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What are
Actionable
Insights?
Introduction to Operational Analytics Software
…and why business intelligence isn’t
‘Confuse...
Businesses produce
dashboards, charts, data
visuals, maps and reports
every day but is it useful…
… or is it just more stu...
This presentation is about
actionable insights – what they
are and how you get them.
‘Stop Go’ by Nana B Agyei
Ever played with Google Analytics before?
(Fantastic huh!)
Now imagine having the same analytics
across every aspect of yo...
What a wonderful world!
…are those views of data that cause
people to think new questions about how
processes work and take action
Assimilate insi...
Actionable Insights can be generated
using a bag of different tools...
’crystal ball’ by pasukaru76
Spreadsheets and Websheets
The first true ‘mashup’ tool
You can gather data from different
places together on a spreadshee...
In-Memory ‘Guerrilla BI’ Software
Dashboarding and charting platforms
that exploit in-memory processing
and web 2.0 charac...
Mashup and PaaS Platforms
Emerged when web server apps and
Web 2.0 technologies appeared
Agile, code-free, easy to design ...
Legacy Business Intelligence Platforms
The most expensive but very complete
Normally require pre-processing of
data into d...
But maybe I’m going too fast…
(Let’s go back)
First Came Business Intelligence Software
What’s that? Software that
makes your business
intelligent?? (SIGH.)
GOOD GUESS,...
What is Business Intelligence?
[Business intelligence] Computer-based
techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and
analyz...
It’s much easier to understand
what ‘BI’ is for when you break it
down into chunks of capability
Everyone has an opinion. ...
Enterprise Performance
Management
This is where ‘BI’ began – Scorecards, dashboards and alerts that report
on progress aga...
Daily Operating Controls and
Reports
This is about meeting budget and forecast targets and providing an early
warning syst...
Operational Analytics
These are ad hoc or structured reports designed for the purpose of
revealing ‘new questions’ that de...
Social, Community and
Predictive Business Intelligence
I could just as easily have called this ‘other stuff’ but there are...
Maybe, think of it this way…
Enterprise Performance Management
•Tells me what I need to know about what I know so I know
w...
But while this has all been
going on the world of
business has been
changed.
Social Networking
Mobile Computing
Consumeriz...
Operational Analytics is
now center stage in the BI
arena because businesses
are looking to…
‘A view from the stage’ Joe S...
Grow ‘Loyalty Beyond Reason’
It’s about building more personalized, event-driven,
fine-grained communications and reasons ...
Grow Communities
It’s about building communities – with
customers, suppliers, workforce, industry
partners…
The noughties ...
Find Customers
It’s about creating new customers from new
connections between the data you have access to on
customers…
Wi...
Grow Capability
Organizations don’t work in a bubble.
Few are best placed to deliver every competency they
need to operate...
Reduce Errors
It’s about reducing errors by having a clearer
appreciation of how key processes and pipelines of
activity w...
Cut Costs
‘Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency’ epSos.de
It’s about achieving economies by understanding sub-
op...
Grow Agility
‘Stretching Elephant’ David W. Siu
AGILIZATION = An enterprise that possesses the ability to
react to new mar...
In Summary…
Business Intelligence is ONE huge
category of the art of IT!
• Actionable Insights aren’t a piece of software – they’re wh...
Or (if you’re into Blue Ocean Strategy…)
Operational Analytics tools will help you to:
Reduce
Remove
Add
Grow
• Errors
• O...
Thank You.
Article Sponsors:
Workforce and Talent www.workspend.com
IT and Technology www.ustechsolutions.com
Data Enginee...
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What are actionable insights? (Introduction to Operational Analytics Software)

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What Are Actionable Insights? In this presentation I outline what Actionable Insights are and the Operational Analytics Software that can produce them. And because Business Intelligence and the Business Intelligence Software market can be so confusing for buyers I've attempted to position where Actionable Insights and Operational Analytics fit in the Business Intelligence 'story'.

