"Life-saving BI", some Dutch magazines called it. "A smart logistical solution, made insightful with a dashboard", Martin Smeekes (director of ambulance care) and Anouk Schoemaker (business and BI manager) humbly describe it. However you call it, the "Call to Balloon" project earned the Safety Region North-Holland North the predicate of Smartest Organization in the Netherlands (2015). And, more importantly, 20 minutes of crucial time for patients with immediate cardiac issues that need angioplasty. Those precious minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
The recent wave of acquisitions and the shrinking BI market, as described in our previous BI Tools news alert, has continued to develop: in early August, HPE announced that it would be taking over all the assets of MapR, which was in financial hot water. In the wake of this news, Cloudera announced that it had received the go-ahead to acquire Arcadia Data's technology and assets. Tech companies that have access to (patented) technology to acquire valuable insights from big data analytics in an accessible way continue to be interesting acquisition targets in a consolidating market that seems to be more and more focused on self-service BI and everything that comes with that.
Passionned Group recently researched the success factors driving Business Analytics. The research also revealed a list of the biggest blunders in Business Analytics & BI projects, which hadn't been published until now. Here are the biggest blunders to avoid. Our research compared 389 organizations on countless aspects related to Business Analytics. We asked these organizations whether or not they can demonstrate their successful use of BI. The successful organizations were put into group 1, and the less successful organizations in group 2. Then we examined the differences between these groups on each individual aspect.
During the month of May, the market for BI platforms and analytics carried on like business as usual, but early June brought with it breaking news. The BI community was shaken up by the acquisition of two promising BI Tools vendors, and there were some high-profile failures at two well-known specialists of big data solutions. Let's start with the acquisitions. Firstly, the Santa Cruz-based niche player Looker was acquired. Looker, mostly known for LookML as an alternative to SQL, disappeared into the Google cloud for 2.6 billion USD. Hardly a moment passed before Salesforce announced they were absorbing the Seattle-based market leader Tableau for 15.7 billion USD in stocks. Are customers going to have any choice left?
Valuable insights can be found not just in KPIs, but also in good management information systems. These insights, when used well, can really make a difference. They could, for example, instantly reveal that you can save millions of dollars. Or that the lead time in a process can be greatly reduced. Or that you can substantially increase your market share. An insight could reveal that you can increase the quality of a product with a single action. Unlike KPIs, such insights can be financial. Sometimes, these insights also contain KPIs.
Business Intelligence is essential to the effective and efficient manage of any organization. Managers can't get insights into operational performance fast enough. Fortunately for them, BI software is becoming easier and easier to use. Managers don't have to rely on stressed IT staff to provide the right data anymore. Long live self-service BI! Right? Well, yes and no. There's a danger to using data in this way. If you don't take the limitations of self-service BI into consideration, its success rate is very slim. Our 6-step improvement plan reinforces the foundation of self-service BI.
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. The data-driven approach defines KPI requirements using the registered data in the information systems supporting the business operations. External data sources could also fulfill the information requirements. An intelligent organization will also consider any other potentially interesting sources. Possibly even sources that don’t exist yet, but that have the potential to generate a lot of interesting data. For example, (IoT) sensors built into pills, trucks, or plane engines. This approach works as follows:
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. Datacratic working brings passion and joy back to the workplace. Connect data with continuous improvement and PDCA, and your organization will flourish. Becoming a true datacracy is the end goal that every organization should strive for. In this scenario, every decision will be supported by relevant data which is collected, stored, and then analyzed. This frees people from the drudgery of indecision and tyrannical managers who loudly proclaim their opinions while managing on gut feelings.
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. Where are you now? The current Business Intelligence situation will be addressed, discussed, analyzed, and compared with the best practices and newest available technologies. We will help you to quickly find out where improvements can be made.
Traditionally, Business Intelligence (BI) has an image of a "report builders club" as a client of mine has recently expressed. This traditional image creates the profile of a typical BI consultant. It is true that a handy and competent report builder is especially great on knowledge of tools, methods and techniques, and is sometimes involved in gathering the business requirements of his customers.
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.
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.
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.
On this website, we have examined the second basic process of the major Business Intelligence cycle: the handling process. In fifteen steps we described the process of transforming data into information and knowledge that instigate action. The fifteen steps together in fact form the minor Business Intelligence cycle. The indicators and their context, which have been identified earlier, are used as a guideline for these steps. Next, we described the most important target groups (the processors) and usage roles within the Intelligent Organization and we concluded this article with the requirements we should place on the handling process.
Everything in the digital economy is concerned with data. Businesses that are becoming increasingly smarter, collect and analyze data in a structured way, so they can make high quality, fact-based decisions fast. The increasing importance and use of data has led to new developments that are going to have a big impact on Business Intelligence. In practical terms, the Passionned Group predicts the following six Business Intelligence trends for 2015.
Business Intelligence offers organizations numerous opportunities but not until we begin to measure the critical factors for achieving greater performance. The act of measuring at all already improves the situation, assuming that the correct aspects are being measured. In response managers tend to work harder and that has little to do with the actual information. For that reason measuring alone is not sufficient in the long term. The measurement and control system should integrate thoroughly with the organization and employees will need to understand the philosophy – enhancing performance through actively using and applying information - behind it.
Major accounting scandals around the turn of the last century have led governments and shareholders to want to be able to appraise organizations better. The recently increased focus on corporate governance and on information exchange between shareholders and organization executives illustrates this. Shareholders – and governments – presently demand that organizations be transparent. Stakeholders simply do not settle for financial numbers alone. Decision-making based on such figures alone provides a distorted picture of what is actually happening within an organization (De Waal, 2002). To quote Burton G. Malkiel: “A firm's income statement may be likened to a bikini – what it reveals is interesting, but what it conceals is vital”.
