Dave Schrader presented on 3 years of Active Enterprise Intelligence progress, giving the same presentation he uses to talk to customers, especially business customers. He has been showing customers that their peers have been adopting Active Enterprise Intelligence (some 146 case studies) and discussing some of the challenges (which are people problems, of course).
Active Enterprise Intelligence (AEI) is about not just doing strategic intelligence but also operational intelligence – decision management in my terms. Operationalize and activate your insights. Only some customers have moved to active and the place where they start is different – marketing, service, web etc. More and more customers are moving data into the warehouse intra-day, monitoring in real-time, getting more aggressive about using data that is up to the second. He gave some examples like the retailer mentioned earlier following up on abandoned shopping carts and GE Rail’s optimization of repairs (coming in a report I am writing for BeyeNetwork) and more. He talked about examples in customer care, changing IVR systems, supply chain and precision fulfillment, faster disaster recovery, targeted sales and marketing etc.
Dave talked about the different kinds of decisions – strategic, tactical/managerial and operational (discussed extensively by me and Neil in Smart (Enough) Systems). He brought up Richard Hackathorn’s concept on decision latency – the decay curve by which value decreases the longer it takes you to make a decision. Every decision is worth more made sooner but some decisions decay faster than others. Dave’s team has done some research on this – how fast do these curves decay – and I am looking forward to seeing the results.
Given how compelling the results of going Active are, why are people not all doing it? Lots of soft issues:
- Big companies (Teradata’s typical customer) are organized into front/back office silos
- Lack of business participation, IT can’t do this on their own
- No management culture for working form data
- No leadership
To make AEI happen, Dave finds it useful to work with finance (especially when there is not an analytically-driven CEO) as the finance group is both data-driven and cross-functional, helping to resolve the turf wars and arguments over what is a customer or an order for instance. He also recommends a game plan and a first project to get started.
Companies need to focus on decision making as a discipline and as something to be measured, improved.