Liz ThackerayDRAFT: BI/BPMNov 2014

Business Intelligence and Performance Management

One cry that was prevalent during the 80s was the worry regarding ‘Information Overload!’. Widespread initiatives and work to develop Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Performance Management (BPM) solutions gathered momentum from the escalating technology advances in the last decades of the 20th century. The primary goal of BI/BPM initiatives in this new environment was to support a modern-day advance not unlike the advent of the Combine in the early-mid 1800s. In the same way that the Combine automated the harvest of wheat (mechanically separating the wheat from the chaff), BI and BPM tools “separate what is useful or valuable from what is worthless”[1]. The capabilities that are available in the marketplace today enable an organization to use their data to generate value-adding information for operational and management decisions.

  1. Information as an Asset

Every organization uses multiple Information System applications to meet business requirements. These applications capture exponentially-growing data stores. The data stores are intangible assets and should be managed appropriately. The ‘Information’ stored in the data provides guidance to those who use it throughout the organization. It represents organizational knowledge that is hidden in the data. BI and BPM metrics tools deliver that knowledge to the appropriate audience.

  1. Business Intelligence

BI provides quantifiable information as a base for identifyingthe who, what, and when of historical activities for an organization. This is extended by Business Analytics which use that historical data to determine planning for future activities[2]. With effective BI, the Right information is provided to the Right people within the organization, at the Right time, in the Right place, and in the Right format to facilitate the ability for operational and management organizational staff to make the Right business decisions.

Investments in business information should support all the people within an organization, from the operational efforts of ‘boots on the ground’ staff through the management of strategic initiatives established by executive leadership. The scope of output provided by BI tools leverage this information, providing required knowledge for a single unit within an organization, for operational coordination between business units, or for the enterprise as a whole.

  1. Business Performance Management

“Business performance management (BPM) is a systematic management process for planning and budgeting enterprise performance, measuring performance against financial and operational targets, and taking corrective actions.”[3]

Delivered most accurately with strong foundational BI practices and architecture.

Determine how to leverage BI to measure performance. Use statistical metrics (% of compliance, % of variance from expected result) to quickly communicate information measuring organizational achievements and alignment with goals.

Example: outreach – compliance with new requirements

  • Justify outreach efforts – measure actual performance
  • Identify root causes for poor performance and indicate direction for future outreach efforts – plan for and predict the future.
  • Identify alignment with KPI goals (e.g., office supply costs)

lessons learned embedded in data

  1. Information Management and Architecture

How to ensure BI/BPM metrics are reliable -> can they be trusted? Operational and Enterprise decisions based on ‘information’ contained within the data.

Highlights needs for intergrity, reliability, appropriate delivery.\

History replete with examples of regrettable decisions based on bad information.

  1. Governance - Standards, Policies, Alignment with strategic goals/mission statements (high-level)

Critical – one version of the truth

Definition, including identification of entity attribute sourcing and stewardship responsibilities at enterprise level to ensure integrity of data – confidence that the best info needed to determine decision is accurate/reliable.

Someone must be assigned these responsibilities with involvement of upper-level organizational or executive management in determining definitions.

  1. Data Warehousing – application, enterprise

Critical – information architecture to facilitate operational and enterprise needs for purposes of information retrieval.

Use of data architecture to facilitate and advance organizational goals, providing reliable info to those who need it.

Operational (real-time) vs. Management (point-in-time) reporting

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[1] Separate the Wheat from the Chaff – retrieved 10/23/14from

[2] business intelligence (BI), 11/2006, retrieved 10/23/14 from

[3] Performance Management and Business Intelligence: A Power Combination, retrieved 10/20/14 from

, Williams, N. and Williams S., August 16, 2010