Topic of the week – Shift from BI to Performance Management (3rd article)
You probably all know what I’m talking about. All kinds of reports are running around in your organization, each telling their own version of the truth, typically based on different sets of interpreted data, conflicting with one another.
The existing reports are never exactly what you need. It takes too long to get the necessary information back, and you start creating your own reports & dashboards in excel, throwing away all the prebuilt figures by your organization.
Further it seems that there are also many conflicting interests within the organization when talking about the specific BI needs. Outspoken conflicts you often hear about are the financial reporting requirements from the CFO versus the operational reporting requirements from the COO for instance.
You can draw a few conclusions out of the above:
1. Reports are a very important instrument within your organization; otherwise not so many people would be involved. So far so good. But do you have any idea how many people are ‘wasting’ their time in getting all the information together manually in your organization? (or semi-automatic, otherwise you don’t feel addressed, but for me this is manually) You would be surprised!
2. All the tactical initiatives that were taken in the past – typically driven by a department or by a manager – are lacking a strategic umbrella and therefore are very difficult to link to each other. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. You are simply starting from different data definitions and all the rest is frustration. On the other hand the C-level KPIs and dashboards are not taken forward to the different departments, and remain silo’s at top level management.
So how should you deal with this? What helps for me is actively making use of the information triangle. Not just talking about it during conversations with your colleagues, but actively trying to plot all the requests and requirements from the people into the BI triangle, so also including all the Corporate Performance management needs (or better said: the financial requirements and budgeting, planning & forecasting requirements).
This way you can easily visualize the focus areas per person in your organisation. And people understand better the focus areas of other persons in the organisation, limiting the conflicts to a minimum. And last but not least you also find the blanc spots, so you can start prioritizing properly in setting up dashboards, balanced scorecards, alerts, … and all the other goodies people think about. Really, you should try it, you will be amazed by the result!