Published in: Business, Technology

What are actionable insights? (Introduction to Operational Analytics Software)

  1. 1. What are Actionable Insights? Introduction to Operational Analytics Software …and why business intelligence isn’t ‘Confused’ by Luis Argerich
  2. 2. Businesses produce dashboards, charts, data visuals, maps and reports every day but is it useful… … or is it just more stuff? ‘Cathedral of Junk’ DoNotLick
  3. 3. This presentation is about actionable insights – what they are and how you get them. ‘Stop Go’ by Nana B Agyei
  4. 4. Ever played with Google Analytics before? (Fantastic huh!) Now imagine having the same analytics across every aspect of your business…
  5. 5. What a wonderful world!
  6. 6. …are those views of data that cause people to think new questions about how processes work and take action Assimilate insights Create curiosity Invoke an action ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS
  7. 7. Actionable Insights can be generated using a bag of different tools... ’crystal ball’ by pasukaru76
  8. 8. Spreadsheets and Websheets The first true ‘mashup’ tool You can gather data from different places together on a spreadsheet New online spreadsheets have more sharing and data visualization tools like GANT charts, traffic lights, trend arrows (and other cool stuff) PROS CONS • Easy to Learn • Economy • Struggle to cope with big data volumes, particularly map resources etc. • Lots of manual harvesting/normalizing data • Lack richer data visualization tools • Difficult to share and manage versioning
  9. 9. In-Memory ‘Guerrilla BI’ Software Dashboarding and charting platforms that exploit in-memory processing and web 2.0 characteristics More nimble and responsive that mature platform BI players More versatile than spreadsheet tools for creating data views PROS CONS • Low skills overhead • Surprisingly affordable • Powerful data visualization, etc. • Remove need for dedicated BI data repositories or expert staffing • Web/cloud based = no install • More expensive than spreadsheet+ • Generally smaller vendors with less financial strength • Lack the installed base enjoyed by mature BI platform vendors • Tools that demand new ways of working
  10. 10. Mashup and PaaS Platforms Emerged when web server apps and Web 2.0 technologies appeared Agile, code-free, easy to design and deploy apps with powerful data harvesting + Web 2.0 graphics / UIs Friendly, affordable, powerful but… Demand new thinking/change in IT philosophy PROS CONS • Instant-on cloud based • More capable at supporting ‘big data’ views • Low skills overhead • Remove need for dedicated BI data repositories and expert staffing • More expensive than spreadsheet+ and guerilla BI • Generally smaller vendors with less financial strength • Lack the installed base of BI platform vendors • Tools demand new ways of working
  11. 11. Legacy Business Intelligence Platforms The most expensive but very complete Normally require pre-processing of data into data warehouse (OLAP) Powerful, scalable, secure and can do lots as long as you have the cash Require expert skills and systems Not terribly agile, costly to adapt PROS CONS • Completeness of platform features and capabilities • Financial strength of vendors • Knowledge of, and close integration with, core operating platforms and workflows • Expensive – not just to buy and install but to employ dedicated systems and people • Slow to adapt to changing requirements (generally but there are exceptions!!) • Self-service capabilities can be lacking
  12. 12. But maybe I’m going too fast… (Let’s go back)
  13. 13. First Came Business Intelligence Software What’s that? Software that makes your business intelligent?? (SIGH.) GOOD GUESS, BUT YOU SEE THAT’S THE POINT: FEW IT VENDORS EXPLAIN TO BUSINESS PEOPLE - IN WORDS THEY CAN UNDERSTAND - WHAT BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE DOES TO HELP GET THEIR JOB DONE BETTER…AND MAKE THEIR BUSINESS INTELLIGENT Let’s start with what it is, and then explain what it’s for ;-)
  14. 14. What is Business Intelligence? [Business intelligence] Computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data. Wikipedia Pretty broad then. So (again) what’s it for?
