While analytics are a strong and necessary aspect of business intelligence, addressing operational and managerial concerns through broad analytics strokes is not necessarily the most beneficial – or price-savvy – use of this tool. Technology innovates by the day, but good BI integrates what is needed by a given organization, establishing analytics capabilities based on a personalized understanding. The process of clarification is often referred to as business alignment, and can carry new understanding of your business needs through to other capabilities.
Line of Sight Technique
One way to clarify and streamline your BI strategy, including your use of analytics, is to utilize the “line of sight” technique, which helps reveal the context of data use and its purpose. This practice is based on the concept that, without context, data cannot be viewed or used properly, which can result in data analysis budgets going over.
High-level alignment can be accomplished with the following steps:
- Understand your business strategy: What does your bottom line look like if all expectations of analytics are delivered?
- Take apart your strategy: Next, determine how data will be used to help you meet your strategic goals. Your strategy should meet your business needs, not merely various desires or dreams for your company (although those are vital to your vision and funnel through into business needs, depending on what stage you are in implementation).
- Examine data usage thoroughly: Look at each component part of your data usage, including element, metrics, dimensions, values, and lists. Data requirements can be expressed as a metric, fact, or a contributor to a metric or a fact. All of this helps to maintain focus on a business context.
- Observe patterns: Looking over the way you use information about your strategy implementation can reveal whether you are in fact using analytics to the most effective degree or are working with effective BI. Either answer, or a combination of both, can further refine your strategy.
Once you have broken down your strategy into assessable segments, you can look at each data element and see how it fulfills a particular purpose or capability, or if it could. Consider:
- Examining business objectives: What cycles can you measure – customers, products, and high and low cycle times should all be measured and accounted for.
- Look at what it will take to achieve your measurable goals: How can data help you achieve what you set out to?
- Work actively with metrics: Complete data analysis, using metrics and algorithms, to understand buying patterns, etc.
- Analyze what you find: Look at all data elements, dimension value ranges, and algorithmic results.
- Finally, group KPIs, Metrics, and BIRs: Make sure that you can organize this data and assess it for technical requirements.
The more you understand what your real business needs are, but better you can harness the power of data to meet them. Contact Advisicon today for more information and in-house training on how to better align your business goals!