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What are the characteristics of intelligent organizations?

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Passionned Group is a leading analyst and consultancy firm specialized in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. Our passionate advisors assist many organizations in selecting the best Business Analytics Software and applications. Every two years we organize the election of the smartest company.

The title may cause you to raise your eyebrows. organizations that are intelligent? Do they exist? Moreover, what is the point of an organization being very smart?

What are the characteristics of intelligent organizations?The answer is simple: intelligent organizations perform better across the board. They make more profit, have more satisfied customers, manage their workload better and innovate more successfully. This is apparent from a large-scale Passionned Group study of nearly three hundred and sixty-six companies with more than two hundred and fifty employees.

In the study, fifteen success factors for business intelligence were linked to the higher values that an organization should pursue in order to maintain and strengthen itself. A number of interesting results came to light due to this new link. The intelligence of an organization and the success of business analytics are mainly determined by ‘alignment’ and ‘agility’, and not analytics itself, as you would think.

Data as raw material for intelligence

Data collected from the dozens of actions that organizations perform daily, is the raw material for the creation of organizational intelligence. After all, without facts there is no information, knowledge, insights and ‘wisdom’. Although this raw material is of great importance from the viewpoint that ‘content is key’, it is subordinate to the information process.

The contours

In order to maintain and strengthen an organization, it should pursue the following higher ‘values’.

  • Alignment: an organization should be able to create alignment between IT and its processes, between the processes themselves, between the strategy and the actions in the workplace and between the organization and the world outside.
  • All-round vision: an organization needs to know what is going on in its surroundings, with its nearest competitor, in society and in the organization itself. Based on that it sets a clear spot on the horizon.
  • Analytical capacity: an organization must consistently analyze data from different sources in order to better its performance.
  • Agile: an organization must be able to react quickly to changes coming from the world outside and make decisions quickly

The features

What are the specific characteristics that actually allow an organization to work smarter? Research has been done across three hundred and sixty-six Dutch organizations. The study shows that the success of business intelligence in a direct sense has little to do with business intelligence technology. It is mainly related with how users handle the management information and tools that Business Intelligence makes available: in other words, information management.

Fifteen success factors for BI emerged from the study. Regularly evaluating and adjusting standards and targets, appears to be the most critical for the success of BI.

The importance of alignment & agility

Following this research, the fifteen critical success factors that had been identified were correlated with the four concepts mentioned above. The idea is to highlight in this way the individual importance of the contours that were previously outlined.

This correlation shows that the degree of intelligence of an organization and the success of Business Intelligence are determined by alignment and agility and not by business analytics, as you would think. This is an interesting angle because nowadays many BI suppliers no longer do ‘business intelligence’ but sell ‘business analytics’. The question is whether this is a wise move.

Change from the traditional information management function

The conclusion can be drawn from the above that a large number of critical success factors lie outside the direct sphere of influence of the traditional information management function. This is quite noticeable. Then the question can be asked: “how should we, as IT, deal with this?” Is this seen as a ‘problem’ for the business or do you try to do something with it?

More information

Do you want to know and read more about the characteristics of intelligent organizations? We will gladly send you the Business Intelligence book ‘The Intelligent organization’. You can request the book through the online request form.

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