Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 TIM_OBRYAN@yahoo.com | | Tags:  businessanalytics openpages clarity ibmcognos | 0 Comments | 1,086 Visits
Leveraging IBM OpenPages & Cognos Clarity for Risk Management, Disclosure Management and XBRL
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 TIM_OBRYAN@yahoo.com | | Tags:  bichampions businessanalytics | 3 Comments | 1,535 Visits
Ever been the San Francisco? Great place, huh. Well, even if you haven't I'm sure you'd recognize an image of the Golden Gate Bridge without fail. Among many other unique characteristics it's got that unmistakeable burnt orange exterior and seems to perfectly blend in with the environment around which it stands. Stunning. Built AND assembled in America soup-to-nuts. A feat of engineering representing man's force of will in de facto equilibrium with nature. The same can be said about the Golden Gate Bridge's lesser known sister bridge, the Bay Bridge. But, the Made In America stamp on the Bay Bridge is soon going to change. As reported by David Barboza in yesterday's New York Times, the massive outsourcing project that's in place today to build the "eastern span" of the San Francisco Bay Bridge - Yuerba Buena Island to Oakland - is being done not in America or Canada or close by Mexico (Hello NAFTA!) but in...(wait for it)...China. Shocked? Doubtful.
This 21st century go-to-production model is certainly not a new wave in business strategy but it's certainly a trend emerging more and more as the rule more than the exception. Think Apple and its product development and manufacturing strategy for starters. Many others are right there too but this is the first multi-billion dollar municipal project farmed out to a foreign country thousands of miles away in Shanghai, China. As Bob Dylan said, "The Times They Are A Changin" ...and are gonna keep on...
I am not looking to discuss the virtues of outsourcing nor am I wanting to discuss the potential risks resulting from a heavily-weighted strategy leveraging a long line of supply chain partners in a corporate build strategy. What I'm more interested in is that there are changes in the way we run our businesses to adapt to this new outsourcing, global supply chain-dependent strategy that we need to consider. The changes are that the United States and many, many other countries around the globe are becoming more and more knowledge-based in their corporate philosophy and less and less manu
Given these shifting sands, what we can do is think about whether or not we now have the proper instruments in place to measure and monitor how these businesses are operating and performing. Currently, our external reporting requirements here in America are based upon early-twentieth century created Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, which are designed to reveal important information about companies (think railroads, automobile makers, and manufacturing enterprises of all kinds) that then dominated the U.S. economy. These companies were from the old school industrialized economy model where their value was inherently based upon the assets on their balance sheet. (Think purchasing plant, machinery, equipment, rolling stock, and other units of production from suppliers.) WYSIWYG. 'What you see is what you get' transparency where the costs of these assets were recorded on balance sheets and depreciated over time as they were used to generate revenues. Balance sheet values thus roughly reflected the cost of replacing the company as a whole, and the company’s earnings reflected the costs of producing the goods and services that were responsible for its revenues. Pretty simple, huh? Nice. Well, that reporting model works nicely when you're in a simple manufacturing-based economy but what about now when we've changed the game and added complexities like outsourcing, deeply entrenched supply chains, and global operations all doing mostly knowledge-based work where the real building is done in far flung locations by 3rd parties?
This is the Knowledge Economy. A change as profound as the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century Britain. We're at a new juncture and yet we don't have the right instruments in place to manage, report, and analyze our businesses differently given this monumental change in global business strategy? Do we really look at the business with an up to date view or are we just doing what we're told. Frankly, I think the entire finance department should rethink the reports they're generating in partnership with their IT counterparts and ask what the viability of these reports really is. Love this one, "We do things this way because it's what we've always done." Imagine if that's how the Beatles or Elvis or even the Rolling Stones thought. Heck, forget them. Imagine if that's how David Bowie thought. He's masterminded the art of adaptation over the years. Cha
As Winston Churchill said, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." This is your strategy. This strategy is never unbending or unwavering. A good strategy is adaptable with risk assessments forall sorts of business impacting events. As a result, the workforce needs to be setup to adapt as the strategy changes. This Strategy Execution Framework can help get people doing the right things as quickly and purposefully.
For more information on strategy execution frameworks, please visit this URL with some superior resources for you to access.
Tim O'Bryan 270001NMX7 TIM_OBRYAN@yahoo.com | | Tags:  strategyexecution businessanalytics | 0 Comments | 439 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.
We are conducting a BICC research study over the next month. If you have any information you would like to share on BICC org structures or any other best practices and/or would like to be a part of this research study, please drop me a line here.
Some of the preliminary content we will be looking at for the research study include:
I would be happy to hear any feedback/comments on this research study, drop me a line on this thread and I will contact you for more information.
Forrest Palmer 270001YU2V firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  bicc data_goverance data_quality bi | 0 Comments | 544 Visits
I often get asked about the importance of having your data in excellent shape - accurate, complete, relevant, etc - before you start using BI. The conventional wisdom, usually in IT, is that the data has to be right or the users will not trust it. Of course, that's true - to a point. The success of any reports, dashboards, scorecards or analytics often rests on the quality and trust people have in the data they see through that BI content. But the reality is that the data is never perfect. The "single version of the truth" (something I question as a goal but that's another day) is a journey that will never be reached 100%. So waiting until the data is completely trustworthy before rolling out BI is a folly that, in fact, will slow down the realization and need for data quality to be addressed where it needs to be addressed - in the business.
The truth is that data quality is often improved because of BI. While the first reaction might be to "blame the messenger" - the reports or tools that were used - the reality is that exposing data quality issues and discussing how to address them is essential to establishing the sense of ownership in the business and the subsequent need for governance programs that will continually improve the quality over time.
To be clear, we cannot build BI on top of truly bad data and expect that to be acceptable. Our data warehouses and data marts must meet a sufficient level of quality to make the use of that data valuable and meaningful. But don't let the quest for "the best" prevent us from starting our journey towards "the better".
Which means we need to move to both a information governance mandate and a BI governance (e.g. BICC) mandate that work in concert and alignment with each other. And that means that our information management strategy and our BI strategy have to be viewed together. Each depends on the other.
And yet too often companies are more focused on one or the other. Some companies start headlong into a BI strategy without any real consideration of the information management strategy that goes with it. The result is a truly failed BI initiative that will struggle to regain credibility. And there are probably just as many companies who invest a tremendous effort on data warehouse design and development, MDM, and data governance with little attention to how the business can effectively use all that data with BI.
So which comes first - the need for information governance and information strategy or the need for BI governance and BI strategy? Chicken or egg?
Tracy Harris 2700026WJ9 email@example.com | | Tags:  community competency business excellence of center intelligence | 0 Comments | 596 Visits
Organizational design around business intelligence and business analytics has been evolving over the last few years. We have seen many different types of formations and naming conventions around the business intelligence competency center (BICC), the Business Analytics Center of Practice, the Center of Excellence. They may be virtual or structured. They may report to the CIO, CFO, the CEO or a line of business. However, in a recent survey by the Business Applications Research Center, it has been found that organizations who have this formation in their organization outperform in every area that was measured.
And, regardless of the exact details of how it is configured, it appears that the most successful design is when there is both a shared service center and a larger community of stakeholders that keep in regular communication. Perhaps is it a Business Analytics Community of Excellence? We would love to share thoughts, organizational design ideas and best practices in this area. How is your organization currently structured for success?