Some BI objectives for 2013 (and maybe just a tad of wishful thinking)
As we put 2012 behind us, I started thinking of what I would like to see in the new year. There’s something about the end of the year that allows you a little more freedom to wish.
And I like wish lists, they make me feel good. People tend to create them at year-end as part of summing up and taking stock and looking forward, but they’re really useful throughout the year.
As a fitness professional, my wife likes to inspire people to do their best, and is a firm believer in setting goals in writing. There seems to be something magical about committing thoughts and goals to writing. So I suggest as you enter the new year to keep a running wish list that combines some lofty objectives with well-defined tasks that you know you can conquer with some time and effort.
Without further ado, here’s the wish list I’ll take into 2013.
- Companies will get serious about performance measurement. It’ll be a great day when we bring the same matter-of-fact dedication and energy to performance measurement as we do to financial measurement. Companies that use performance metrics like KPI’s to measure their business will do better than if they run by the seat of their pants.
- Companies will stop buying software and start buying better short-term and long-term decision-making. This has been on my list for a long time. Software doesn’t solve business problems, people solve business problems using software as a tool to facilitate their decision-making process.
- IT shows up to a meeting and says “Yes” instead of “No”. A guy can dream, right? It’s time for IT Departments to embrace BI projects as a must-have rather than nice-to-have initiative. I see them working much more collaboratively with end-users to define a usable solution.
- Your next BI leader emerges. Look for the person who’s not ok with the status quo and it relates to information. Maybe they see something you can benefit from.
- We find a cure for Corporate ADD. The focus of BI needs to shift from viewing data in fancy charts to acting on information. I’m not advocating that we develop systems that are hard to use, but can we please get over the obsession with shiny dials and gauges and instead focus on meaningful visualizations that that drive business forward?
- We embrace some outrageous challenges, like BI implemented in 72 hours. Oh, you say, the BI I know could never be implemented in just 72 hours. Then maybe it’s time to update your definition of BI. Let your curiosity get the best of you, or just be lazy. Your choice.
- BI users rise up!… to demand mobile solutions and collaboration tools. The desktop PC is dying. Help companies like IQ for Business get it right. Be vocal and hold us accountable.
- Once and for all, let’s stamp out the idea that you have to choose between “old and busted” and “the new hotness.” (Anyone catch the Men in Black reference there?) The point is that BI systems aren’t divided into two buckets called “simple and limited” and “complex and expensive.” Don’t let yourself be trapped by this false choice. Simple doesn’t have to be limited.
- The end of the tyranny of Big ERP. People will be fined when they utter the phrase: We have to do it that way because of our ERP system. Fines double if you’re in IT.
- You have a healthy, happy, enlightened 2013. And remember what Winston Churchill taught us: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”