Business Intelligence in the real world: aligning metrics (Part I)

Business Intelligence in the real world: aligning metrics (Part I)

In last week’s post, we discussed embedding Business Intelligence (BI) into the business process in order to create a workflow that is more value-add and beneficial. Now that we have explored that concept, I want to look at BI as a mechanism to make all areas of business strategic and value-add.

So, work with me here.

When one thinks about the value-add departments or business units within an organization, typically sales, product manufacturing, consulting are areas that immediately come to mind as revenue-generating critical entities to a company’s success. Often IT, HR, Finance or operations are considered enablers and required to do do business, but not necessarily critical to the revenue-generating or margin performance of a company.

With the right mindset, metrics and data, that thought process can change.

Early versions of BI certainly provided information and insight into the business, but they tended to focus on siloed information. Metrics were created by functional areas such as Finance, Sales, Marketing and HR. In order to truly provide value to the organization from top to bottom, the metrics must align from top to bottom across business units and eliminate silos. Certainly there is still value in maintaining HR, Finance and Sales-specific metrics, but if each area of the organization can align their metrics to corporate metrics and objectives, it can prove to be a powerful tool to help both the top and bottom lines of an organization.

This is a topic of massive interest these days as businesses struggle to make intelligent decisions that will help them run a strategic operation and be poised for the recovery in terms of competitive advantage.

It’s as simple as this: line leaders to middle managers to executives must have metrics and dashboards that are congruent and support one another.  In an upcoming post, I’ll detail a scenario that attempts to describe the alignment of metrics top to bottom across functional areas.  It sounds chock full of buzzwords, but really, it’s a key aspect of a proper BI deployment.

Stay tuned!

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