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Posts tagged ‘What do I want to measure?’

BI Basics Part 7: Recap and Next Steps

May 20th, 2013

Seabeck Systems, LLC

What do you want to measure?

Here’s a quick summary of what we covered in the BI Basics series:

1. Who needs BI?
If you want to understand company performance, then BI is for you.

2. What is BI?
Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of systems and processes that people can use to understand and adjust company performance.

3. Where is BI successful?
Success is achieved where people know how to (and actually do) use BI information to support daily decision making.

4. When is BI the right approach?
When you need a complete picture to understand trends while they occur, you need BI.

5. How is BI used?
BI information is used to help you understand how your company operates, and why.

6. Why BI?
What do you want to measure? See the first question: if you want to understand company performance, then BI is for you.

A robust BI program helps you understand how your company is doing so you can adapt and adjust. Successful BI requires the support of well-engaged people from across the organization. The fruits of BI (e.g. real-time monitoring, information anywhere) grow from the labors of 1) understanding and defining your business goals, and 2) defining the measurements for each goal.

Business Intelligence is not a far-off destination years down the road, but a method of understanding performance that produces value from day one. Seabeck Systems advocates an incremental approach to BI development, which supports short-term gains in functionality, and promotes long-term program visibility. We also like to have a plan, which brings us to our next point…

Coming up: the BI roadmap. In a future blog series we’ll share planning steps for BI program development. Each phase on the BI roadmap will address the essential elements of people, processes, tools, and benefits. Stay tuned!

Need more? Review the series:

Part 0: Business Intelligence in Plain English
Part 1: Who needs BI?
Part 2: What is BI?
Part 3: Where is BI successful?
Part 4: When is BI the right approach?
Part 5: How is BI used?
Part 6: Why BI?
Part 7: Recap & Next Steps

Got more questions? Tell us in the comments.

BI Basics Part 6: Why BI?

May 6th, 2013

Seabeck Systems, LLC

Why BI?

Short answer: because you want to understand company performance.

Actionable Information

A BI program may include some reports, but it is not reporting–BI is intelligent information. Manual reporting processes are inefficient for gathering, compiling, and producing actionable information, and can produce inconsistent and often unverifiable information. I.e. if the numbers don’t match among reports or departments, then one, some, or possibly all results are incorrect. (We don’t like numbers that don’t match – we like our data real and verifiable.)

Consistent Dataset

BI has the capacity to deliver company-wide concurrency and integration of measurements. A successful BI program begins with creating a model of existing business data and processes, and understanding what your company wants to measure. Next, you can leverage your BI platform to ensure all departments have a common, consistent, and readily available dataset for queries, reports, and analysis.

In the words of Stephen R. Covey: Begin with the End in Mind. If you’re asking yourself, “Why BI?” consider: “What do I want to measure?”

Got more questions? Try the BI Basics index, or share your questions in the comments.