Now You Have Access to Your Data, Now What Do You Do With It?

I recently read a study by the Aberdeen Group regarding how users of BI, KPI and dashboard application benefit compared to their counterparts.  This study validated several of the aspects that we have seen and gave us some new insight as well.  I have added some summary points from the report, however the full document can be downloaded from their website.  However there is one critical point missing from the study.  But first, here are the excerpts from the impressive Aberdeen study - Executive Dashboards: The Key To Unlocking Double Digit Profit Growth.

Best-in-Class Performance

Aberdeen used three key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Class companies.  That performance relative to their peers was as follows:

    • A 24% average year-over-year increase in operating profit, compared with a 3% increase for the Industry Average and a 27% decrease for Laggards

    • An 8.3% average year-over-year improvement in customer service, compared with a 2.3% improvement for the Industry Average and a 1.0% increase for Laggards

    • An 8.4% average year-over-year improvement in sales performance, compared with a 2.3% improvement for the Industry Average and a 0.6% decline for Laggards.

Competitive Maturity Assessment

Survey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance are:

    • 2.8-times more likely than Laggards to have clearly defined business unit performance metrics

    • 1.7-times more likely than the Industry Average to have a process for prioritizing data for user access

    • 60% more likely than all other companies to leverage performance reporting dashboards

Required Actions

In addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter Three if this report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies must:

    • Create a training program to educate end-users on dashboards

    • Develop the ability to track the utilization of dashboard tools

    • Examine the use of outward-facing customer dashboards

The key to unlocking double digit profit to us is the missing piece from the study and one of the most critical in order for companies to recognize the benefits listed above.  So what's missing - it's what to do with the all the data, metrics and results.  Corporate dashboards, KPI's and BI tools can tell you so much about your business, but if you don't know what to do with the data or how to develop a strategy to improve the business, then you can never benefit from the investment.

The difficulty is that many of these software vendors are very good at developing best in class software but traditionally fall short in being able to assist companies with how to analyze the results, understand what the numbers are saying, and in assisting you with what to do next.

This is a significant reason why we decided to partner with Taurus Software - it's about bringing together not only best in class dashboard, KPI's and business intelligence but also to deliver world class consulting to assist you with not only how to utilize the application but what to do with the results.  This unique approach we feel will benefit each implementation and allow companies to maximize the investment and realize all the benefits.

We encourage you to register and read the full Aberdeen Study

Brian Barry is President of F. Curtis Barry & Company, a multichannel operations and fulfillment consulting firm with expertise in multichannel systems, warehouse, call center, inventory, and benchmarking; Learn more online at: