Intelligence cannot be bought. An intelligent business develops the right culture and processes to ensure that the right information is available for people to make the right decisions at all levels of the organization.
# Information required for effective decisions comes from many diverse sources.
# Too much information can be as bad as too little information.
# Intelligent business develops by linking process and information integration with business strategies.
# Focus business intelligence (BI) efforts on delivering the right information to the right people at the right time to impact critical business decisions in key business processes.
# Change the mind-set from one that simply demands more information to one in which asking the right questions drives impactful decisions.
# Create project teams based not on data ownership but on information needs up and down the management chains and across functions to drive maximum decision impact.
Check the websites of ERP, BI and content management vendors, and a common thread is "buy our product and receive best-practice solutions." If it were as simple as this, most of the major enterprises around the globe would be at world's best practice, because they have generally invested in data warehouses and BI tools that have become progressively more mature.
But ask a range of business leaders "Does everyone in your organization have the right information in the right format at the right time to make the best possible decisions?" and the common answer is "No." One reason is that the information required to make many decisions does not reside in any convenient databases but comes from a complex mix of sources, including e-mails, voice messages, personal experience, multimedia information, and external communications from suppliers, customers, governments and so on.
Traditionally, BI has been used for performance reporting from historical data and as a planning and forecasting tool for a relatively small subset of those in the organization who rely on historical data to create a crystal ball for looking into the future.
Providing real-time information derived from a fusion of data and analytical tools with key business applications such as call center, CRM or ERP creates the ability to push alerts to knowledge or process workers and represents a significant effectiveness impact on decision making, driving additional revenue, margin or client satisfaction. Modeling future scenarios permits examination of new business models, new market opportunities and new products, and creates a culture of "Which opportunities will we seize?" They not only see the future, but often create it.
Case studies presented in Executive Program reports highlight initiatives that are exploiting business intelligence to create intelligent businesses. Three key recommendations are:
1. Focus BI efforts on delivering the right information to the right people.
2. Change the mind-set from more information to answering the right questions.
3. Create project teams based on information needs.