A new Analytics Center of Excellence Community has been launched on analyticszone.com - where you can download the free book "5 Keys to Business Analytics Program Success". Join the conversation today at www.
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  businessanalytics businessanalyticstoday provenpractices timobryan | 0 Comments | 1,092 Visits
Learn the value of the new IBM Cognos Planning 10.1.1 (GA November 22). You will be pleased to learn of this release as it affirms IBM’s continued commitment to ongoing support and value-added enhancements to the IBM Cognos Planning solution. The release fulfills our customers latest requests with:
- features for greater ease and speed;
IBM Cognos Planning v10.1.1 delivers additional functionality for contributors (end users), faster access to data for reporting, an improved installation features, and conformance with IBM Cognos BI version 10.1.1 and Microsoft Excel 2010, and other key solutions.
Click here to listen!
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 email@example.com | | Tags:  provenpractices timobryan businessanalyticstoday businessanalytics | 0 Comments | 1,280 Visits
Imagine entering the cockpit of a modern jet airplane and seeing only a single instrument there. How would you feel about boarding the plane after the following conversation with the pilot?
Q: I’m surprised to see you operating a plane with only a single instrument. What does it measure?
Q: That’s good. Airspeed certainly seems important. But what about altitude. Wouldn’t an altimeter be helpful?
We suspect you wouldn’t board the plane after this discussion. Even if the pilot did an exceptional job on air speed, you would be worried about colliding with tall mountains or running low on fuel. Clearly, such a conversation is a fantasy since no pilot would dream of guiding a complex vehicle like a jet airplane through crowded airspace.
This is an often cited story by many business strategists and other management prognosticators which I will attribute to Drs. David Norton and Robert Kaplan, pioneers of the Balanced Scorecard. It’s intended to reflect how critical the actual indicators are that we setup for not only pilots but also the indicators by which you establish for your entire workforce because these indicators will serve as the guiding force behind their decision-making.
Why is this so important? Well, many reasons starting with the business environment has substantially changed where no longer can a company operate rudderless without a core set of metrics to steer each of its employees individually and as a collective unit in the right direction. That right direction is the enterprise strategy. The speed at which these decisions are being made seem to have increased exponentially in just in the past 5 years. The days of top-down, command-and-control authority over decision-making are far from over in deference to a more nimble, decentralized execution hierarchy intended on keeping pace with the velocity of the related competition and customer expectations. The need for getting relevant and actionable information to the business users has never been more pronounced than we’re seeing today. If you can’t react fast enough to the market realities your customers will go elsewhere. We live in a world where product or brand loyalties are becoming more and more a thing of the past. It’s about execution. Good execution is about making smarter, more informed decisions that support the organization’s goals.
These decisions being made are happening across all levels, geographies, and functional areas of the business everyday. For this post I want to zero in on the first question asked which falls under measuring and monitoring the business. This question is, how are we doing?
Sure, the executive suite is constantly measuring and monitoring overall business performance to ensure the company is on track to meet its strategic targets. In addition, the function leads in marketing, sales, finance, HR, and development all the way down to the individual contributor levels of the organization are measuring and monitoring the performance of their area of the business too. But how does everyone know they’re doing the right things at all times? What are their real priorities helping the organization achieve its goals? Is it guesswork? Is it trust-based that the entire workforce is going to naturally make the right decisions supporting top-line goals? How can we be so sure?
This fictional story referenced at the beginning of this post is
really about measuring and monitoring – not an aircraft – but your
business thru a tool called a scorecard.
There are personal, departmental, and enterprise scorecards. A
scorecard includes the key performance indicators, or KPIs, for which,
in the case of a personal scorecard, an employee is responsible which,
if these KPIs are correctly defined, would include measurements that,
when looked at in aggregate, support the enterprise’s top-line strategic
goals and objectives. Inevitably, there will be shared targets for some
of the KPIs in a personal scorecard either within a specific functional
area of the business (Think Marketing Director/Marketing Associate
having similar campaign targets) or as shared KPIs across functional
groups like marketing, sales, procurement, and deve
The actual KPIs – typically there’s about 6-10 for each individual – are critical because they will define the actions taken by the individual for which they’re responsible. The ultimate alignment via scorecards composed of KPIs across these business groups, departments, divisions, business units, etc. is the embodiment of what we call a company’s strategy execution framework.
Harvard Business School having done a study on this framework found that, “a 35% increase in Strategy Execution leads to 30% gain in shareholder value”. That’s a pretty strong argument for at least taking a harder look at it.
How do you deploy such a framework, you ask? Well, in theory it’s very simple. You just translate the business strategy and its related goals into a set of performance indicators that outline the targets for which each department and employee within each department are responsible and away you go, right? Yes, I know. It sounds easy in theory. But, in practice it’s a little more work.
