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BI 2010 – Making BI more strategic


I have just opened ITWeb’s BI 2010 in Johannesburg talking about decisions and importance of decision making in making BI matter (I will post my slides later). Great audience, nearly 200 people with a strong showing from end user customers (75%) and, very interestingly, nearly half considered themselves business / IT straddlers which is a great trend.

The next session, although focused on BI, was very relevant to decisioning and decision management. Martin Rennhackkamp spoke on strategic BI and focused on a number of critical things that help you make BI more strategic:

  • Understand the strategic business objectives, make sure you understand them and focus on how BI can support them
    This is absolutely critical in my opinion. If you don’t understand your business and how your BI investments can support it then you cannot possibly make good investments in BI. I particularly liked how he mapped business objectives to BI initiatives, showing how much of what the objective needs is delivered by each. This allows you to see which ones matter and where you have holes.
  • Focus on crucial business processes
    Again, good advice and I liked his focus on operational processes. Not only should people identify the data that flows through those processes but they should also ask if the processes getting the information they need to make the right choices, the right decisions. Especially, are the people executing these operational processes getting what they need.
  • BI to the masses
    It is critical for information to flow down to everyone on the floor – pervasive and operational. And important not to buy the tools without thinking about how this works.
  • Master measure management
    Liked this phrase. Bring KPIs into the picture, linking KPIs to operational behavior and data. Understand how different roles need to consume information and analytics and how all this maps to company objectives and measures. Focus most of your effort on measures that the consumer of a measure has control over and to which they contribute. As I said once perforce, a dashboard should do more than just raise your blood pressure!

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