The BI industry talks about decisions but not a lot on the actual decisions. Decision making is often confused with problem solving. Whilst solving problems does typically involve making decisions at some point:
Problem Solving = Choosing Issues that require attention + Setting Goals + Designing Suitable Courses of Action
Decision Making = Evaluating Options + Selecting a Solution
The decision making process is both individual and collaborative, requires information and timeliness.
Decision makers need to be able to get answers to specific questions, not just generic ones. When problems present in new ways, generic responses tend to offer solutions based on old contexts.
So with much discussion about decision making – packaged BI does not make a lot of sense. Business users need tools that can be manipulated to represent the context of the questions they are seeking to answer.
The first steps in the decision making process are the least understood. What brings problems to the head of the agenda, and how can it be presented in a way to facilitated its solution be understood by others. BI not arranged this way. It may reach a wide audience, but its use is tiered.
The way the problem is presented – controls the outcome solution. BI is not arranged this way.
Decisions that once took days – now need to be made in the speed of a transaction
In summary, every decision made in your business demands that all involved:
- Understand the logic behind both the situation and any decision made
- Identify all assumptions and check their validity with data
- Consider the situation from multiple perspectives
- Include the people!
- Think both short and long term.