Most companies, especially BI vendors, see Business Intelligence as software, a piece of IT. We don’t. Let me explain why.
1. BI as a continuous process
In the first place, we see Business Intelligence as a continuous process. In this process, the users are key, not the software. They have to use information for thorough analysis, action, and process improvement, setting and adjusting norms and targets on a regular basis and discussing the figures, both negative and positive.
Software might support that process well, especially when the software is capable of social BI. Research among 389 companies suggests that software (and a data warehouse) is of importance, but not crucial. The key differentiator between BI success and failure lies in the use of information for better decision-making at the right time.
2. Find and define the right insights
Secondly, in our unique BI approach, we don’t define dashboards or reports. First, we advise companies to find and define (the 1 million dollar) insights in some sort of library. Then, with the collection of insights our customers, use them in different dashboards and reports. The difference is huge. In our approach, customers are able to reuse the insights many times in different reports, dashboards, analyses, data mining, and even their website. Reports that are designed to serve a specific user or purpose – and in particular custom-made dashboards – are far more difficult to reuse.
3. Psychology of decision-making
We know that what we know can be blurred or completely wrong. That is because the human brain is lazy, often biased, and jumps to conclusions too fast. More biases to be aware of are:
- confirmation bias: only look for the data that confirms the initial hypothesis or thoughts.
- selective perception: only pick that analysis path you’re used to.
- cognitive dissonance: ignore important facts because you don’t like the facts/they conflict with what you want to hear.
- jumping into conclusions: we see what we expect or want to see, for example, when we see a ‘circle’ of 359 degrees we notice often a circle. This corresponds to the Gestalt Law of ‘closure’.
In our approach, we take the above effects into account. In our 2-day BI masterclass, you will learn more about the psychology of decision-making and visualization.
4. Fun makes it run: waterfall + agile
We don’t apply the waterfall methodology to the complete project, or the agile approach. There is a reason why. If only waterfall is used, we know that the chance the project will not deliver the added value is high. Also, there is a huge risk that the project exceeds budgets (and not expectations). On the other hand, if only agile is used we know that the chance is high we can’t create a sustainable Business Intelligence solution. We believe (and this is really our experience) that a combination of waterfall and agile is the way to go. We advise the use of waterfall for the first steps of your project (setup, blue print, architecture, tool selection) and for the last steps we recommend applying an agile approach. And, fun makes it run.
Interested in our BI approach?
Are you interested in our unique BI approach, please contact us.