Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why I committed "Facebook suicide"

  • Giving my personal details away so others can make money by advertising to me doesn't seem a good trade-off to me.
  • I found myself spending too much time trying to figure out the always-changing privacy options to make sure that I didn't accidentally share too much.
  • So much time and effort spent blocking FarmVille and other distractions. (Do they really have more than 1% of the world population on that thing?!)
  • I prefer spending time with people in the real world: meals out in restaurants, a glass of wine at a pavement cafe, a few guys meeting over a beer one evening every couple of weeks, strolling through the park or sitting in the shade and watching the world go by.
  • Some of the comments towards the end of Emma Justice's article struck a chord with me.
  • It's not that I subscribe to the conspiracy theories, but it does make you think!
  • All in all, there were just too many concerns to evaluate: my life is busy enough without having to keep on top of them!
Some tips on how to delete your Facebook account here and here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Conflict abounds

In many BI projects there's a high risk of cross-department conflict. It may not be widely observed initially, but is normally evident from the outset.

BI projects involve linking data from multiple systems. This brings the organisation into conflict over scope, priorities and resource, often for the first time on this scale. Without clear leadership and tight control, personal agendas will increasingly dominate.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are often displayed on a digital dashboard and are the primary metrics by which you measure how your business is performing. They are made up from consolidating information within your databases so as to be able to represent an indicator as a figure.

A KPI is usually Specifc, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Oriented and Time-bound. So a target such as, 'Increase Customer Sales by 20%' could be measurable as a KPI as it meets these criteria; whereas 'Staff Morale' may not be.

KPI information is usually stored in an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) database.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Digital Dashboards

Why is this post one of the most popular on this site? Compared to recent stuff it's boring and with very little content: I'm thinking of deleting it!

A digital dashboard gives you a one page view of all the key information pertinent to your business. This would generally include information in anumber of formats, including graphs, charts and tables Generally, there would also be a method for changing some of the information (such as a dropdown box) to enable you to get more detailed information, easily.

The information shows in the digital dashboard is generally your primary Key Performance Indicators.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) is a term used to describe a set of concepts and systems that give you the ability to make predictions and decisions based on the information in your corporate systems. Prior to the abundance of Business Intelligence, businesses lacked the resources to track and analyse data, and typically made business decisions on the basis of intuition. With Business Intelligence, you have the ability to make decisions on facts presented by your corporate systems.

Monday, June 7, 2010

BI projects are unique

Business Intelligence projects are unique; they are not the same as other IT projects and failures are common when BI is treated as a regular IT project. If you ask “If BI project success has never been achieved before, why will this project succeed?” and do not receive a satisfactory answer, there is an issue to resolve immediately. These projects are too important to trust to hope and to people who are learning whilst on-the-job.

IT-led BI projects fail 8 out of 10 times. Moving early with the acquisition of new software tools creates a mind-set of, “We have chosen the tools, now let’s find the problems.” This in most cases results in problems being shaped to fit pre-determined solutions and is a significant cause of failure.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Meeting strategic priorities

We've recently worked with an organisation that's at risk: by focusing on acquiring software there's a risky attitude of, "We've found the solution, now what are the problems?!"

There’s a risk that tools will answer the wrong questions, ones that don’t relate to strategic business priority; and a risk that information will be in error due to poor data quality; and further risk that data quality will degrade over time without addressing the ‘governance’ issues of how it is accurately maintained - the people and the processes are just as important as the technology.