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StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article

How Data Management Can Help You Get More from BI

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures ArticleMaking sound business decisions often relies on extensive analysis from a wide variety of sources, which can be a difficult and laborious process without proper data management solutions. Not taking advantage of modern software services made to manage and govern your information stores in an effective manner can diminish your chances of competing with organisations that do. The business world of today moves at a fast pace, leaving little room for error or experimentation.

To show how business intelligence can be improved via better data management, let’s take a look at how proper data management procedures can drive positive resolutions.

Data Management Suites to Handle Automated Processes

Manually gathering, sorting, and analysing relevant data for your business can be a monumental task that requires a massive amount of manpower. Having the ability to more quickly and efficiently store and retrieve your information in a format that is easy-to-understand and reliable can set you apart from the competition.

Without a proper data management tool such as ZAP Data Hub, you risk missing out on a lot of important data that just can’t be obtained using traditional methods. This reduces your chances of making intelligent business decisions. Data management suites and services are offered by a variety of vendors to meet any industry’s requirements.

Expanding BI Availability Within Your Organisation

If you’re not using information gathering and data-driven decision making across all departments, then you could be missing out on increased productivity and metrics. Lower-level management depends on reports and statistics to be able to do their job effectively; their efforts are hampered by the lack of a fast and simple way to acquire the data they need.

Putting more power into the hands of those who actually use business intelligence to make important decisions can liberate their reliance on other groups and allow for much faster solutions.

Real Time Results Can Make for Quick Decision Making

The slow turnaround time from the request of a data report to its delivery can be a huge roadblock that deters the ability to make speedy resolutions on the fly. The time it takes for a team of people to collect, analyse, and extrapolate real information from a chunk of data is monumental compared to the relative ease in which automated systems can process the same data. Lightning-fast collection and reporting – in real time – allows for far greater flexibility for decision makers and speedy response times.

Automation Allows More Time Spent on Examination

Traditional methods of reporting usually rely on IT or executive branches of your organisation to do the heavy lifting when it comes to data acquisition and publication. In today’s heavily data-driven environment, the need for expedient delivery of records is paramount to success. Following traditional procedures puts your organisation at a disadvantage compared to those who understand the importance of proper data management. It has never been easier to automate these laborious data collection and reporting tasks with modern data management solutions, thereby giving your IT department more time to work on their primary tasks.

Companies live and die by the fortitude of their data management and governance principles. Those that have a tenuous grasp of their data and what it really means are doomed to make poor decisions. Getting the most out of your BI tool requires modern methods and technology-driven protocols.

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business Article

The Big Picture of Business – How Business Advice Turns Into Company Strategy

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleWithin every corporate and organizational structure, there is a stair-step ladder. One enters the ladder at some level and is considered valuable for the category of services for which they have expertise. This ladder holds true for managers and employees within the organization, as well as outside consultants brought in.

Each rung on the ladder is important. At whatever level one enters the ladder, he-she is trained, measured for performance and fits into the organization’s overall Big Picture. One rarely advances more than one rung on the ladder during the course of service to the organization in question.

  1. Resource: equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
  2. Skills and Tasks: duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
  3. Role and Job: assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
  4. Systems and Processes: structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions
  5. Strategy: planning, tactics, organizational development.
  6. Culture and Mission: values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
  7. Philosophy: purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

7 Levels of Authority Figure

  1. Self Appointed. Flash in the Pan. What they were doing five years ago has no relationship to what they’re now marketing. They reap temporary rewards from momentary trends. They’re here today, weren’t an authority figure yesterday and likely won’t be tomorrow. Yet, today, they’re demanding your complete trust, respect and allegiance.
  2. Temporary Caretakers of an Office. Public officials. Appointed agency heads in a government bureaucracy. Respect is shown to the temporary trust they hold.
  3. Those Who We Think Control Our Destiny… for the Time Being. Caretakers of corporate bureaucracies, departmental supervisors, short-term clients, referral sources for business development and those who dangle carrots under people’s noses.
  4. Those Who Remain Through the Peter Principle. Supervisors and public servants who made fiefdoms by outlasting up-and-comers. Longevity is due to keeping their heads down and noses clean, rather than excelling via special talents-achievements. Still living on past laurels.
  5. Those Who Really Empower People. These are a rare breed… the backbone of well-run organizations. Some do what they do very well in poorly-run organizations. They may not be department heads, but they set exemplary standards and inspire others toward positive accomplishments. Category 2, 3 and 4 authority figures either resent them and try to claim credit for what they do… or are smart enough to place them in effective, visible roles. Some advance into management and encounter similar situations there too.
  6. Have Truly Earned Their Position-Respect. Also a rare breed. Those who excelled at every assignment given and each stage of their career. Never were too busy to set good examples, share ideas with others and help build the teams on which they played.
  7. Never Stop Paying Dues, Learning, Sharing Knowledge. The rarest breed of all. Distance runners who created knowledge, rather than conveyed that of other people. Though they could coast on past laurels, for them, the best is yet to come.

