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Archive for May 2012

23
May
All Aboard the Cognos Express

All Aboard the Cognos Express

I must confess I am, and always have been, an Enterprise gal. My entire career has been spent in the company of large organisations and big-name brands – Qantas, Australia Post, Telstra, NAB, ANZ, Vodafone, BHP, Toll…if you can recognise the logo, chances are I’ve worked with- or for- them in the past 13 years.

Like their small to mid-sized counterparts, large Enterprises can’t escape the fundamental challenge of meeting the analytical needs of departments with a department-sized budget. For many, an Enterprise-wide approach to analytics is simply not realistic. The challenge of course, is being able to meet the needs of the department, with the comfort that as the organisation grows, the departmental solution can scale to meet the changing needs of the business.

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22
May
Financial Fashion Faux Pas

Financial Fashion Faux Pas

Okay. Let’s talk fashion.

How do you feel about orange jumpsuits? Or a nice little white number with black arrows painted all over? For the real fashionistas out there, you could even accessorise with a ball and chain, or a “special friend”.

It’s not exactly the standard fare chosen by Executives today, but for some, a style forced upon them after failing to acknowledge the seriousness of accurate and timely regulatory reporting. In fact, it was just last year that an entire board of directors at a local water company were sacked for issues surrounding financial governance. They got off lightly by global standards.

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17
May
Crime Prevention

SPSS Superheroes

Who didn’t want to be a Superhero growing up?  For me, it was She-ra, Princess of Power!  And for one brief fancy dress ball I did in fact carry a sword and fight my arch nemesis, Katra.

Whilst many of us never had the super powers required to be the next Spiderman, with the help of IBM predictive analytics, a select group have found innovative and unique ways to reduce crime and make the streets a safer place.

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15
May
Business Analytics Experience

Business Analytics is not a game! Or is it?

A wise leader once said, “It’s not the length of experience that counts, it’s the intensity.” So when IBM was looking for volunteers to promote and facilitate Business Analytics Experience workshops, I jumped at the chance. More than just a set of presentations or product demonstrations, it gives customers “a day in the life” of an executive who has access to the information they need to make more informed decisions, and drive better business outcomes.

With the latest release of the BAE dedicated to the Office Of Finance, I can even sit my husband down and show him what he’s missing out on!

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11
May
Yin Yang of BI

The Yin Yang of BI

If my customers were to describe me using a single word it would be: “passionate“. And there is nothing that brings out the fire more so than hearing comments like: “It doesn’t matter what BI tool we choose, just get the data right.” or “The data warehouse is taking too long to build, just give them access to what you have.” The former is more common amongst IT and consultants, and the latter, a common view of business groups.

It was 10 years ago when I was first introduced the importance of balancing quality information with useful visualisation, which is why I’m amazed companies today still work with unbalanced solutions. It’s what I call the “Yin yang of BI”. Contrary to popular belief, Yin yang are not opposing forces like good and evil, but complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.

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7
May
What If

WHAT IF? Advanced forecasting with TM1 & SPSS

WHAT IF?

Two of the most powerful words in the English language that confirm uncertainty and open the opportunity for understanding. In the world of business, how an organisation addresses these two simple words can determine those that succeed and those that struggle to compete.

WHAT IF you had an intimate understanding of the performance of your organisation?

WHAT IF you could evaluate the impact of your decisions on business outcomes?

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1
May
Weekend Widgets vs Boardroom Benefits

Weekend Widgets vs Boardroom Benefits

“Once upon a time, there was a very large organisation who wanted to rule the kingdom. Each week, their Executives would meet in a room to discuss the performance of their troops, and carry with them a 200 page PDF document printed on paper from the Enchanted Forest. They would sit around their Oak-carved table, and argue through the key performance indicators on the first few pages, only occasionally turning to one of the other 190 pages to find specific detail about why one troop was performing so poorly.

This process continued for years and years, until one day, a Knight in shining blue armour appeared on her beautiful blue horse saying “But wait! There’s a better way to view these results, ensuring you not only rule the kingdom, but preserve the Enchanted Forest. This will bring peace and prosperity to the Kingdom in which you live!”

So the Executives embarked on their greatest journey ever, armed with iPads and an IBM Cognos Active Report to deliver only the information they needed most, with the ability to drill to more detail as needed. The Executives went on to make more informed decisions and rule the Kingdom, spending less time flipping through piles of paper and more time playing croquet.”

Whilst this might sound like a bed time story I tell to my children, the first part is in fact a reality that exists in many organisations today. Important meetings spend more time focused on arguing over who’s version of performance is right, and less time debating the actions that can be taken to deliver better results.

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