InetSoft BI Webcast: The Difference Between BI and Performance Management

Below is the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of Current Trends in Performance Management. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, CMO at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): Business intelligence is a great thing, very simply stated, it means letting business people access and analyze structured content typically stored in corporate databases or data warehouses. Performance management takes it to the next level and actually gives a context for business intelligence.

You can’t have performance management without business intelligence. You can have BI without performance management, though. One of the critical pieces of performance management is planning. There are other pieces, too. It includes consolidated and compliance reporting on the finance side. And it also includes things like financial modeling, but if I had to say what is performance management that is not BI?

Planning is one of the biggest things because it injects a lot of discipline into an organization to actually draw a line in the sand and say, here’s what we’re going to do for the next planning period. And that actually gives BI context, and says, all right, now I know what I have to track; this is what I committed to. At an individual level, at a departmental level, and at an enterprise level, we’re holding ourselves accountable for that. So that’s a big part of what performance management is all about.

Performance management takes what you know about business intelligence and what we value about business intelligence, and it marries it to the planning and control cycle of the enterprise.

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Why don’t companies pursue performance management?

A lot of it has to do with existing belief systems, culture, politics, skills, and a whole host of things. It has to do though with people. It’s not the technology. The technology is pretty advanced and fairly evolved at this point. So why don’t people want to do it. Well, sometimes it’s just plain inertia. It’s like “well, you we don’t like the status quo, but we know it,” and nobody likes change. Human beings basically don’t like change.

For the most part there aren’t a lot of nefarious types out there who are trying to avoid detection. Now, there are some of those, too. People with hidden agendas, politics, standing in the way of things like performance management. But mostly, I think it’s inertia. It’s just hard to change what we’re currently doing and do something different.