  15. 15. It’s much easier to understand what ‘BI’ is for when you break it down into chunks of capability Everyone has an opinion. The four blobs I prefer are: 1. Enterprise Performance Management 2. Daily Operating Controls and Forecast Reports 3. Operational Analytics 4. Social, Community and Predictive Business Intelligence
  16. 16. Enterprise Performance Management This is where ‘BI’ began – Scorecards, dashboards and alerts that report on progress against strategic business objectives, normally focused around Balanced Scorecard principles and methods. It’s about defining strategy, then objectives, then measures, then actions… and then installing a mechanism to report on progress. In reality, dashboards look great and swishy but the most important thing is to setup a small number of objectives that genuinely reflect what the enterprise should be doing and keeping tabs on them. Can you do this with a spreadsheet? Perhaps – but it’s sometimes important to drill-down into the detail of data to understand how a figure has been calculated. Also, sourcing data and reporting can become time consuming and you don’t want to make mistakes. Also, BI tools help to share performance and embody performance management thinking into the day-job of managers.
  17. 17. Daily Operating Controls and Reports This is about meeting budget and forecast targets and providing an early warning system for managers when areas underperform while there’s still time to do something about it. Many of these systems today rely on spreadsheets, basic charts and tabular reports. Creating reports and updating budget and (particularly) forecast data can be hugely time consuming for financial managers. BI tools can gather and share this operational data – make it available on mobile and ‘team TV’s – so that managers and workers are encouraging to achieve more and work together to overcome areas of poor performance. Levels of competition created by powerful reporting tools can encourage every individual to achieve more. Federated reporting systems encourage managers to report in the same way to build a consistent understanding of ‘success’
  18. 18. Operational Analytics These are ad hoc or structured reports designed for the purpose of revealing ‘new questions’ that demand managers to question norms of behavior and seek to improve processes… This is the real ‘actionable insights’ stuff that dreams are made of. It puts the ‘wow factor’ into BI for senior managers and leaders who worry more about what they don’t know than the performance indicators they’re so aware of they’ve built a KPI system around them! Many of these views are about visualizing pipelines, or building new connections between data that aren’t well understood. Many of the views of data require integration with third party data or ‘big data’ that sheds new insights on known data. Maps are used lots too! Often, the challenge with operational analytics is that discovery of an issue requires a new or adapted system or process to be installed and so these platforms can take on the form of ‘half BI’ and half ‘app design’
  19. 19. Social, Community and Predictive Business Intelligence I could just as easily have called this ‘other stuff’ but there are a lot of ways business intelligence is used within a social and community context. Business intelligence is not a stand alone or silo ‘thing’. Increasingly communities require the ability to predict or understand stuff and then, having understood it, they want to do something about it. Business Intelligence, that once was the domain of a small number of senior managers is now ‘social’ and becoming ever more-so. Companies that originally employed BI for Performance Management are using similar tools to predict depreciation of vehicles in customer portals or predicting journey time on customer maps! Many systems vendors are moving away from a two-tier (transactional and analytical) data architecture to a one-tier (checkout SAP Hana)
  20. 20. Maybe, think of it this way… Enterprise Performance Management •Tells me what I need to know about what I know so I know when to worry, who to prod Daily Operating Controls and Reports •Tells me what I need to know in order to fix something before I can’t fix it anymore Operational Analytics •Tells me what I don’t already know Social, Community and Predictive Business Intelligence •Tells our community about what we all want to know
  21. 21. But while this has all been going on the world of business has been changed. Social Networking Mobile Computing Consumerization of IT From Brands to Lovemarks Online Shopping Globalization of Markets Cloudy IT Rise of Individualism
  22. 22. Operational Analytics is now center stage in the BI arena because businesses are looking to… ‘A view from the stage’ Joe Strupek GROW LOYALTY REDUCE ERRORS GROW CAPABILITY GROW AGILITY REDUCE RISKS CUT COSTSGROW COMMUNITIES FIND CUSTOMERS
  23. 23. Grow ‘Loyalty Beyond Reason’ It’s about building more personalized, event-driven, fine-grained communications and reasons to engage customers and stakeholders on their terms It’s about giving your brand over to the people that value it and developing ‘distant deep support relationships’ To do all this you need to understand your customer through their digital persona – ‘customer science’
  24. 24. Grow Communities It’s about building communities – with customers, suppliers, workforce, industry partners… The noughties is a BATTLE FOR COMMUNITIES Many companies are valued by the size of their community If you can gain the attention of a big slice of the communities that matter to your enterprise, it becomes a BIG competitive edge
  25. 25. Find Customers It’s about creating new customers from new connections between the data you have access to on customers… With operational analytics tools you can build an understanding of who in your business knows which customers the best and identify the most effective person/route to engage with them Develop your knowledge of: • Strength of ties • Trust lines • Association, identity and roots • Shared life experiences • Frequency of interactions • Activities and habits
  26. 26. Grow Capability Organizations don’t work in a bubble. Few are best placed to deliver every competency they need to operate their economic engine and discharge their customer value. Realizing the capabilities of customers, suppliers, industry partners, professional associations – workforce – enables executives to grow their ‘gross’ capability and competitive advantage by harnessing the capabilities of others.
