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The Top 3 Myths about Business Intelligence

Myth 1. BI is a technology solution.
Myth 2. BI is all about data warehousing.
Myth 3. The IT function can take care of BI.

The July edition of the PMI Network magazine carries an article entitled Get Smart. In the article, Malcolm Wheatley outlines some good case studies that dispel the above myths around Business Intelligence.

The example that caught my eye (mainly because it is close to my heart) is that of Coca-Cola Amatil in Australia, and what they have done with BI to drive improvement. By using good business intelligence, they were able to avoid investing in additional production capacity by improving their existing line capacities. I'll let you read the details of this case, but the basic steps of BI were followed:

  • Collect data. At Amatil, they collected highly granular, second-by-second data off their line PLC's.
  • Store it. Warehouse your data.
  • Carry out that Analysis. Look and data trends and patterns over time or compare what is happening in one location over another. Those of you who have read some of my Six Sigma posts will see the relevance on BI in analysing processes to get to the root cause of problems.

Dispelling those Myths:

  1. BI is a technology solution. No, it is not. BI is a management initiative powered by data.
  2. BI is all about data warehousing. No, it is not. The analytics and reporting are at least as important. (Good to know when you are chosing a BI solution or vendor).
  3. The IT function can take care of BI. Yes, BUT - if you want measures that are 100% focused on the objectives of the business, the business better have total ownership of the BI solution. IT should certainly take care of the data warehousing.




What information do you need to run your business?
Understand what data your business processes generate. Capture and store it.
Make the time to analyze this data. Look for trends over time; for patterns that point to problems in your business.
Improve your business!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


In the 1990s I worked in factory automation, and the problems were the same: people thought they knew what was going on in their plants, yet thought they did. Showing them that lack of information was a root cause of their production problems wasn't easy. It really boils down to your operating definitions, and ensuring that you really do know what you think you know.

Now, I'm doing the same thing for sales and marketing organizations. It's good solid work, but not for the weak or the weary!

Michael Webb
Sales Performance Consultants, Inc.