BI expert | Daan van Beek | Interview | Part 1

Part 1: Interview BI Expert, Daan van Beek

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Passionned Group is a leading analyst and consultancy firm specialized in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. Our passionate advisors assist many organizations in selecting the best Business Analytics Software and applications. Every two years we organize the election of the smartest company.


Daan van Beek started the company Passionned Group in 2004, because of some frustrations he experienced in the field of BI. Before starting this company, he was working at a medicine wholesaler as a BI manager. This company processed a great amount of data every day – around 10 million euros. The management team of this company was working in a very traditional way, and commented on the dashboard they created, that processed all the data on a daily basis. They thought it wasn’t necessary to process all this data every day, as they believed the monthly reports should give enough insights. This made Daan realize that BI is not only about data, but that the organization is of great importance when trying to change processes within a company. So he started writing about it, and launched his first book “The Intelligent Organization”.

By: Lieke Hallegraeff

Focus on the business side of BI

From this frustration, Passionned Group arose. Passionned mainly focuses on the ‘business side’ of Business Intelligence and how to organize an intelligent organization. Obviously, technology is also an important part of BI, but the focus on the organization itself is what distinguishes Passionned Group from the other companies, according to Van Beek.

70% of the companies fail

Success ratios of BI fluctuate between 20 and 30 percent. Obviously, you could ask yourself “what is considered successful?” According to Passionned, being successful with BI means significantly increasing profitability and/or increasing customer satisfaction. The company also did their own research about the success rate, and they got a similar outcome; 70% of the companies that implement BI to change their organization fail.

Who reports to whom?

Another one of Van Beek’s frustrations is that many organizations are still very hierarchically arranged; “who reports to whom?” Customers don’t have anything to do with this and just want to be helped, preferably with high quality and low prices. In Van Beek’s experience, the person is overshadowed by the organization. The talents and capacities of the individual are being wasted by bureaucracy.

Adapt to these changes

“The environment and technologies change very quickly, and if an organization is not designed to adapt to these changes, then the organization is at risk of becoming obsolete and disappearing. I personally believe that data and its analysis, combined with the right skills, make the difference.”

An intelligent organization

Being an intelligent organization involves many different aspects. One of them is Business Intelligence. But it’s equally important to be able to improve continuously, and feedback should be valued as one of the most important aspects of the business.

Growing need for BI in healthcare

The Passionned Group has a broad clientele, ranging from hospitals, municipalities, and housing associations, to banks and retailers. They’ve discovered that there’s a growing need for BI within healthcare and other social branches. However, these organizations are still very traditional, and don’t see IT & data as a main priority. The challenge is finding out how to break through these cultural barriers and show them how BI can contribute to their patients or clients. It takes a lot of time to create awareness.

BI saves lives

An example of how data, deployed in the right manner, can be life-saving is demonstrated by one of the finalists of the ‘Dutch BI Award’, ‘Safety Region Noord-Holland Noord’. They investigated the various aspects of processing emergency patients with a heart condition to see what improvements could be made in that pipeline. First, they collected the raw data from various systems and plotted them out on dashboards. They then analyzed the data and discussed the results. Not just once, but every day, for weeks. In a year and half, they managed to save 20 minutes during the intake process of heart patients, and every second counts in this process.

“BI cannot exist without people. Behavior is the most important aspect when it comes to change.”

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