Business Intelligence Drives Continuous Improvement: How do you know if your company is improving?

By George Wellock, Senior Management Consultant


George specializes in best practices in aligning business processes and technology.

4 Simple Steps to Achieve the Best BI Results

As companies seek continuous improvement, the trend is pairing real-time analytics (such as SAP HANA) with one or more improvement techniques (such as Lean, Six Sigma).  The result:  stronger business intelligence (BI) and data quality that can deliver better performance through more effective understanding and utilization of people, process and technology.

The basis for Pragmatek's highly effective, continuous improvement technique -- Business Process Technology Alignment (BPTA) methodology -- is the following simple steps to help achieve the best BI results:

Begin with the end in mind (PLAN)

What do your key stakeholders (customers, internal stakeholders, and shareholders) require of you? Establish your business objectives and identify the processes that will deliver these results. Use solid data to establish your baseline and establish expectations that your entire organization can get behind. Target improvements that will stretch and challenge your teams.

Basic blocking and tackling (DO)

How do you achieve the necessary results? Build a strong program management capability within your organization and implement the plan you’ve laid out. For each process under review for improvement, collect key performance indicators (KPIs), i.e., critical data from your BI system for your metrics scorecard and analysis.

Measure for expected results (CHECK)

How do you know if you are improving? Compare your actual results against the expected targets or goals from your project plan to see improvements. Chart your data to make it much easier to see improvement trends over time and build your business case for ongoing improvement initiatives. Provide executive dashboards from your BI tools to share progress and garner ongoing leadership support.

Standardize your Improvements (ACT)

How do you take advantage of improvements for the long haul? As you confirm the improved performance, roll out the changes to all affected parts of your organization. Make it the new standard process and use it as the baseline for your next set of improvements.

Information obtained through your BI / analytical tools will drive continuous improvement. Implementing your portfolio of Improvements will provide strong return on your BI investments, such as SAP HANA. This iterative relationship will guide you to improved business performance and, over time, substantial revenue and profit impacts for your business.