The key is working top-down with each business and support unit area to translate their contribution towards meeting these higher level targets so that these lower-level, cascaded measurements, or KPIs, will, when rolled up in total, directly tie to the top-level enterprise’s strategic goals. This ensures proper alignment of the organization while providing an ongoing set of metrics by which the workforce can measure themselves.
Even more important in defining the right KPIs is the understanding that whatever the indicators are, this will determine the individual’s behavior so take care as you define these. Something else that makes this framework so effective is that it makes it that much easier to reset the workforce when those top-level strategies change. the infrastructure is in place to restructure the scorecards. This allows the company to adapt more quickly.
Think about deploying such a framework for your organization. The best incentive I can give you for taking on this effort is that going through the KPI definition process for each set of scorecards it forces discussions across functions, within departments and at the executive level that will expose how achievable these targets really are with the current resources in place today and who is ultimately responsible for what. This is just about the most important exercise I think a company can go through to make sure it’s not setting itself up for failure because its strategy isn’t attainable given the resources currently in place. Once this KPI definition process is complete and everyone knows who’s doing what and where the synergies lye it’s all about execution. This framework sets companies up to execute well because they’ve already identified their needs and resources at their disposal and now it’s a matter of delivering. It’s go time.
If done right this will be the outcome for your organization:
More coming on this subject. Stay tuned. In my next post I’ll tell you some of the best practices in defining the right KPIs for personal scorecards.
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Tracy Harris 2700026WJ9 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  cognos intelligence business iod11 ba-strategy baforum ibmaq analytics | 0 Comments | 1,654 Visits
Have you created your BI Strategy? If not, you can get started with lessons learned in a podcast from the team that brought you the book “BI Strategy: A Practical Guide to Achieving BI Excellence”. In a three-part series over the next few weeks, you can hear about the experiences of:
- John Boyer, Manager, BI Center of Excellence, at The Nielsen Company
- Bill Frank, Technology Manager, BI Practice, at Johnson & Johnson
- Brian Green, Manager of BI and Performance Management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
- Kay Van De Vanter, Enterprise BI Architect and BICC Lead at The Boeing Company
And myself (the fifth author) as we share practical advice on how to get more strategic in the use of analytics to help your organization outperform.
In this series, you’ll hear about how organizations can design a strategy that promotes business alignment, get practical advice on organizational design and culture as well as benefit from their pooled knowledge on technology strategy.
In this first episode, the team deep dives on the “Business Alignment Strategy” which sets the stage for how you define your stakeholders, map to the business needs of the organization and prioritize the many different projects that come to light when success is realized.
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 email@example.com | | Tags:  timobryan kpis provenpractices businessanalyticstoday businessanalytics strategyexecution strategy | 0 Comments | 1,091 Visits
Books. There’s all genres. Business. Nonfiction, Fiction, History, Current Events, Biographies, Mysteries and on and on. Whatever the genre there’s nothing like a great book. They can entertain you, inform you of information you’d otherwise never know, challenge your thinking, and even change your life. Many people like to read so much that they’ll take on multiple books at a time each serving a different purpose: one, current events; another, fiction; a third, history; a fourth, humor, etc. I suppose the thinking is that depending on their mood they’ve got a book to satisfy that moment’s interest. If you’re in this camp then you know you can easily end up bouncing from book to book, day to day slowly chipping away at each one.
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware business_analytics iod11 | 1 Comments | 785 Visits
1. If you write a book about analytics, they’ll make a movie about you. It may even star Brad Pitt: For the second year in a row, the event’s keynote speakers are co-authors of a famous book about analytics. Last year, the unlikely duo of “Dubner and Levitt” recounted their insights from the world of Freakonomics. Hollywood made that book into a documentary. This year, IOD welcomes Billy Beane and Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame. Beane, you may recall, was the general manager of the perennially cash-strapped Oakland A’s baseball team who found a new (and controversial) way to win by analyzing player statistics that other teams both overlooked and undervalued. A bestselling author, Lewis transforms a discussion about sports stats into an exploration of the nature of talent and how to identify it to maintain your competitive edge. Hollywood made Moneyball into a movie, too. Here's the preview:
2. You’ll find ways to boost your AQ, guaranteed: This year we’re offering 200 breakout sessions across five distinct tracks covering business intelligence, delivering customer success, financial and risk analytics, predictive and advanced analytics and new this year, social media and customer analytics. Many of the breakout sessions are led by our customers who are eager talk about their own journeys to better business outcomes. Listen, learn and take your next steps toward a higher level of analytics maturity. Not sure about your AQ? Take our quiz before you leave for Vegas.
3. There are precisely 46 days left to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount: Actually, it’s less than that. Take away the 12 weekend days when you’re unlikely to be at your desk, there are in fact 34 days. Of course, you can register after Aug. 31, but why pay more? Click here for registration info.
