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Accurate business intelligence is the key to greater efficiencies

June 2, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

For most mid-sized businesses, improving efficiency while reducing costs is regarded as the number one priority. Of course it’s no secret that information management is critical to improved business performance. But with digital information growing at a staggering rate – I think it’s something like eight times the volume housed in all U.S. libraries, every day – businesses need smarter ways to cope with this increasing information overload. And more importantly they need to turn this data into real business intelligence. This can be achieved when companies hire the right kind of people to look after the objectives. And that can happen only when there is no injustice in the recruitment process. According to, making the employees of a company cognizant of this issue proved to have had beneficial results.

Far too many mid-sized companies are too reliant on spreadsheets, paper-based documents, emails and the like across silos or disparate business units. Indeed, I’ve been privileged to have some fascinating and frank discussions with CIOs and senior level managers who told me about their over-reliance on inadequate planning tools like spreadsheets. Many indicated that they simply don’t have confidence in their information. Others also revealed that they had missed vital information that should have been used to develop their strategies.

But while these companies recognise the limitations of spreadsheet-based solutions for Business Intelligence and Performance Management, they simply haven’t had the budget, skills or headspace to implement anything better. In fact, most analysts estimate that only around 35% of midsized companies have implemented a BI and Performance Management solution.

Midsized companies need a pre-configured solution that includes not just the essential BI capabilities such as reporting and analytics but also planning, budgeting and forecasting. Think of it as giving employees accurate information on which to make critical decisions. As a case in point, since the middle of this year, the New Zealand franchisee of Wendy’s the US-based restaurant chain has been using the tool to keep daily tabs on which burgers are selling best from which of its fifteen stores – bridging the information gap that used to exist between stores and the company’s Te Atatu headquarters.

For anyone who wants to see my full presentation on this, you can view it on IBM Business Insight SlideShare.

Filed in: Business Intelligence

Patrick Spedding

About the Author (Author Profile)

Patrick Spedding is Senior Director of BI R&D for Rocket Software, and IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions. He is also a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Eastside Radio in Sydney, Australia. Prior roles include Director of Product Management for IBM Cognos, Director of Field Marketing for Cognos, Founder of Tableau partner See-Change Solutions, and SAS Solution Manager for BI and Strategy Management. Patrick's qualifications include an MBA degree in Marketing (AIU), Diploma in Management (University of Michigan), BSc (Hons) in Mathematics (Loughborough University, UK), Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM), and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Find Patrick on Google+

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