarter. In practice, the Passionned Group forecasts the following seven Business Intelligence trends for 2016.
“Lean brings out the best in everyone”
Passionned Group keeps growing and is consistently working on improving services. People are essential in making an organization work smarter. Because once the processes are arranged smarter and the ‘Lean’-thinking is embraced, the new method of work should also be anchored into the organization’s DNA. So, companies must learn to think both vertically and horizontally, and again put their teams in the driver’s seat with the help of information that really matters.
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?
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.”
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 actually 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 cohesively. 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.