Category Archives: Best Practices

Best Practices

Business Intelligence TCO

Business Intelligence TCO

Interestingly, despite requiring fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) to support BI deployments, the Best-in-Class are capable of completing BI projects, from start to finish, both on budget and within expected time frames. Additionally, they are delivering BI capabilities to more enterprise users than their counterparts.

This report investigates the key factors that organizations consider important in controlling the total cost of business intelligence implementations. Thirty-seven (37) organizations (20 percent) were found to be Best-in-Class at managing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their business intelligence solutions. Thirty-one percent of the 26 Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) BI users that took part in the survey achieved Best-in-Class status — a higher proportion of its installed base than any other major BI vendor. Figure 1 highlights the number of survey respondents that reported using each vendor’s software, together with the percentage of that vendor’s customers that achieved Best-in-Class.

Interesting article on CRM Buyer

Data Mining Moves to HR

For most of its eight-year history, Cataphora has focused on digital sleuthing. The company hunts for statistical signs of fraud. But in the past few years, Cataphora has been dispatching its data miners into a new market: statistical studies of employee performance.

The trend, though early, is unmistakable, and it extends far beyond Redwood City. Number crunching, a staple for decades in the quantifiable domains of engineering and finance, has spread in recent years into marketing and sales. Companies can now model and optimize operations, and can calculate the return on investment on everything from corporate jets to Super Bowl ads. These successes have led to the next math project: the worker. “You have to bring the same rigor you bring to operations and finance to the analysis of people,” says Rupert Bader, director of workforce planning at Microsoft (MSFT).

Such a mission might have been laughable a decade ago. But as the role of computers in the workplace expands, employees leave digital trails detailing their behavior, their schedule, their interests, and expertise. For executives to calculate the return on investment of each worker, their human resources departments are starting to open their doors to the quants.

From Business Week, an insightful article on how value of each employee is determined by HR using Data Mining/Analytics.

Trends driving Real-Time Data Access

Chris McAllister at TDWI jots down in a convincing manner , the reasons behind the need for real-time data access. Not just that but why these trends will peak in 2008. A very interesting read.

With a growing number of business users and activities dependent on real-time access to real-time information, it is nearly impossible to find a company or function that wouldn’t benefit from having accurate, up-to-date data. For equity markets and currency changes, account balances and user authentication, help desks, marketing promotions, supply chain, patient care, and sales and manufacturing, any organization can justify a demand for faster and more accurate information. Key trends will drive the demand for real-time data in 2008, including: standardization of low-latency data integration across disparate systems, stricter regulations and service level agreements (SLAs), heterogeneous IT environments, management and maintenance of very large database (VLDB) implementations, and globalization.

Business Intelligence To Increase Bottom Line

From Processor Article -

In a 1958 IBM business journal, German computer scientist Hans Peter Luhn coined the term “business intelligence,” aka BI, to define “the ability to apprehend the inter-relationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal.” In an era of nonautomated data collection, detailed analysis on which sound business decisions could be made was limited by human factors. Little could Luhn realize that within 50 years, global organizations would be able to analyze terabytes of disparate information in a fraction of time using powerful and complex BI systems.

“Used correctly, business intelligence can bring significant business benefits to companies in terms of reduced costs, improved business efficiency, increased revenues, and better customer satisfaction,” says Colin White, a 35-year IT veteran and founder of BI Research (

The article also lists Top BI Trends for 2008.

Business Intelligence: The Six Sigma Way

An interesting podcast on achieving audit based practices to achieve excellence in Business Intelligence. Must listen.

From The Three Aspects of Six Sigma Business Intelligence

Applying Six Sigma to the business intelligence world requires a new approach to the creation and management of business intelligence assets. Understanding the business intelligence customer, the goals for business intelligence, and the Six Sigma principles are keys to success. Customer needs are top of the list. Near perfection is the goal. Data, measurement, analysis, and control is the process blueprint for achieving Six Sigma level business intelligence.

The three aspects of a Six Sigma business intelligence initiative are:

1. Strive for a Six Sigma business intelligence product.

2. Identify the customers for business intelligence and define their critical to quality (CTQ) needs.

3. Define and follow a Six Sigma improvement process that:

* Has strong management support,

* Focuses on the customer’s needs,

* Is based on Six Sigma principles, including data, measurement, analysis and control,

* Is iterative and evolutionary, and

* Is pervasive across the business intelligence arena.