Business Intelligence – A Game Changer

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We often hear comparisons in the workplace between business and sport.  One of the fundamental differences between the two is in sport we have the ability to practice before we compete.  Where in business we’re competing on a daily basis with the hope the decisions being made in real time are based on sound data, from the tools we’re currently utilizing – in most cases spreadsheets.

The trending we’re hearing through analyst reports and what we’re witnessing directly from the field is business leaders  now view technology as a means to make up for the lack of “practice” in business.  We can substantiate the findings that best in class companies rely on applications to mitigate risks inherent to spreadsheets.  In other words, companies are looking at ways to streamline and automate repetitive processes in order to remain competitive and make informed decisions faster.

53% of business leaders view streamlining and automating processes as the leading factor in helping drive a cohesive and efficient business (Source: Aberdeen Group).  The systems considered to help in the journey for continuous improvement over recent years has been and is forecasted to continue being Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) applications.

To give a different perspective and in continuing with our comparison between business and sport let’s look at the game of golf.


At first glance we can make an assumption on why Tiger is ranked higher than Rory.  We can come to this conclusion, based on our general understanding of the game, the players themselves and the history of having watched them compete over the years.  It’s not until we drill into the details we can start to see where these players are different, where they excel and where they stumble.  This is precisely what BI and CPM applications do.  They allow business leaders to dive into the details to get a true picture of what is happening (not what has happened) and whether any corrective action is required or to stay the course. 

What we can take from the chart above is there is little margin for error between players as they approach the green and for the most part they’re relatively equal in this regard.  It isn’t until they reach the green where we see a clear differentiation between how they execute and ultimately a better understanding on why Tiger is ranked number one because of his ability to make up ground on the status quo by putting the ball in the hole. 

These stats also confirm the old adage “drive for show, putt for doe” and can be directly applied to the business world.  For instance, liken the drive to the green to repetitive processes businesses are faced with (Financial and Operational Planning, Consolidation and Close, Internal and management reporting, Ad hoc Analysis).  At the same time, let’s consider the time spent on the green to the decision making process in business.  By applying technology to help reduce the amount of time spent on non-value added tasks, such as searching for data, consolidating results and compiling reports where there is little margin of differentiation (drive to the green) and taking more time on making decisions (on the green), the odds are that business leaders will make better, smarter decision, faster than the competition and with confidence in the numbers.

By connecting technology to business processes BI/CPM can help resources become more productive across all departments by helping:

  • Make up for not “practicing” and enabling your business differentiate and compete
  • Automate repetitive processes and allow for more time in making decisions
  • Provide decision makers the ability to drill down to the details and get to the root cause

Lastly, Business Intelligence and Performance Management applications are the number one focus area for the office of finance and a game changer in the evolution of business transformation.

For more information view the BDO Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management Solutions Guide.




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