Place yourself in the role of a manager at a company undergoing a merge or acquisition. What would be the most important things customers would expect from you while still in that process? What role would IT play in meeting those expectations? Provide at least three examples.
Focus on what Andi Mann in the case calls “tribal knowledge.” What do you think he means by that, and why is it so important to this process? What strategies would you suggest for companies that are faced with the extensive presence of this issue in an acquired organization? Develop some specific recommendations.
Most of the discussion on the case focused on hardware and software issues. However, these are essentially enablers for underlying business processes developed by each of the companies involved. What different alternatives do companies have for merging their business processes, and what role would IT play in supporting those activities? Pay particular attention to data management and governance issues.
Data values describing the attributes of an entity
Operations that can be performed on the data
Combine data and operations
New objects can be created by replicating some or all of the characteristics of parent objects
Object-Oriented Structure Source: Adapted from Ivar Jacobsen, Maria Ericsson, and Ageneta Jacobsen, The Object Advantage: Business Process Reengineering with Object Technology (New York: ACM Press, 1995), p. 65. Copyright @ 1995, Association for Computing Machinery. By permission. 5-
Apart from using data for basic business decisions such as replenishing food supplies based on how much finished product was sold daily, Applebee is developing more sophisticated analyses that looks at how well items are selling so the company can make better decisions about what to order and what products to promote.
Today organizations are extensively aggregating and mining their data to make better decisions.
Travelocity has launched a new project to help it mine almost 600,000 unstructured comments so that it can better monitor and respond to customer service issues
What are the business benefits of taking the time and effort required to create and operate data warehouses such as those described in the case? Do you see any disadvantages? Is there any reason why all companies shouldn’t use data warehousing technology?
Applebee’s noted some of the unexpected insights obtained from analyzing data about “back-of-house” performance. Using your knowledge of how a restaurant works, what other interesting questions would you suggest to the company? Provide several specific examples.
Data mining and warehousing technologies use data about past events to inform better decision-making in the future. Do you believe this stifles innovative thinking, causing companies to become too constrained by the data they are already collecting to think about unexplored opportunities? Compare and contrast both viewpoints in your answer.