In a previous blog, we discussed the building blocks of a strategy map. Now, we'll discuss the various ways in which a strategy map can be structured and read. One way of defining key success factors is building a strategy map: doing the right things right. A strategy map shows how an organization wants to undergo a transition by highlighting some key areas. The strategy map is usually comprised of four levels which enhance each other. By clearly defining a strategy map, it's easier to define the right factors to measure.
Business Intelligence ensures that the right information reaches the right person at the right time. At least, that's the intention. If that can be achieved, you're already a step ahead. However, the real work is yet to begin: influencing the behavior of customers, managers, and employees based on essential information and insights. We can only speak of successful Business Intelligence when that is the case.
A large pharmaceutical wholesaler opted to implement a new BI tool, switching from their old one, in order to distribute and share management information. The company is currently using Business Objects and wants to make a change. The selection of a new tool can be finished as soon as: The reference visit at another pharmaceutical wholesaler leaves a positive impression. There has been an international workshop.
A strategy plotted out in a good strategy map can be a lasting competitive advantage, but only if you can make sure that you're doing different things, or doing things differently, than the competition. According to Michael Porter, it's trickier for a competitor to beat a set of connected activities than to simply imitate a certain sales technique or process/product. Market positions that have been achieved thanks to an interplay of activities are much more sustainable than positions based on separate activities. The strategy map can help you become sustainably competitive. In a series of mini-articles, I'll explain how this works.
The election of the Smartest Organization of the Netherlands, the Dutch Business Intelligence Award, is in full swing. Organizations from various industries are vying for the title, including an online bank, a mortgage agency, a sustainable plantation, a national bakery chain, an international trade business, a large government institution, an educational institute, a very progressive healthcare agency, a consultancy, and various retail companies.
The organization itself has to be organized. It sounds cryptic, but we're referring to the activities and resources needed to support and improve the organization or company. We could call this the organization's overhead and management. We're talking about coordination by, for example, procedures and guidelines, Human Capital Management, process management, information management, ICT, finance - basically everything that isn't part of a company's core activities. That includes management layers and steering on strategy.
Business Intelligence has been used to help organizations work more information-driven for years, and it's showing no signs of stopping. According to Daan van Beek, CEO of Passionned Group and author of the BI book "The Intelligent Organization," BI still serves as an umbrella term, and even covers the Artificial Intelligence and Big Data hype. We had a conversation about data-driven working and the careful balancing act between the 'old' BI world and the 'new' AI world.
SAS software has been operational since 1976, and they are very successful. Year-over-year, their revenue shows growth. Founder and CEO Dr. Jim Goodnight has been recognized as a Great American Business Leader by Harvard Business School, and he still writes SAS programs and develops statistical models. It’s my third time attending the SAS Analysts Relations conference. Every time I wonder at the way SAS people behave and interact with each other and their customers: a flat organization, helpful to each other, creativity and innovation first, and customer-oriented. The company is an example to many other companies and it has quite a few of the characteristics of an intelligent organization.
An old term from 1960 has been revived. It's developing very quickly, powered by all applications of major data masters such as Google, Uber, Amazon, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. The algorithms were there, but the large amounts of data were missing. Artificial Intelligence never managed to get rid of this. And forecasts were not always as reliable. Now, since more and more pictures, videos, blogs, posts, and sensor data gets available, AI acquires its actual added value. Photography is becoming the new universal language (Heiferman, 2013). This sounds intriguing. Every day, 1.2 billion images are taken worldwide. They're shared and distributed. This new language also raises some questions. Isn’t the first impression of a photo too dominant? Numerous studies, including the one conducted by Yale University, show that people are bad at making good decisions, especially on first impression or under pressure. Effects such as priming, group polarization, the opinion of the majority, or confirmation bias throw a wrench in the works.
Traditionally, Business Intelligence (BI) has an image of a "report builders club," as a client of mine has recently expressed. This traditional image creates the profile of a typical BI consultant. It is true that a handy and competent report builder is especially great on knowledge of tools, methods and techniques, and is sometimes involved in gathering the business requirements of his customers.