  27. 27. Reduce Errors It’s about reducing errors by having a clearer appreciation of how key processes and pipelines of activity work. Operational Analytics tooling will show you how work is progressing through each key pipeline in your business to reveal bottlenecks, points of resourcing constraint, predict where shortfalls in capacity or supply are likely to occur. Methods like Six Sigma and Customer First are all about reducing the errors and process variances that occur by understanding Voice of The Customer and the consequential impact errors have on customer experience. It all begins with capturing actionable insights!
  28. 28. Cut Costs ‘Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency’ epSos.de It’s about achieving economies by understanding sub- optimal processes. Some organizations struggle to fire poor suppliers because they don’t have the analytics to prove poor performance that breaks SLAs. Other organizations waste money on activities that happen in their enterprise that do little or nothing to achieve strategic outcomes (managers simply aren’t aware how staff spend their time. Most organizations lack clear analysis of processes that underpin their business because IT systems are fragmented as are management responsibilities. …. And many other areas. Improvement starts with ‘AI’.
  29. 29. Grow Agility ‘Stretching Elephant’ David W. Siu AGILIZATION = An enterprise that possesses the ability to react to new market opportunities faster than competitors creates an organization that always fits its most profitable addressable markets. Agility has much to do with: • Alertness to change (early warning system) • Preparedness to change (culture and systems) • Ability to change (infrastructure and capability) Actionable Insights are VITAL to agile businesses. They are the ‘food’ that creative, capable leaders depend on. Grow ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS and you grow AGILITY.
  30. 30. In Summary…
  31. 31. Business Intelligence is ONE huge category of the art of IT! • Actionable Insights aren’t a piece of software – they’re what gets produced from (primarily) Operational Analytics tools • Operational Analytics tools range from spreadsheets to sophisticated Business Intelligence platforms • It’s not just about the technology, it’s about how creative you can be to bring data together in new ways and understand how to harness technologies to achieve the outcomes you seek • Operational Analytics are center stage because they have great potential to source AI and create curiosity in management teams that drives all of the outcomes I’ve summarized in this presentation • Operational Analytics tools are difficult to build a case for because you don’t know what you don’t know • To build a compelling RoI for BI in your business you’ll probably need to think about the four main facets of BI and how they bring value
  32. 32. Or (if you’re into Blue Ocean Strategy…) Operational Analytics tools will help you to: Reduce Remove Add Grow • Errors • Operating Costs • Operating Risk • BI Costs (de-skill) • Loyalty Beyond Reason • Communities • Capability • Agility • A Culture of Curiosity • New Customer Relationships • New Ways To Discover Actionable Insights • IT Infrastructure Costs • Programming Overheads/Risks
  33. 33. Thank You. Article Sponsors: Workforce and Talent www.workspend.com IT and Technology www.ustechsolutions.com Data Engineering and Customer Science www.ndmc.uk.com Ian Tomlin is a management consultant and author. He's written several books and hundreds of white papers and articles on the subject of customer science, organizational growth, technology and the evolution of the workplace. Books by Ian Tomlin: Agilization – The regeneration of competitiveness Cloud Coffee House – The birth of cloud social networking and death of the old world corporation SOS - Social Operation Systems

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