What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence is the art of successfully managing your company with accurate, timely and widely available knowledge.
It consists of 4 major parts:
Master Data Management – A working Master Data Management to ensure correct data.
Meaningful KPI´s – The right key performance indicators that describe the business.
Processes and corporate culture – Processes and a corporate culture that makes people want to operate in this environment.
BI Infrastructure – A business intelligence technology infrastructure that provides timely, accurate and consistent data to be converted to information and knowledge and to be communicated in a way that people understand.
Master Data Management
Defining good KPI´s is not an IT task – it is a business challenge!
In order to define sound KPI´s Holistic Analytics will assist to find answers to the following questions:
1. Which strategic objective is this KPI related to?
2. What question do you want to answer?
3. Who is asking this question?
4. What will they do with the answer?
5. Why are they asking this question?
6. How well is the KPI measuring performance?
7. Are the costs for collecting the data justified?
8. What dysfunctional behavior could this indicator trigger?
We guide you through this process!
Critical Success Factor Scorecard
Holistic Analytics ensures close alignment between your strategic goals and your KPI´s. We use a CSF ScoreCard that helps synchronising and aligning business activities.
A “CSF ScoreCard” has the following structure:
1. Key initiatives – usually 2-3 longer term objectives
2. Objectives – usually not more than 8 to 10.
3. Each objective can have a couple of “critical success factors”.
4. Each “critical success factor” can have a couple of measurable KPI´s.
The “objectives” are defined by the business strategy.
“Key initiatives” usually become “objectives” in one to two years. They allow management to align their annual activities to the longer term picture.
“Critical success factors” define milestones necessary to achieve the “objective”.
“KPI´s” are measurable (usually with yes or no, achieved or failed) indicators that help make the “critical success factors” tangible.
Example of one objective out of a critical success factor scorecard for a recent Master Data Management project.
Processes and Corporate culture
The acceptance of the business intelligence system will depend on the individual benefit. If it is perceived to only be used to control management and people rather than support their work and successes – your project will fail.
Holistic Analytics will assist to overcome these obstacles.
Although business intelligence projects are business projects, not only IT projects, the selection of the right BI infrastructure is key to the overall long lasting success.
Holistic Analytics recommends Jedox Software for that purpose.
Ease of use
The acceptance of a BI system heavily depends on how easy people can get on with it. As most people in management, especially in financial departments, are used to work with Excel it is quite natural to expand Excel´s capabilities. This is precisely what Jedox did with its ExcelPlus concept.
After Installation of the Jedox software, simply run “Jedox_6_0.exe” and your Excel is ready to use. Once done, you will find the Jedox Ribbon as shown on the right.
If you know Excel you know instantly how to work with Jedox. The embedded Office add-in allows for professional looking graphics to be imported into MS Word or Powerpoint with just a few clicks.
Jedox Suite Architecture (Source: Jedox)
Even if you proud yourself of running the best managed Master Data Management organization with superb data quality, one subject needs special consideration – consistency.
Data change over time. Especially if you have to pull information from various heterogenous systems it is important to ensure timely consistency. The full monthly revenue needs to match the full monthly cost of sales, not only the first three weeks cost.
Given that with Jedox, there is no more need to download data into Excel for further proccessing your information stays consistent. Regardless if you look at it using Excel, the Web or any mobile device.
The Jedox architecture, especially the Jedox Integrator including a SAP connector and many other different connectors, helps to ensure this timely consistency.
In addition it also can be set up to ensure value consistency, this is to avoid that one system counts in millions and the other in thousands.
Especially during budgeting time it is very important to discuss your various planning scenarios with your team, colleagues and the financial department.
Downloading your data to Excel and sending the sheets by email causes confusion and disconnects because of too many versions of similar data around.
After all, at the end of the budgeting cycle, all these plenty of Excel sheets have to be consolidated. Usually the hell for your controlling team.
The straight forward solution to this issue is to collaborate directly from within your business intelligence system. Simple, easy and fast.
Cost of ownership
With Jedox you can start using the free of charge open source version to get used to it. Later on, you simply provide a license key to convert to the professional version and then still can reuse all developed elements and structures. The ExcelPlus concept allows to swiftly convert your plenty of Excel sheets into a consolidated database with very granular user rights management.