Information versus knowledge; the two are vastly different when it comes to business intelligence. Most companies are pulling data out from their systems, but not necessarily analyzing that data. It isn’t enough to merely have the data, you have to actually utilize it and have it presented to you in a meaningful way to be able to do so.
Dashboards. One of most effective ways to manage your information and utilize it is through dashboards. Again, like the data being gleaned from various information systems, many rely on dashboards for the delivery of that data. However, dashboards actually need to tell you something useful to be beneficial. What needs to be included depends on what you need to know from your data and how you’re going to use that data. If it isn’t useful, don’t bother. Just because you have the ability to add a KPI, doesn’t mean you need to.
Compare it to a car’s dashboard. You need to know your speed, the amount of gas in your tank, your tire pressure, etc. You may not need to know how dim your interior lights can be or how much cushioning is in the back seat. Furthermore, you need to understand the information. Take RPMs for example: without the gauge, it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re driving a Porsche 911, 9000 RPMs is okay. However, if you’re driving a Chevy Cruz, 9000 isn’t ideal…
We would argue that, when it comes to business intelligence, everyone needs a dashboard, as it is just a medium by which you are presented with useful information. And, as mentioned, it is what is included that’s important. A dashboard’s measurements should differ according to role and those important metrics to be monitored, i.e. CFO vs. Accountant vs. Collections.
KPIs. These are the things you want to have access to all the time. Every role has KPIs (whether defined as such or not) that are managed and used as measurements, those goals and targets that are monitored on a regular basis. Again, context and something to measure the numbers by – to score it against – is critical. Otherwise it is just data and it really doesn’t mean anything. You want to know what to measure and what ‘good’ looks like. Some numbers may seem great, but without the context, they are meaningless.
These days, with the sheer breadth of technological innovation, our systems provide us with the ability to have an entire organization’s information on the screen in front of us with a few clicks of the mouse. However, to make that information valuable, you need to be using it in a meaningful way.
At True Sky, we understand how important the concept of business intelligence is to your organization and can help you implement a process that gets the right information in front of the right people at the right time. Find out more by visiting www.truesky.com today.