7 Levels of Advice Given

  1. Answers to Questions. There are 7 levels of answers which may be given, depending upon how extensive one wants: Easy and Obvious Ones, Knee-Jerk Reactions, Politically Correct, What People Want to Hear, Factual and Complete Explanations, Answers That Get Them Thinking Further and Deep Wisdom.
  2. Observations on Situations. These take the forms of “When this happened to me, I did X,” or “If this occurred with me, I would Y.” It’s often good to see things through someone else’s perspective.
  3. Subjective Viewpoint. Friends want what is best for you. This level of advice is usually pro-active and is influenced by the advisor’s experiences with comparable situations.
  4. Informed Opinion. Experts have core-business backgrounds upon which to draw. Advisors bring facts, analysis and methodologies of applying their solutions to your case. Niche consultants provide quality viewpoints… as it relates to their talents and skills. Carefully consider the sources.
  5. Researched Options. Investments in research (formal, informal, attitudinal, demographic, sociological) will avert unnecessary band aid surgery expenses later. Research leads to planning, which is the best way to accomplish tasks and benchmark success.
  6. Discussion of Outcomes-Consequences. Most actions and decisions in an organization affect many others. At this level, advisors recommend that sufficient planning be conducted… please take their advice. The more strategic and Big Picture in scope, then planning reaps long-term rewards.
  7. Inspiring Directions. This gets into Visioning. Planning and going to new heights are stimulating. The mannerisms and substance by which any organization achieves its Vision requires sophisticated advice, deep insights and creative ideas.

7 Levels-Tiers of Qualifying Consultants

  1. Wanna-be consultants. Vendors selling services. Subcontractors. Out-of-work people who hang out “consulting” shingles in between jobs. Freelancers and moonlighters, whose consultancy may or may not relate to their day jobs. (26%)
  2. Entry-level consultants. Those who were downsized, out-placed, retired or changed careers, launching a consulting practice. Prior experience in company environment. (19.5%)
  3. Grinders. Those who do the bulk of project work. Conduct programs designed by others. 1-10 years’ consulting experience. (35.49%)
  4. Minders. Mid-level consultants. Those with specific niche or industry expertise, starting to build a track record. 10-20 years’ consulting experience. (13.5%)
  5. Finders. Firms which package and market services. Most claim they have all expertise in-house. The more sophisticated ones are skilled at building and utilizing collaborations of outside experts and joint ventures. (3.5%)
  6. Senior level. Veteran consultants (20 years+) who were trained for and have a track record in consulting. That’s what they have done for most of their careers. (2%)
  7. Beyond the strata of consultant. Senior advisor, routinely producing original knowledge. Strategic overview, vision expeditor. Creativity-insight not available elsewhere.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor Hank Moore

Where Do They Go To Get Business Advice?

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleBusinesses operate at a pace such that they grab for help wherever it is available. More often than not, they reach toward the wrong resources, the untied advisors and sources that send them down rabbit holes.

It is lonely at the top. There are many demands upon entrepreneurs and senior management of companies. Each organization is confronted with challenges and opportunities, both real and perceived. It is tough to tackle all the obstacles and feel that substantial progress is being made.

Businesses spend so much time on momentary pieces of their puzzles that they neglect long-term Strategic Planning and miss potential successes. Costs of band aid surgery and make-good work cost six times that of planning for business on the front end.

