All for One and One for All through BI Competency Centers?


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“All for one and one for all” is a popular passage used as a statement of solidarity. BI vendors have been promoting this vision for years as a strategy for putting the power of data-analysis in the hands of all employees in order to bring their strategic business goals to life. Business Objects and Microsoft are among the vendors who have recently announced new strategies and offerings to expand the reach and solidarity of BI. And recent AberdeenGroup research suggests this strategy will gain traction as planned 2007 BI investments are targeted across key functional areas.

Traditionally sales, marketing, and service have not rallied under the “one for all’ flag. Marketing blames sales for not closing leads, sales blame marketing for not generating quality leads, and service blames them both for setting customer expectations too high. The challenge of aligning the various sources of data that support marketing initiatives, that in turn supports corporate goals is critical to delivering the desired customer experience. BI tools and solutions are being adapted to be more “business user” friendly and to provide tighter integration across the enterprise. Many organizations are also implementing BI Competency Centers in order to better define the vision of BI initiatives and to help promote the optimal use of BI and performance management across the organization. In fact, recent research I was involved with revealed that Best-in-Class organizations are more than 3 times as likely as the Industry Average to have BI Competency Centers.

These new developments within the BI market will help drive real value, and is great news for the often overlooked relationship between BI and CRM.

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  1. Alan

    I agree with your suggestion that a balanced scorecard of measures and supporting BI tools need to be better integrated across the different customer-facing parts of an organisation. Having a common view of where the organisation is going and the role you play in getting there is critical for engaging in delivering success, in knowing how well you are delivering it and in identifying Kaizen opportunities.

    There are many ways to do this, of which having a centralised BI Competency Centre is just one. Most successful organisations have more distributed approaches to BI, including leading lights like Capital One.

    I wonder whether the research you quote suffers from the ‘Halo Effect’, whereby having a centralised BI Competency Centre and being successful are artificially conflated together. Perhaps you could shed some further light on the research.

    Graham Hill
    Independent CRM Consultant
    Interim CRM Manager


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