The Need for an Effective Strategy
So what does this Enterprise Intelligence Strategy really look like? The strategy content will be different based on each organization’s goals, processes, and situation. However, if we were to encompass all of the previously identified needs we would want to insure that a consistent set of criterion were included. It is important to define the goals, approach, and use of the intelligence in order to define what data will be included and how it will be provided.
Also, to insure that the data is actionable, it is important to highlight the actions and business logic that needs to be in place to appropriately support the organization. This will help determine the technology sectors to be put into place and which BI models are needed. If you start with the Data, Applications or even BI Models themselves, you may not have chosen the appropriate technology for your organization. Starting with the Strategy and BI Definition enables you to discover what the organization really needs, how it will be used, and creates the requirements for the technology sectors of your Enterprise Intelligence Solution.
The first step is to define the overall strategy and the business intelligence definition. What is it that you are looking for? In this overarching strategy definition, it is important to define what the organization needs out of its data. What problems might they be trying to solve or what is the overall objective?
If we get more specific, what is it precisely that the company needs the data to do? That is, how does it need to be presented? Does the data need to be predictive for the organization? Does it need to be accumulated across multiple data sources? Whatever those definitions are, it would be represented in a BI model or method and would support the overall strategy and BI Definitions.
This relationship between these items within the enterprise intelligence strategy is very similar as to how a marketing strategy should support an over business plan. It wouldn’t make sense if your overall business objective was to provide high-end hospital equipment to the largest healthcare networks in the world, yet you then market your products to middle school kids in the school cafeteria. As humorous as it sounds, this is effectively what many are doing with their intelligence strategies and then when the effort doesn’t produce the expected results, they blame the solution or claim “Big Data” is not all that is was cracked up to be.
The “Integrated knowledge” concept is essential to enable actionable data. Just providing reporting capability off a data warehouse does provide some value, but to really unleash the value Big Data can provide, an organization needs to embrace this concept so that the intelligence can be shared across applications and the enterprise (and even potentially out into the supply chain). This enables a best of breed approach for applications as well. Instead of settling for a one size fits all application that only somewhat meets your needs, just because it holds the data necessary for processing, one has the ability to leverage the truly best application for the specified process because it can easily get access to external data, if necessary.
Finally, the applications that use the data to do something for you will be defined based on the needs and intended use defined in the strategy and which BI Models are available. The applications can be thought of as the actions that need to be executed or enforced based on the data. These applications basically execute the reaction plan. The Actions can be as simple as a notification, changing of an And-On Board or as complex as replenishing stock from an external supplier.
Look out for the next edition of this Blog Series – BI Strategies and Definitions
Check our another posts about enterprise intelligence strategy here.