4. You can save another $100 off your registration with a single tweet: Yes, it is just that simple. Follow @IODGC2011 and tweet with the hashtag #IOD11 and we’ll send you a code through direct Twitter message (That is, if you’re OK with us following you as well).
5. You can get IBM-certified for free: Take up to three IBM software certification exams at no charge and take as many more as you’d like at half-price. You’ll save $100 per exam and come home with certificates suitable for framing.
6. Information On Demand boasts IBM’s largest EXPO. Explore more than 300 exhibitors, meet with IBM experts and see hands-on demonstrations to see what’s possible with our software, get answers to your toughest questions and try the latest products that until now you’ve only heard about. There's lots more about the EXPO here.
7. It’s not just for Business Analytics: Information on Demand 2011 is also home to Information Management and Enterprise Content Management Forums, with in-depth introductions to IBM solutions for data management, enterprise content management, information integration, master data management and data warehousing. These capabilities are fundamental to successful analytics deployment, so be sure to attend some of their breakout sessions or demo peds as well.
8. It’s even better when you bring your team: Attend with your colleagues to maximize your learning and professional networks. Divide and conquer when you can’t decide between sessions. See more of the EXPO and get more of your team excited about what’s possible with IBM solutions. Collaborate on alibis if necessary. Plus, sign up six of your colleagues and the seventh conference pass is on us! Contact the IOD 2011 Event Team for more information on our company pass discounts.
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  businessanalytics openpages clarity ibmcognos | 0 Comments | 1,359 Visits
Leveraging IBM OpenPages & Cognos Clarity for Risk Management, Disclosure Management and XBRL
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 email@example.com | | Tags:  strategyexecution businessanalytics | 0 Comments | 612 Visits
Exercise daily. Star in your own sitcom. Visit the Great Pyramids. Run a marathon. Go hand-gliding. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway. Climb K2. Attend the Winter Olym
Goals. They can be our rudder out in the high seas of life that give us purpose and direction.
For the ones that don’t ever get accomplished the reasons vary but for a lot of us the reason for the missed goal is as simple as, “life just gets in the way”. We get distracted with other tasks that seemed more pressing - and even more interesting.
One of the perennial goal making exercises we all go through is the New Year’s resolution...Do you even recall what your New Year’s resolution was this year??? Notice I said was and not is. That was intentional. :) So many things come up over time that these things just get buried until we finally forget them completely. Harmless usually. They're usually fun things we'd like to start or stop doing.
All well and good if these are personal goals but what about your work-related goals? Suddenly, it is much more important that they get accomplished. That’s for certain. Even more importantly, how are these work-related goals measured so you and others can track your progress? (Are they even meas
In a time where companies and ‘the Street’ are so margin conscious in expecting more to be accomplished with less resources, purposeful action by the workforce has never been more important. Ensuring a productive workforce operating efficiently is critical to survive and succeed in today’s marketplace.
I've seen many organizations successfully and unsuccessfully deploy this Strategy Execution business practice. When done right, a Strategy Execution Framework can do many performance enhancing things to improve a company's bottom line. This Framework has a foundation built around using a collaboratively defined set of KPIs for each individual employee. In this framework, these KPIs as displayed in a scorecard tool are collectively 'networked' and aligned to the rest of the workforce’s scorecards which can all be aggregated together showing a direct causal tie to the company’s top-line goals.
Said differently, whatever the top-line strategy is, the contributing components, i.e. sales, marketing, services, finance, product development, etc. including the individuals within those contributing components, have a common framework in place to ensure the organization is marching along to the beat of the same drummer and not playing their own songs as they see fit. Without this framework the company loses valuable horsepower through reduced productivity because the workforce isn't aligned and fully accountable for meeting enterprise strategy-supporting targets. As a result, you’ll have employees doing what they think are the right things without any accountability and inherent strategy alignment. Worse, what happens as the enterprise strategy changes? How quickly is your organization able to realign itself to course-correct the direction of the ship so it’s headed towards the new target??? What are the consequences if your competitors are adjusting more quickly to these changes?
Well, hopefully the reasons for getting started on this initiative are clear. Still, it's surprising that there are not many companies responding to the need for greater accountability, sharper alignment, and more nimble adaptability of its most important resource, its workforce.
So, what are some tips for getting started with this initiative? Well, there are some clear must-haves when starting a project like this including getting C-level executive spon
Perhaps if we all implemented more personal scorecards for accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions we might have a higher success rate at that too but that's for another time.
Hope you enjoyed.
Ashley Weeks 270006R983 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  barcelona group dubai partners delta | 0 Comments | 999 Visits
Delta Partners is the leading Advisory and Investment firm specialized in Telecoms, Media and Technology with offices in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. We partner with global and regional telecom providers, digital players and other TMT clients to help them address their most challenging strategic issues.
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Nikki Gonzales 270005YHQW email@example.com | | Tags:  test | 0 Comments | 858 Visits