Information democracy. Broader corporate asset with broader access
Who can afford not to know what is outdated, ineffective or threatened in their business model or market??
Current economic crisis has made effective BI adoption a critical imperative – who knows what aspects of their markets, business model operating practices are no longer viable. At the same time, information overload is a reality.
We are not even tackling the biggest challenges yet. We are not capturing and mining voice communication. We have limited mining of email data. Competition in an information-intensive world demands we fix the problem. Exponential explosion in information, evolution and acceleration of information types and economic crisis has permanently changed markets/business models, information is increasingly the value-add differentiator in products & services
We are seeing organizations and their people wrestling with the information problem. IT organizations have been doing a reasonable job of facilitating access to structured data – rows of numerical data and parsed textual data, organized in databases, spreadsheets and reports. However, information required for decisioning often relies on subtleties of meaning contained in unstructured data – text files, memos, emails, pdfs, blogs, voice and video. Add to that are evolving voice-to-text capabilities to ‘mine’ conversations with contact centers.
To many suppliers – and their customers – it makes a lot of sense to bring these two worlds of data together under one, unified information management architecture. It means that a call centre operator, for example, can see in one screen a customer’s sales history, perhaps his profitability to the company – and his tendency to complain about service to the ombudsman. It means that a series of revealing emails between customers and staff can help to explain a sales manager’s poor figures.
Both types of information contained in files are packed full of meaning and informal structures – but virtually none have been available to business decision-makers at any level of organizations. IT bases its BI information as facts and figures because that is what they have always worked with and delivered as reports and evolving knowledge bases. What about text? How does IT deal with it? It is a fundamentally different and challenging environment without the foundation of traditional corporate lore. There are great tools in the market for gaining understanding form text and verbal communications but are not generally considered in the mainstream of business applications.
The evolving social media phenomena places even more challenges to corporations and their IT ‘knowledge” enablers. Whereas the human can quickly ascertain substance and nuance form the interplay of multiple media types and characteristics, corporations have struggled to deliver even fundamental knowledge creation capabilities – the foundation for BI – for decision-makers
The core problem in business is that the business continues to run with inadequate tools and approaches – like it has for the last 50 years, but the world is changing rapidly around us. Information amounts, availability, acceleration of information types are all challenges to individuals trying to make intelligent decisions.
We see that despite the availability of almost any type of information for knowledge creation, BI has been generally the tool select groups in companies. Pervasive BI, enabling decision-making personnel throughout companies is the fundamental basis of competition in the future. The failure of BI tool makers, corporation IT departments and executive management to recognize that knowledge’ and it’s use to transform business processes’ relies on ready access to the information asset. We can no longer allow front line personnel, middle management and product development personnel to be basing decisions based on BI almost as a shadow – using Excel spreadsheets and the like to support their decision making. Especially since shadow BI has significant challenges – info is not shared, not current nor vetted by business process owners (eg the CFO).
A holistic perspective to managing strategic, operational and analytical BI is required. While technical issues are extensive, management must come face to face with cultural, operational and business aspects as well. Organizations need to embrace the cultural challenges preventing knowledge creation and employee success.
We need to move beyond the complexity. We need management vision to support the cultural challenges facing all companies in this competitive environment.
- Having the vision to enable corporate IT enablers to provide tools, access and capabilities to unlock the asset
- Sharing of corporate and cross-departmental information
- Information as a corporate asset is not recognized
- Eliminating lack of trust
- recognizing that users view information as a “fact in time” that then drives new questions – usually in multiple layers of detail and / or broadening to include other information that is or is not related in the traditional (read IT sense)
- Removing secrecy
- Eliminating fear of decision making by giving workers at all levels knowledge
- lack of foresight
- IT budgets squandered on fads, applications or crisis of the moment
We need to embrace the new competitive reality and resolve it with access, use, and delivery of the knowledge inherent in the entire information asset of the corporation – and enable its decision makers
©Trevelyan Group LLC 2012