The need exists for comprehensive business ideas and growth strategies. The need is ever-present for interfacing with senior executives and updating management skills, to avoid burnout and stimulate the seasoned professionals toward new heights. Top management regularly needs the creative inspiration to take the company to new heights. Cutting-edge executives (the very top and those about to take the mantle) need seasoned advice and inspiration.

Here is where they go to get ideas, strategies and help, in the order where they commonly go. The lower numbers represent introductory resources. The highest numbers are where they should be reaching.

1. Hearsay and third hand

  • Comments heard at parties and networking functions
  • Uninformed sources
  • Friends of friends
  • High participation networkers
  • Research and surveys

2. Special Interests

  • Websites containing educational material as a way to sell services
  • Surveys and their feedback

3. People Selling Stuff

  • Vendors who distract you, using expressions like “funding to grow your business.”
  • Online marketing firms
  • Internet solicitors and sellers
  • Website consulting

4. Internal Management

  • People you work with
  • Mid-managers and supervisors
  • Corporate leadership

5. Niche Experts and Consultants

  • Trainers
  • Freelance consultants, per industry niche
  • Banking, insurance benefits, human resources, etc.
  • Technology consulting firms
  • Researchers

6. Educational Programs

  • Speakers
  • Seminars
  • Panels at forums
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Material published or broadcast in the media

7. Books

  • Articles excerpted for meetings
  • Blog material posted online
  • Thin self-published books by people seeking to establish a platform
  • Online articles and blogs
  • Serious books in libraries
  • Cutting-edge books with original material

8. Advocacy Groups

  • Business clubs
  • Chambers of commerce
  • People with whom you work in community and charity leadership roles
  • Boards of directors
  • The Better Business Bureau
  • SCORE
  • Small Business Development Center
  • Trade industry groups
  • Associations
  • Political action committees
  • Community alliances
  • Professional alliances
  • Consortiums of business
  • Cross-industry cooperative initiatives

9. Mentors

  • Pier advisory groups such as Vistage, Silver Fox Advisors
  • One-on-one coaching
  • CEO roundtables
  • Corporate heir apparent training
  • Programs such as Shark Tank, Fox Den, Ted Talks
  • Leadership programs

10. Senior Business Advisors

  • Professional service firms, including lawyers, accountants, marketing, public relations, quality management

11. Major Business Gurus

  • Track record experts with many years in advising strategically

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article

Predictive Analytics Tools Can Create a Better Workforce

Understanding What Predictive Analytics Is

Predictive analytics (PA) is well known in many business arenas but has never entered Human Resources until recently. PA is a form of technology that learns from other existing data. This process results in predictive results. It is most frequently used to predict very specific individual behaviors in Human Resources.

Predictive analytics examines data or content to answer the question “What is likely to happen?’’ This is important in any business area but is critical to Human Resources who previously depended on intuition to determine future needs of both the company and employees.

With the support of predictive analytics, it’s no longer necessary to make decisions because of intuitive feelings, or ‘’gut’’ reactions to some issue or plan. Data is gathered, analyzed and presented quickly, without stumbling or bumbling on the data or statistics. Intuition or ‘’gut’’ feelings are often unsuccessful, while data mining information that predicts uncertain outcomes is much more reliable and trustworthy.

How Predictive Analytics Affects Recruiting

Applying predictive analytics in Recruiting and Staffing helps companies foresee and enhance several areas, including:

  • Potential top talent is easier to identify with predictive analytics. This makes a recruiter’s job much easier and accurate. Predictive analytics can easily identify the candidates with the most potential, better understand when these talents can be contacted and understand if and why a job opening may be attractive to candidates.
  • Predictive analytics helps companies optimize the responses to their job openings. The analysis can help companies understand how duration, location, occupation and industry will likely affect recruiting results.

Why Companies Utilize Predictive Analytics in HR

73% of companies surveyed said the primary reason they used analytical data was to make the workforce planning process more efficient. 69% believe the main reason to utilize predictive analytics is to more accurately plan for the future and also, create plans to eliminate skills gaps in their organizations. 65% of companies credit predictive analytics as identifying high potential employees.

Other companies indicated that predictive analytics provided better analysis of company needs to align people and company strategy; while others indicated that analysis provided the needed links between performance and compensation; the remaining companies surveyed stated that predictive analytics provided more in-depth knowledge of external talent pools.

