A higher level of maturity requires a well thought out and integral form of Business Intelligence. After all, maturity level 2 already requires data integration from various sources – different tasks and processes now need to be aligned. To be able to perform tasks better, we frequently need data from parallel processes. The next two levels of maturity, ‘improving’ and ‘innovating’, demand that internal and external data, such as information about the market or about technological developments, merge.
The entire ‘system’ can be fully optimized
In this way, the entire ‘system’ can be fully optimized, innovation can be more successful and the organization can be better aligned within its surroundings. Moreover, the higher the level of maturity, the better and more intense the collaboration between all four disciplines of Business Intelligence (knowledge management, data management, change management and strategic management) should be. Eventually, when one reaches the highest level, these disciplines should virtually coincide.
Case: ‘The Firm’ and the integration competency centre (ICC)
A large accountancy and consultancy firm with dozens of branches throughout the country believes s strongly that integration is important. This formerly rather fragmented partner organization only recently started using a CRM system. Formerly, each partner managed prospects and customers in their own separate system. As a result, several partners would frequently contact the same customer.
More recently, the firm decided to make a serious start with Business Intelligence, including ad hoc reporting and analysis and the use of dashboards. At this point, they realized that the data in the source system was not complete. Almost simultaneously, a team was set up to work on knowledge management. After all, for a consultancy company that thrives on the knowledge and experience of people, storing and distributing data is of great importance.
A major reorganization had taken place
In 2010, due to poor market conditions, a major reorganization had taken place and consequently many experienced employees had (unwillingly) left the company, taking their knowledge with them. The HR policies were tightened up and managers were requested to pay more attention to the development and the competence of employees.
Focus on employee value
In addition to managing on customer value, productivity and profitability, the organization started focussing on employee value and adjusted employee rewards accordingly. The awareness that Business Intelligence could in fact be a strategic instrument for systematic development, change and improvement of the organization gradually grew.
Series of changes
This resulted in a series of changes, such as more stringent procedures for registering data; availability of statements of experience (SOE) per employee via the Business Intelligence system and the establishment of a strategic news service containing information on competitors, markets and new government legislation. Eventually, all these elements – customer information; dashboards and reports; the knowledge and experience of employees and information from outside the ‘firm’ – were integrated and personalized and made available via an enterprise portal.
The integration competence centre (ICC)
The driving force behind the success of this relatively rapid technological innovation proved to be an integration competence centre (ICC). The ICC consisted of the person responsible for knowledge management, the person responsible for information management, head of data quality management, the Business Intelligence managers and the director of Human Capital. “To be able to keep on improving indicators, we will have to invest in knowledge about our customers and knowledge about our employees and their profession. Business Intelligence does not end with the realization of wonderful dashboards. That is only the beginning.”
To do it well organizations need to go trough all levels
Organizations that have not yet gone through all the levels of maturity can nonetheless offer new products and services. Going through all four levels is by no means necessary. However, the key point is that organizations that have gone through the first three maturity levels and thus have optimized their processes do perform better on innovation. This article further elaborates on the levels of maturity of Business Intelligence and particularly looks into what types of information and what instruments and applications are used at each level. This opens the way for creating a roadmap to achieve the pinnacle of organizational intelligence, using Business Intelligence.