Consider a company that has multiple line-of-business managers conducting performance analyses. "If they all have different methods of calculation, nobody knows which numbers are correct and what actions they can take," says Ryan Kruger, a project manager for BI consultancy CadenceQuest.
"Having a consistent approach to process definition will allow BI applications to build off the same processes and rules, eliminating conflicting results," reports Gile. BI tools should be able to use a central process repository, not just a central data repository (a data warehouse). Such consistency would enable easier hierarchical roll-ups of performance measurements from the operational, through the tactical, up to the strategic levels of the organization. "The call for a single version of the data should shift focus to a single version of the business rule," Gile writes.
Inadequate process understanding holds BI back when it comes to performance management. "That's why there's been more of an uptick in performance management [implementations] on the ERP [enterprise resource planning] side than on the BI side," says Grace Koh, a principal consultant at CadenceQuest.
|Customer Relationship Management|
|$11.4 billion revenue forecast for 2008|
|8.9% CRM app annual growth, 2004 to 2008|
|12.7% CRM analytic app growth, 2003|
Conventional wisdom has long held that the productivity gains from automation in manufacturing would never be so dramatically realized in services because they rely on human delivery. Now we can automate many customer-facing services to not only save costs but also greatly improve service. Coincidentally, how a business manages its customer relationships is now an essential competitive differentiator. How do you get the most from automation? Best Face Forward (Jeffrey F. Rayport & Bernard J. Jaworski, Harvard Business School Press, 2005) answers in depth with an academic, well-organized, analytic sensibility that's grounded in an intriguing collection of case studies.