Friday, October 24, 2008

Analytics In A Global Recession: Fixed Price Operational Dashboard

As the world economy moves towards a potential global recession companies are asking about how could they could optimized their investments in business intelligence, BPM, data mining, and analytics. The answer is simple: go to a fixed price operational dashboard model that requires vendors and service providers to:

1. Deliver within 90 days a proof of concept (POC) operational decision support system;

2. Operational means that information workers within the company can use the decision support system to meet a company's financial goals;

3. The POC should be measured in one of three simple key performance indicators: increase revenues, decrease costs, or increase the percentage of profits; and

4. Total price for POC should not be more than $25,000

In a recession companies must manage with a laser focus their revenues, expenditures, and investments. Strategic dashboards are nice, but operational dashboards reach down into the income producing worker. The goal of achieving a cost efficient and revenue enhancing operational dashboard is within all companies regardless of the technology that they use (i.e., Oracle/Hyperion, IBM/Cognos, Microsoft SQL 2005 and 2008, SAS, or Business Objects/SAP). Even small companies can use Software-as-a-Service analytics like Zementis to build operational dashboards that are cost efficient.

Let an analytics operational dashboard be the compass that guides your company in this stormy economic times. Contact me at If you would like to work with a technology provider who you can trust to work together in providing a fix cost operational dashboard in the marketing, retail, banking, insurance, manufacturing, CRM, or healthcare industries.

Alberto Roldan

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Monday, October 20, 2008

IT and Enterprise Architecture Metrics: Managing in Tough Economic Times

How can IT demonstrate its value to the CFO in this times of economic downturn? How can IT make the case for funding for new projects? Lately I have seen this type of questions asked more often. The answer is that IT must have metrics that are directly connected to corporate revenues, expenditures, and profitability. In order to develop this metrics IT must partner with the business units. For example, if a business department wants a more efficeint application so that workers spend less time manually completing reports IT must ask to that department: how is the improvement in the application going to affect revenues, expenditures, or profitability. IT and business departments should be sitting down and making project-specific economic forecasts that are measurable in terms of the economic health of a company. If you need assistance in making these forecasts and its accompanying metrics let me know and I will assist you in this area.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Democratization of Analytics - Microsoft Project Gemini

Last week I attended the Microsoft BI Conference. I learned about project Gemini. This project will allow analytics power users in companies to use Excel to do powerful analytics, while simultaneously allowing collaboration among all stakeholders using PerformancePoint. It allows Excel to load over 100 million rows (and about 6 columns) in just a few seconds and then create interactive pivot tables. They are still working on calculations but the demonstration was powerful. If you see Ted Kummert, Bruno Aziza, Kamal Hathi, Donald Farmer, or Amir Netz in a meeting make sure that you let them know that they are doing a great job.

Microsoft is doing a fantastic job at integrating Analysis Services, Integration Services, Reporting Services (the visualizations are robust in SQL 2008 RS), Excel Services, and PerformancePoint. This family of products are very different than SQL Server 2000. If you have followed this products for over 5 years you realize that the 2005 and 2008 products are totally different than the 2000.

A brief note about PerformancePoint and Reporting Services. For the first time I saw powerful visualizations that allow reports to be actionable. This is impressive and tells a lot about the folks working to develop these products.

Sometime ago I wrote: "If anticipation is part of journey, I can hardly wait for the sounds and tastes that will come in the next 12 months when business, technology, and science merge to produce masterpieces to help solve complex business problems." See, Microsoft is providing the right tools for those who do analytics, to do their job in the most efficient manner.

In the Disney-PIXAR movie Ratatouille a Chef says that "anyone can cook". Microsoft is saying anyone can do analytics, and I agree. See,

Business Analytics

Business Analytics

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