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Guest View: Predicting the unpredictable

Anthony Hutchins | Sept. 10, 2013
Driving workforce behaviour through business intelligence maturity

Corporate data is a powerful source of potential opportunity and competitive gain for every business. But unlocking valuable data from disparate systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), sales performance management (SPM) and corporate performance management (CPM) can seem like an insurmountable task. With huge volumes of data being generated and stored every day, how do you find the tiny needles of insight in the massive haystack of information? And, once you uncover that insight, how can you "democratise" that data, i.e. deliver it to the right people, at the right time, on their device of choice, so they can make impactful decisions with it?

For companies willing to tackle these questions, the benefits are undeniable. The ability to create seamless connections between performance management systems can help corporate leaders see the bigger business picture and drive end-to-end results across the organisation. For instance, they can quickly identify potential customer opportunities in the CRM system, motivate the salesforce to leverage those opportunities through the SPM system, and calculate the financial impact of the opportunity in the CPM system. However, most organisations today lack visibility across these systems and struggle to leverage the business intelligence (BI) they hold.

The evolution of BI maturity: Where do you go from here?

The ability to achieve end-to-end visibility and deliver actionable, mobilised business intelligence doesn't happen overnight. Smart companies know the ability to quickly access and distribute detailed analytics to decision makers is a step-by-step evolution that requires continuous refinement. Many companies simply don't know where to start, or the fear of failure stops them from trying. But here's the good news: The tools and processes needed to extract and mobilise business intelligence are not just for the biggest companies in the world anymore. It's actually a lot easier than you might think. This four-step transformation model is a great way to get started on the path to BI maturity.

Transformation Model: A Four-Step Guide to BI Maturity

The word "transformation" implies dramatic change. But in most large companies, unlocking the power of Big Data is rarely about uncovering the big trend or major opportunity. Today it's about combing through volumes of data to find subtle but meaningful patterns in real time, and delivering that visual intelligence to people who can quickly turn it into business value. For instance, customer opportunities are usually identified through small fluctuations in CRM data, which can then lead to pricing updates or modified sales compensation plans to capitalise on this insight. In other words, transformation is a series of steps that takes you closer to your goal, building "muscle memory" along the way to lock in new processes and benefits. The key is to avoid getting stuck on perfecting the details of each component. Instead, get all of the components working together in a holistic system and then focus on maturing the system as a whole.


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