InetSoft Webinar: Getting a BI Vendor or a BI Expert

This is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "Improving Business Agility Using Performance Management Software." The speaker is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

But we also need to know that what business intelligence applications we have. We’re going to go out and get a BI vendor, a BI expert, and they’re going to give us the cool visualization software, and once we’ve invested in the new analytic tools, we’ve invested our time and our money and so on, it’s going to work, or we’re just going to put it aside, but we’re not going to test something else.

There’s plenty out there to test and see and then you can go and if you find reporting tools that work for you and are meaningful and then you can either develop them internally or have other people develop them. But there are great, fantastic visual analysis tools and, you know, a whole wave of visualization applications, aids, data modeling tools and so on. People should be innovative and creative within the organization especially when it comes to data because it’s so valuable. As a reminder, if you have some questions, just submit them in ‘Ask the Question’ field. Also you can download the slides. A few people have asked.

Now let’s talk about real time analytics and how long can this take. So what we’re talking about now is basically a real time automated reporting solution for interpreting data and for creating decisions so for really acting on the data. There are many decisions that we understand such as what country should I sell my product in.

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That’s not a real time decision, but there are just thousands and thousands of decisions made every day where you can actually automate these and make them in real time. And if you’ve heard of the concept of straight through processing, then what we’re doing is we’re basically taking a process that used to be done in part by humans, and we’re automating this process, but we’re automating with expertise.

So it's not just a question of can I automate for the sake of automation but can I instill the expertise of my business people, of my business experts in to the system so that I can do this in real time in the same way with the same decisions but a lot quicker and a lot easier and cheaper than if I have had my business experts actually doing this manually?

So if you go to the next slide, and I’m not going to spend much time on this, why do we need to be able to make better real time decisions? So there was a survey of over 3,000 CIOs and 75 percent of those CIOs were focused on transforming their businesses. They saw the need to drive better real time decisions. And this is a huge number, and it shows that this is a major issue as in the business intelligence marketplace.

So let me go on to the next slide and talk about what is this thing that we call decision management. Now, first and foremost, this is a business discipline, right? It’s supported by analysis tools but the tools are not the actual focus. The focus is the types of decisions that your business or your government can automate, can do in real time, can do within performance management systems so that people don’t need to get involved but going back to that key concept of the decisions are made with the expertise as if your best people had been involved.

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This is a business discipline that enables organizations to automate decisions, to optimize decisions and to govern those decisions. And I really focus on governance. Now, governance is not the most exciting thing to think about but these decisions are very important. You are decisions about who you’re going to give a loan to, what rate are you going to charge, what goods are you going to pass through a country’s borders. You need to know that the decision criteria and the logic behind those decisions was actually the agreed upon, governed decision criteria that your organization stands behind, and you need to be able to look back and see who made these rules, who put these rules into play and what was the history and the change control and the versioning.

The key to all this is to have a good governance framework, not governance for governance sake, but governance for the sake of these important decisions and you need to be able to look back and know how they changed over time and what criteria were used. So if you look at this diagram, basically at the top you’ve got business processes or applications that are calling decisions services. This blue diamond that represents decision services, that is a discrete piece of logic and what it takes its cues from are these two types of decision management.

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