The ability to analyse data and derive insight within the confines of your own desktop is one thing. It’s an entirely different experience when you include the ability to manage budgets, forecasts and planning models within the same interactive workspace.
Married to a Chartered Accountant, I’m all too familiar with the intricate copying, pasting, calculations and hidden functions required to create an interactive forecast using Microsoft Excel. Which begs the question: should I tell him how much easier his life could be using software for which interactivity is an inherent part of its DNA?
If IBM Cognos BI is the Queen, and IBM Cognos TM1 is the King, then IBM Cognos Insight is the Prince of Performance Management. Which is why, this week’s Cognos Insight challenge was to analyse the past three years worth of income and expenses for the Prince of Wales, and create a forward-looking forecast to help him manage his Jubilee year budget.
A customer calls the help desk and gets routed through to you. They are not happy with the service they are getting from your company. You have to decide whether to make them an offer to keep them, or let them leave to a competitor. They may or may not be a profitable customer. They may or may not accept one particular offer over another. You may or may not have enough money left in the promotional campaign budget to make an offer. You have 30 seconds to determine the fate of this customer relationship and the impact on your revenue targets. Your time starts….NOW!
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.