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Guest View: Predicting the unpredictable

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

Step 1 - Assess: Understand your current mode of operation in four dimensions-people, processes, tools and technology 

The ultimate goal is to get your workforce to use data in a way that positively enables them to impact revenue and behaviour. Therefore, you first need to assess how your people, processes, tools and technology are currently operating. Do you have the right people to create change? Do your current processes enable workers to collaborate and meet their goals? Do they have the right tools and technology to generate the results you want? If not, why? What is your organisation lacking?

Step 2 - Plan: Create a strategy playbook for action 

Once you assess your current mode of operation, the next step is developing a picture of your future mode of operation for your people, processes, tools and technologies. Although some organisations are uncomfortable discussing their limitations and shortcomings, smart companies readily engage in this dialogue. They know that an absence of those discussions creates blind spots that can lead to costly risks down the road. Your strategy playbook should account for these limitations so you can identify the incremental steps needed to achieve BI maturity.

Step 3 - Implement: Get the right resources in place

Information velocity, and who can respond the fastest, is often the difference between winning and losing in the marketplace. The same is true about putting the right resources in place to execute your strategy. You need the right tools and technologies to unlock data and deliver it in the form of visual and detailed reports to help facilitate understanding. It's also important to note that BI is not artificial intelligence. You still need the right people with expertise in your company and market to interpret reports. Data doesn't think for you, no matter how visual it is.

Step 4 - Maintain: Continuously refine and optimise the system

Implementation is just the beginning. Once the new system is up and running, how will you maintain and optimise it to drive the behaviours and results you want? You have to evaluate your internal resources and processes to decide if the system can be maintained by you, a third party or perhaps a blended version of internal and external resources.

Human behaviour: Your biggest risk is also your biggest asset

Ultimately, the success or failure of BI maturity transformation comes down to your people. The first step is optimising your systems to deliver powerful insights to smart decision makers throughout your organisation, not just top-level executives. Next is empowering your workforce to capitalise on those insights and drive your business forward. Is your organisation ready to be transformed?

Anthony Hutchins is Managing Director of OpenSymmetry APAC.


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