Mark Flaherty (MF): Today we are going to talk about business analytics. I want to start by referring to a man named Thomas Davenport who has written a book, Competing on Analytics, which is based on a study of companies using analytics. Among the findings he reports in the book, he discovered that the top performing organizations are 50% more likely to utilize information strategically or analytical information strategically.
There are a couple of levels of strategic analysis that he is referring to. One level is where there is significant analytical support within an organization. This means that they are a data driven organization. They make decisions based off of the actual information available as opposed to gut feel which is often the case when people don’t have adequate access to information.
The next level is where they value analysis across the organization from a sponsorship or from an executive level. They also have higher than average analytical support capabilities. And finally the last level is when they have analytics across the organization.
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Not Just for Technically Capable Analysts
This means not just for executives or the technically capable analysts but for all users including the business users, the casual users, people who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in business information systems. The key message here is that analytical information can help drive strategic performance and competitive performance in the organization.
So, to support that, we can take a look at a CIO study. They determined that for the fourth year in a row, business intelligence is a top five priority for CIOs. And if you look at what the business drivers are for IT priorities, it makes sense how that is the case. Business intelligence can help drive almost all of these activities, reducing enterprise costs either by being more efficient with how you access information or by providing you insights to understand where your costs are greatest and where you can most easily attack and lower those costs.
Increasing the use of information analytics, that’s self explanatory, managing change initiatives, understanding what your customer relationships look like, get insights into what your customers are saying, where they are spending their money, where they are happy where they are dissatisfied. So, ultimately business intelligence helps organizations raise their enterprise visibility and transparency so they can make more informed decisions to be more effective in their organization.
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- Erik Saline, Information Systems Specialist at Pentagon Technologies