Nowadays, consumers want to consume and experience instantly. The fact that mobile phones, which combine numerous functions, have really taken off is illustrative. Another example is the ready-made meal. Modern people want convenience. “We see that everything, from textile to weapons, from houses to meals, becomes more complex: more difficult to make but easier to use” (Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). The Experience Economy emerges alongside.
Organizations, from small business to multinationals, as well as foundations, governments and NPOs need reliable and relevant management information in order to perform well. Without this information, organizations lose track of both the internal course of events and external developments. They lose direction (or become unbalanced) and waste time and money either because they do the wrong things or because they fail to do what is right.
We have been searching for the holy grail of Business Intelligence for many years, or what makes an organization really smart and able to achieve good results. How can we find the grail, use it and incorporate it into Business Intelligence projects? The last point is not unimportant. The objectives and deliverables of a project can drastically change because of this. Instead of aiming at a working reporting environment that draws on multiple sources, we choose a different ambition level where we try to ensure that relevant information is or can be used for performance improvement. However, the way the Business Intelligence is organized will also need to be at a different level of operation. It's nice to find and keep the Holy Grail, but being able to do something with it is the important thing. Below is a summary of the article in the latest Business Intelligence and Performance Management research. Do you want to know exactly what the situation is with the holy grail of Business Intelligence? Then order the research paper 'Business Intelligence Pitfalls & Success factors' now.
Daan van Beek and Wouter Huisman of Passionned Group have been supporting a project group of the Municipality of The Hague for some time. The goal is to achieve a municipality-wide Business Intelligence Roadmap. “In terms of business intelligence we are really still learning to walk,” says Ling Po-Shih, Group Advisor / Project Manager Business Intelligence (BI) at the Municipality. “In 2009 internal research showed that we were not at all ready for BI at the time. We did that research again in 2013. Now we are at the point where we want to draw up a BI Roadmap. We do, however, need some help with that.”
Passionned Group assisted accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in the design and implementation of a powerful Business Intelligence system. Until recently this office managed on the basis of figures that lay hidden in collections of spreadsheets, stunning presentations and all kinds of downloads, in particular on financial indicators. However, these only relate to a small part of the process. “We should not only look back, but also look forward in the process. That was one of our main objectives in creating our Business Intelligence system”, says Jan Maarten van der Meulen, member of the Advisory board and client.
I am Daan van Beek of the Passionned Group. Our job is helping people to work smarter. It starts with people, with the human side of Business Intelligence and organizational renewal. To put it better, it means that the organization must have a certain ambition, you must want to go somewhere and creating that is perhaps the most difficult thing in our profession, you have to start things going and teach people to start things going.
In response to the news stories about the National BI Survey in various trade journals including the one in Computable of Friday, the 30th of January this year headlined - “BI almost never pays off” - we can at least conclude that the subject is alive. We also understand that you, like us, warmly support the profession. However, we must not lose sight of the reality, which corresponds with the perceptions of many BI and Business Managers, CIOs and CFOs. This is why we have been conducting thorough research into the effect of BI and performance management within the Dutch business community and the public sector since 2004. Our goal was to identify the critical success factors for BI. We now have them in front of us! So let us learn from them. Do not try to ignore or deny the facts, but try to understand them. This is precisely what creates the possibility of making BI more frequently successful, as in the case of Ahold, winner of the last BI Awards.
The Passionned Group has extended its Business Intelligence Tools Survey with a new element. The just-released 2014 edition now contains a Sentiment Analysis, in addition to the usual extensive analysis of functionalities of the tools and features of the Business Intelligence suppliers. The reason for this additional research is that many BI-suppliers try to let you believe that Analytics would be the new BI. In many publications and presentations they promote to refer the term BI to the archive and to then only speak about Analytics.
Within the field of Business Intelligence and Analytics, the following developments will gradually take shape and gain momentum: In recent years, Business Intelligence has proved to be highly technology-driven. It was all about snazzy reporting tools with all sorts of ‘bells and whistles’, performance, technical debates about the most suitable data modeling method and advanced drill-down possibilities. These ‘toys’ diverted our attention from the real purpose of Business Intelligence, namely creating a truly intelligent organization. Fortunately, today we see that Business Intelligence is increasingly driven by the business and that the attention shifts to the behavioural side. Many organisations today prepare a business case in advance in order to assess whether the payback period of data warehouses and Business Intelligence applications is in line with current economic and business standards. Business Intelligence becomes increasingly business-driven and permeates through the organisation more easily. Business Intelligence gradually matures and technology becomes secondary to the processes and applications.
Only those with the greatest capacity to adapt will survive. Darwin’s famous biological principle ‘survival of the fittest’ examines the passive capacity of living creatures to adapt to their environment. Those who least adapt are the first to be ousted or eaten. This way, individuals that do survive are enabled to reproduce and pass on their genes – and their apparent qualities – to their offspring – with a greater chance for survival as a result. However, minor random mutations in the genes may change this effect. It could be enhanced but also be reduced or even be destroyed.
Most organizations tend to look at only one of the many facets of Business Analytics. Often the focus is on the technical side, or simple reporting, or possibly the internal organization, which is a pity, because Business Intelligence can add significant value in many areas: alignment with and influence on the external environment – things that are going on outside the organization, optimisation of internal processes, productivity improvements of both the people and the machines and last but not least more effective use of the technology and the mountain of data within our walls. The business case for Business Intelligence is both broad and varied.