Predictive Analytics Helps HR Look Forward

HR has historically been responsible for forecasting the right amount of talent and knowing when to hire additional talent. Unfortunately, before predictive analytics was utilized in HR, the forecasting was more backward-looking than forward. For example, one or more employees terminate, and HR suddenly decides there is talent disproportion.

Unfortunately, few companies have implemented predictive analytics for their HR groups. According to Deloitte, in 2015, only about 8% of global organizations have adopted PA for their Human Resources groups.

The few companies that utilize predictive analytics have had great success and freely share their efforts and results. For example:

  • Google: This company is a strong advocate of statistics and freely admits that it is the most critical tool in their Human Resources group. All interview questions in their hiring process are computerized and perfected to ensure that the best candidates are hired. Additionally, Google’s predictive analysis can estimate the likelihood of future terminations, why they are terminating, and what could have been done to circumvent the termination.
  • Hewlett Packard (HP): HP is also a leader in the HR predictive analytics arena. Recently, HP shared with news media that ‘’when their attrition rates started moving upwards, they utilized predictive analytics to predict which employees were likely to leave by developing a ‘Flight Risk’ score.” This analysis was able to define both the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of their 300,000+ employees who would potentially terminate. For example, higher pay, promotions and better performance ratings were negatively related to flight risk, but the analysis proved that there were strong relationships between these findings. For instance, they were able to analyze that a promotion without a substantial pay increase would likely result in a termination.

“HP’s Flight Risk scores helped managers make better decisions since the early warning signal from Flight Risk allowed time for managers to intervene or if the loss was unavoidable, it prepped the manager to react accordingly. The predictive analysis in Flight Risk allowed HP to save an estimated $300 million.”

The extensive time previously spent on creating charts, reports, quotients, etc., will soon be history because predictive analytics easily allows organizations to analyze the past and predict upcoming trends for both positive and negative analytics.

The end result of having predictive analytics in Human Resources is the ability to predict future needs that are accurate and verifiable. This becomes the organization value to business that Human Resources has long struggled to create. HR has for years attempted to get the infamous ‘’seat at the table’’ and predictive analytics will ensure this happens.

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article

Ways Data Analytics Can Boost Your Business’ Growth

Big data is here to stay, and although that can present a few challenges to business (storing it, keeping it safe, etc.), for the most part, it is a boon, which if used correctly can easily boost business growth.

If you’re still skeptical about the use of data analytics, take a look at these very real ways it they can boost business. They’ll have you convinced in no time:

It Can Improve Ordering

If you collect and analyze past sales data, you can identify trends in your company’s sales so that you can order exactly the right amount of stock for your needs. This will help to ensure that you don’t run out of anything, thus helping to keep the customer happy, and it will ensure that you don’t end up ordering too much and spending money on something that will just go to waste.

It Makes for Better Product Management

Analyzing sales data is also a good way to find out which of the thousands of products that you could be selling are the most popular so that you can stock more of the things that are likely to sell in big numbers and fewer things that are unlikely to make you very much money at all.

It Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve ever spent a small fortune on advertising only for it to fail and not bring in as many customers as you would like, there is a good chance that you simply were not targeting the right people or you had the right audience in mind, but you weren’t targeting them effectively. If you were to do what the digital marketing agency MyOptimind do, or even hire them, and use data to improve your marketing efforts, you would be able to spend less money and get greater returns because you would know exactly what pushes your target audience’s buttons.

It Can Help You Train Your Staff

If you collect data on your staff and how they work, then you can use it to identify undesirable patterns in their work or areas in which they aren’t as productive as their peers. Why is this important? Because once you know what your employees’ strengths and weaknesses are you can tailor future training packages to target them, thus saving you money while improving your business from the inside out.

It Can Help You Cut Costs Everywhere

Of course, if you collect data, with Zoho, for example, on every aspect of your business from ordering to time spent fielding calls, you could work out where your time is being well spent and where it is being wasted, as well as identifying where you’re spending too much money and by analysing this data, you would be able to make changes to save money and boost productivity.

You Can Find Upselling Opportunities

If you can use data to identify when certain products are bought in conjunction with others, you can start offering cross-promotions that are likely to appeal and which could be pretty lucrative over the years.

You see, data really is important – time to start collecting it!