Raising your 'BIQ' (Business Intelligence Quotient): 5 Things Your Company Can Do NOW

Updated: August 31, 2010

With a multitude of IQ's being used in trying to measure peoples' all-round success, namely, IQ, Emotional IQ, Social IQ, and the most mystic of all, the Spiritual IQ - it seems to make sense to do the same for business or companies - in order to quantify their performance 360-degree, not just from a ROI perspective, but from a customer/end-user experience perspective. As trivial as it may seem, this is by no means an easy task. Viewing a company as a conglomerate of people performing in various roles, and driven by a set of business processes, the accuracy of such an IQ extends beyond numbers. The words "win-win" create business value only when the business benefits of easier, faster, simpler, sharper decision-making capabilities by all users - from the corporate to the front desk - are realized when they are needed most. To this effect, here are a list of High-Fives that enables companies of any size and industry vertical to raise the bar on BIQ or Business Intelligence Quotient:

1. Encore the fact that BI is everybody's business: This is a key driver in BI adoption and empowerment by all users of a BI solution - from the corporate staff to the customer/end-user. Hence, educating that better BI means better decision-making that lead to efficient actionable analyses, across the company spectrum (i.e., about the why and what of a BI Solution) is a KPI in getting all of them eye-cued. A unified view of the contextual customer is the KPI for a higher BIQ.

2. Data, Data Everywhere! But I Can't See It No Matter How I Do My Search? Follow this as both the means and ends of adopting BI: Companies must be able to trace and track the silos of data that is present in various forms - from paper to prediction - across the length and breadth of the companies' resources. Then a robust BI Solution can help all of this data to be "refined" to derive the right information that is useful to the right user at the right time. So, the sooner your company gets going for the "gold data rush", the faster the time-to-insight which is the taken to analyze and arrive at "decision points" that when implemented can help in a better business/operational efficiency.

3. Enumerate the potential of BI as an innovative invention of a superior customer experience: BI helps in providing autonomy to the customer/end-user by way of self-service functionality combined with interactive and responsive controls that place the power to drive the business solution in those users' hands. And companies should focus on differentiating between customer and end-user in terms of Power Users and contextual business roles. This is the new dynamics of being "customer-centric." Proper enlisting of users vs. roles vs. business needs and maintaining the "independence and isolation of data/metadata access and presentation" is vital to a higher BIQ. And this is where managed-metadata comes into play by allowing some of the business context to be custom-defined by the end-users! By correlating customer/end-user centric aspects with their existing BI Solutions in place, companies can efficiently manage their metadata and streamline their business processes, companies.

4. Right time information is the NEW BI imperative and it prevents the data burst: From real-time to right time, time and data truly don't wait for any user today! This can be both real-time and point-in-time, or just-in-time-relevance and authenticity of information enables efficient use of the same and is essential to a better BIQ. And the ability to integrate/inter-operate with multiple existing solutions and data sources provides a value beyond revenue. Nothing is more critical to a business than the consistency, currency, and protection of all of its data-cum-information in a way that is secure, reliable, and available anytime, from anywhere, and by anyone authorized. To this effect, companies must layout security & GRC policies as per requirements, right from the early stages in their operational life cycle (A typical plan starting from concepts all through to customization). This ensures that the data/information life cycle goes in sync with the business process life cycle. Enforcing multi-factor authentication, distributed data replication, and/or data federation/syndication; rich search analytics, and industry standards-based architecture go a long way in getting the right data at the right time in the hands of the right user, or what I call the R-R-R rule.

5. Consider BI as a strategic solution for your business: BI is more than just a decision making tool. For any company, it is an evolving solution that re-invents itself based on customer/end-user experience, to adapt to the customer/users' changing needs from time-to-time. Thereby, it extends beyond intelligence to become a strategic decision-making enabler. Companies must keep this focus when deciding on a BI Solution - one that can adapt to current and future business requirements. By doing this the return-on-customer will be higher, which is an intelligent metric for quantifying Success-both in terms of business value and customer/end-user experience. This requires a self-adaptable BI solution that enables a greater degree of self-service BI. A "best-fit" IT solution based on gap-fit analysis, in terms of access optimization, embedded analytics, SaaS-enablement, and operational BI capabilities accelerates the operational efficiency. This again raises the BIQ - BETTER INSIGHTS YIELD BETTER RESULTS.

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