How the BI Continuum Helps the CIO Address Operational Efficiency. Part 2 of 3
by Christian Ofori-Boateng on Feb 17, 2018 12:00:00 AM
From our experience working with CIOs over more than a decade we realize that CIOs require a set of integrated BI solutions that address the diverse needs of their audience. For us, the BI Continuum is more than a framework. It is a way to manifest your BI strategyin a comprehensive and elegant way addressing all of your unique requests and requirements.In Part 1 of this blog I went over the first 3 topics which included:
- What is the goal of Business Intelligence (BI)?
- What keeps a CIO up at night? How does this relate to you?
- Who are the audiences for BI and what do they need?
- Introduce the BI Continuum. How is it mapped to different audiences?
- Discuss Enterprise Reporting & Business Process Automation
- Review Enterprise Self-Service Reporting Portals
- Examine On-Demand Dashboards and KPIs for srategic & operational use
The BI Continuum™
From our experience working with CIOs over more than a decade we realize that CIOs require a set of integrated BI solutions that address the diverse needs of their audience. For us, the BI Continuum is more than a framework. It is a way to manifest your BI strategy in a comprehensive and elegant way addressing all of your unique requests and requirements.
At one end of the spectrum is what we call "The Push". For all organizations this represents all of the production scheduled reports that need to be accurate and distributed across the enterprise. We provide our Enterprise Reporting and Business Process Automation solution to address this requirement. Our typical customer has 5,000 or 10,000 or 50,000 reports that need to be scheduled, processed and distributed on a weekly or monthly basis. We provide our BI reporting solutions here for the most common reporting environments like Crystal Reports by SAP or SSRS and Access by Microsoft. The magic here is the business process automation infrastructure that leverages business rules, workflow and notification capabilities.
At the other end of the spectrum is what we call "The Pull". All types of users - customers, employees, and partners - have a requirement to access critical reports that are requested and obtained on an ad hoc basis. We provide our self-service Enterprise Reporting Portal to satisfy this need.
In between is the need for on demand and custom dashboards and KPIs to address the operational and strategic needs for the organization. Here you want a robust analytical BI solution that will present the key information that the audience requires to make decisions. It should also give them the ability to drill into the data to find root cause.
Rather than try to cobble together a set of disparate technologies from different companies, we bring all this together in one integrated BI suite.
Let's discuss individual solutions we provide using examples.
Enterprise Reporting and Business Process Automation
We call this "the Push". Here is an example.
I am a large retailer with over 1000 stores worldwide. Key reports need to be delivered to each shift manager everyday. Each store has specific reporting requirements (i.e. store 160 needs the report in PDF while store 23 wants it in Excel) his reports much be unique to each store, and the shift manager role changes frequently (managers switch shifts or call out frequently). Moreover, new stores are opened, while others are closed. How can this enterprise keep pace with all the diverse reporting requires them to all 1000 stores?
Here is another example:
I am in a Medical center’s accounting department and we distribute invoices to customers after service has been rendered. If an invoice is late (past 30 days) we need to trigger an alert to the customer with the overdue invoice. We want to speed up invoice turnover so these alerts should be delivered in real-time.
These examples illustrate the various applications of "pushing" BI content to different audiences. Pushing BI content can be visible to the audiences (i.e. invoices/quotes delivered to customers) or invisible (i.e. syncing Job Cast data in the project management system to the accounting system). There is often synergy between these 2 types actives, creating complex processes such as automated ordering & fulfillment systems.
Enterprise Self-Service Reporting Portals
We call this "the Pull". Here is an example.
I am a manufacturing facility and the operations team meets every morning. In this meeting they need to decide to purchase more supplies. They need to be able to quickly run and view the latest production reports without having to dig through a cumbersome ERP system. Within less than 5 clicks (or taps if they are using a tablet) they should have a report in their hands.
Here is another example.
I am a hospital with a large Operating Room facility. Each day my surgeons need to know which operating rooms they will be working in, the patient, and the status of all of the equipment. The surgeons should be able to quickly login to a portal from their iPhone, and tap the report they want. The system automatically configures the report to select the doctor’s name, operating room information, and more, all without having to develop and deploy a separate report for each surgeon.
With our on-demand self-service reporting portal your BI team can securely serve a single report to many users, creating a unique experience for each user, without creating dozens of variant of the same report. Through report permissions and user exceptions. You can define the 'rules of engagement' for how a user interacts with the reports when they run it.
Dashboards & KPIs
Here is an example.
I havean operations facility that tracks all of my trucks in the field. My operations team needs at-a-glance status of each truck displayed on a map. Moreover, I can see quick and dirty breakdowns of our trucks stop rate, and even call out possible delays and impediments. Ideally this shows up on several large screens in my control center.
Here is another example:
My executives need a scorecard that gives them a quick summary of overall organizational health. This scorecard uses formulae to render and grade of each key department (sales, marketing, production, customer service, and accounting). If items fall below key benchmarks, they can drill down to see a basic breakdown of what’s going wrong.
You now can view the critical information or KPIs that you need in real-time. You now have the power to drill to the root cause or source.
With our BI Suite, we marry needs to capabilities. We bring the BI Continuum to life across your enterprise.
To learn more about the BI Continuum and receive your own downloadable PDF version of the BI Continuum Infographic, please click the button below.
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