Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Role-Based Business Intelligence

Ron Dimon and Simon Tucker wrote an interesting article called Role-Based Business Intelligence, published in DM Review this month.

They talk about the Role-based BI (RBI), based on that different people responsible for different roles and activities in an organization need to look at information in different ways at different times. They demonstrate a new way of making RBI a reality in your organization, based on three critical success factors of RBI: focus, alignment and accountability.

They explain the focus, showing that Rolling-out solutions for each job title could simplify things a bit.

The focus should be at the intersection of a user’s business function (marketing, sales, operations and finance, for example) and their “layer” in the organization: strategic, operational or tactical.

They define four kinds of intersection alignment:
- Cross-functional alignment – This is where information from one function, perhaps marketing, is aligned with another, such as finance.
- Cross-layer alignment – Within a function, information is aligned top to bottom (strategic to tactical) and is generally more granular the further down through the layers.
- Role-to-role alignment – There is also necessary alignment from intersection to intersection (or focus area to focus area).
- Alignment with strategy – BI solutions and information must tie back to what’s good for the company.

About accountability, they talk about measures, weighted by degree of control for instance: Measures that I have some control over weighted at 50 percent, Measures my department has some control over (that my performance has contributed to) weighted at 25percent and Overall company measures (that my department has contributed to) weighted 25 percent.

There is also a role-based component for BI tools, based on the layer of the business:

They also talk about what they consider a New Way to Look at RBI:
- The whole point of RBI is to deliver the right tool and the right information so that businesspeople can make the right decisions and take the appropriate action.
- The metrics need to be the right mix of financial and operational, leading and lagging, tangible and intangible indicators, and they need to follow a value-chain hierarchy in order to “drill down” into the details.
- To get the most BI buy-in across a company, use the right tool-based on the appropriate layer for various users within the organization.
- This approach helps break down information silos and improve line-of-sight visibility across and down the organization, which improves for better communication, collaboration and ultimately strategy execution.

This is an interesting article and I think the Role-Based Business Intelligence could be a good approach to implement BI throughout company.

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