Category Archives: BI Strategy

How to put information into the hands of front-line workers

In a recent post on this blog, my colleague Donald MacCormick, picked-up on a comment from Howard Dresner’s latest Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study: “for the first time, operations moved ahead of executives in 2016 as the leading driver of business intelligence initiatives”

When discussing the findings of this report on Howard’s regular Friday #BIWisdom tweetchat, one contributor said: “More people are recognizing that the value of their data increases when put in the hands of people on the front lines.”

This is a sentiment we at Antivia wholeheartedly agree with, and so, in this post, we’re going to look at some examples of how we can put information into the hands of our front-line workers: Continue reading

Is end-user training killing your BI project?

User TrainingDo you have time set aside in your business intelligence (BI) project plan to train your business end-users? If you do, then I would urge you to think hard about what you are doing, because the need for business user training may well be an indicator that your project will not be the success you are hoping for.

As Mico Yuk is fond of saying, there is only one success metric which matters in BI: User Adoption. And, there are three reasons why the need for business user training kills adoption: Continue reading

Is your organization measuring the right things?

Are you measuring the right things?A while back we worked on a project to improve visibility into sales metrics for a large manufacturer.

Historically, the finance team pulled together a spreadsheet each month which they shared with the sales team. Sales people and their management used this information to track progress against target and to plan their activities for the following month.

The spreadsheet was complex. It was built from multiple data feeds and contained large numbers of interdependent calculations. Each month, it required a Herculean effort to pull the required information together on time and to validate it, ready for the sales team to use. Our remit was to show how we could help reduce the time and effort required to produce this information using dedicated business intelligence software. Continue reading

Two rays of hope from Howard Dresner’s Wisdom of the Crowds

rays of hopeLast week, Howard Dresner, a long-time BI analyst and the person who, back in 1989, coined the modern use of the term Business Intelligence, posted to his blog on Sand Hill an article which, at least to my mind, contained two of the best pieces of news about BI I have heard for a long, long time. These were the following quotes from his “Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study”:


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“Should everyone have access to self-service data integration?”

data scientistAlmost as soon as I had published my last post (speaking up for forgotten business intelligence users), I saw the following question in a tweet from industry analyst, Wayne Eckerson (@weckerson):

“Should everyone have access to self-service data integration?”

This is a bit like asking:

“Should we give sharp knives to all children?” Continue reading

Speaking up for forgotten business intelligence users 

There seems to be a conspiracy in the Business Intelligence (BI) world to ignore the needs of the large majority of users in an organization, namely most of the business users!

I don’t for a minute think this is deliberate. But, it is a significant oversight in a world where getting information to EVERYONE should have become a basic requirement of doing business.

In listening to the commentary around the market, you would be forgiven for thinking that the only capabilities that matter any more are: Continue reading

4 business intelligence lessons from our customers

We were delighted to welcome customers from 3 continents to the UK last week for Antivia’s first Customer Advisory Day. The day was split into a mixture of presentations and interactive discussions. The interactive discussions generated many interesting thoughts and ideas, which has lead me to share with you 4 lessons that I took away from the day: Continue reading

Why you need to get your measures right to get a handle on business performance

ReceivablesSuccessful business intelligence (BI) projects are those that start by defining the business problem they are trying to solve or goal they want to achieve (e.g. we want to increase sales by 10% this fiscal year).

Out of this you will then look at the business questions you need to answer to support your objective (e.g. how are sales performing across different territories?). From this will flow the numbers you need to see to answer these questions (e.g. booked revenue, number of sales, forecast revenue, etc). Continue reading

How dynamic labels and titles provide context to analytics to aid understanding

Business man with smartphone and tabletThis is the fifth article in our series looking at the key requirements of a modern information delivery platform. In earlier articles, we discussed why time to value and ease of use are critical to ensuring the effective use and dissemination of information within our organizations.

In this article, we explore how adding dynamic titles and labels into an interactive dashboard or information application can provide business users with more context around the information they are viewing, which aids understanding. This leads to increased user adoption and ensures that more people have the information they need to do their jobs.

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How to create app-like BI interfaces that ensure widespread user adoption

KPI dashboardPreviously, in this key requirements of a modern information delivery platform blog series we’ve discussed:

In the fourth article in this series, we look at how delivering application-like interfaces that match the way business users think, both makes it easier for people to get answers to their questions and ensures higher user adoption rates.

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