Get People and Processes in Line Before Social BI Changes Decision Game

sm flat tilt iPad pic 150x150 photo (business intelligence)In the third quarter of 2010, Genesis Management Consulting Group launched the results of its second global survey on strategic decision-m

sm flat tilt iPad pic 150x150 photo (business intelligence)In the third quarter of 2010, Genesis Management Consulting Group launched the results of its second global survey on strategic decision-making. The survey defined strategic decision as a decision that “could have fundamental and significant impact on the organization.”

The survey captured data from small to large organizations across Europe, the U.S. and APAC, and revealed that more than half of companies felt their strategic decision-making to be poor or inconsistent. And, more than 75 percent of those surveyed admitted to making a poor strategic decision in the past 12 months; with 95 percent admitting negative financial results as an implication of poor decision making.

People & Processes – Root of Poor Decision Making


Genesis revealed that the top decision-making problems were people and process.  The top people problems were unpreparedness of decision-makers and intercompany politics; while top process problems developed from unchallenged assumptions (involving the implementation process) and rushing to a decision before the process was fully scoped.

This survey data reveals that major purchases such as a business intelligence solution should not be taken lightly. And, Gartner’s Predicts 2011 research shows that “organizations will change what types of BI and analytics they use.”

Neil Chandler, research director at Gartner, says in a recent press release that organizations will change their procurement methods for BI solutions and that the solutions will change how information feeds decision making.

Decision-Making Will Change by 2014


With that in mind, it’s even more important to prepare for BI purchases at a strategic level by asking the right questions, mapping the process and eliminating the politics. Why? Gartner predicts that organizations are changing the way “information feeds decision-making.”

Four areas that will either affect or result in strategic decisions show up in Gartner’s Predict 2011 research. In the following sections, we’ll outline how organizations can alleviate poor strategic decision-making by adding these predictions to their overall BI implementation or growth plan.

BI is Moving to Mobile Devices

Gartner predicts that in just two years, “33 percent of BI functionality will be consumed via handheld devices. This will result in an expansion of who will have access to BI applications, which is a good thing. But, it is a process that needs discussion among all affected areas – senior management, supply chain marketing and product management plus all other involved departments.


Gartner says organizations “need to ensure the current BI infrastructure supports [the mobile BI] demands while promoting the use of tablets.” Our recommendation is to consider solutions that are already addressing the mobilization of BI data.

Proactive & Predictive Analytics Are Around the Corner

By 2014, Gartner says that 30 percent of analytic applications will use in-memory functions to add scale and computational speed. In addition, 30 percent of analytics applications will include “proactive, predictive and forecasting abilities.”

What can organizations do to prepare? They can think strategically about the decisions they want to make with predictive analytics and consider where data lives. Gartner says to consider “integration a top selection criteria” to avoid creating more data silos.


40% of Analytics Spend to Systems Integrators

Gartner says that businesses need to rethink buying an analytics software product and then having a systems integrator help with implementation. Due to “user-driven initiatives, external information sources and the integration of unstructured content,” Gartner recommends that business users participate in the selection process of software or SaaS solutions. Additionally, they suggest adding analytics service providers to the short list and base evaluation on industry expertise, functionality and architecture.

The Socialization of BI

Collaboration is the new model for decision-making in competitive organizations, and Gartner predicts that in the next two years, “15 percent of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software into decision-making environments.”


From a strategic decision standpoint, organizations are looking at a culture change with this trend. That will require an across-the-board consensus on how decisions will be made because more users than ever will be affected. And, this is a good thing. Gartner recommends finding an executive sponsor to drive the “cultural change in support of fact-based, transparent decision making who understands the value of specific collaborative decision-making use cases to the organization.”

Our recommendation – Senior sponsorship should help with the people problem. We also suggest working with a vendor on mapping your needs for collaboration and social BI. Be sure the vendor understands your individual organizational processes, so your strategic decision isn’t undermined by a process problem.

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team