BI May Be Sleep Solution For Executives

Recently BusinessWeek published the 10 top things that keep business leaders awake at night. So naturally, I thought I would offer my view of the top solutions to these problems as they relate to The Logical Organization.

Top 8 Sleep-Killers

The top eight issues keeping business leaders awake at night include:

  1. the constant pressure to meet and beat my quarterly targets” – since the outputs are very data driven, make more use of data to drive the inputs to meet these targets.
  2. how to balance my work pressures with the needs of my family and my health?” – reduce the time spent managing and performing repetitive tasks that can be taken over by intelligence driven processes
    “how can I recruit smarter, more productive people?” – even as a strong supporter of BI software I was unaware of how effective BI was in the area of recruitment until I spent some time investigating this further for my book. Even understanding how BI will transform businesses and how important change is as an everyday part of work recruiters can evaluate candidates for their willingness to collaborate, share ideas and let go of old concepts and assumptions and adopt more modern methods of logic driven decision making. As we go through this period of transition between Socratic right/wrong mentality to one of fluid thinking and multiple options of exploration, we find that not all people are willing or have personalities that are comfortable with releasing old styles of thinking, decision making and management and not adaptable to constant change.
  3. “I’m losing good people. How can I keep them from leaving?” – The power of BSC type strategic methodologies and personal productivity dashboards cannot be underestimated in the value of helping each individual understand the value they contribute to the overall organizational goals and in self managing their performance and decisions on a day to day basis.
  4. I need to develop a lot more leaders in our enterprise” – Leaders today need to be more coaches than managers, but the overwhelming amount of information needed to complete every task prevents many from implementing productivity and development programs. By releasing much of this load to BI tools and combining insight driven decision making into more innovative channels, teams feel more empowered and naturally more motivated.
  5. to better manage a much more competitive culture” – it is predicted that the capability of artificial intelligence will surpass that of human intelligence within the next 20 to 30 years. Those companies which do not start the transition to leverage this capability through the adopting of BI tools will not only struggle to keep pace with competitors who do, but fail to deliver insightful products and services to retain their existing customers.
  6. we need to find a more effective communications strategy” – communication is wasted if it does not effectively transfer valuable information. The degree to which the information is valuable is determined by its relevance, accuracy and timeliness. BI tools are effective in all these three domains and the collaboration tools inherent in BI solutions ensure that information is not silo’ed or hoarded.
  7. our metrics are not up to scratch. How to better analyse sales and KPIs” – strategy is too often poorly implemented and/or devolved throughout the organization. By integrating Balanced Scorecard and BI KPI’s are easier to detect and more appropriate to measuring the businesses performance in reaching its goals. I often find that businesses have implemented sound KPI measuring mechanisms but they are either measuring the wrong things or too many things. BSC + BI help businesses avoid both of these mistakes
    “I worry about whether our security is OK” – most large corporates have sound security policies. For those small businesses, the benefits of SaaS BI, CRM and other business software ensures that data is more secure than most previously experienced.
  8. how to ensure the survival and succession of my business” – when we look back at why only 18 of the Fortune 500 companies in 1974 still survive today, the underlying reason has been failure to change the way the business operates to keep up with changes in the business and consumer environments. The lack of flexibility through rigid ego-driven hierarchies, lack of information and poor collaboration has been the demise of many previous great companies. When BI is fully integrated into the operating environment, the infrastructure almost self evolves as new data-driven insight highlights new opportunities – new decisions to be made – new processes to implement and new relationships to form.

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