September 1, 2014

The 9 Step Performance Analytics Roadmap

“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra
The BI Performance Analytics Roadmap is a guide to help clients develop a Business Analytics vision and plan to measurably optimize business processes and strengthen operating results.
The gap between Business Analytics functionality and utilization continues to grow.  Most organizations purchase reporting tools from their core system/ERP vendors, which typically include a standard reports library…but not a vision for how Analytics can be used to optimize business processes and strengthen performance.  Without a vision for how Analytics can empower an organization, there can be no plan.  Without a plan that measures how Analytics can strengthen operating performance, IT developed reports are given to business users, who usually use them to extract data to populate spreadsheets.  The potentially high Analytics ROI degrades into an IT expense to be minimized. An Analytics vision and plan are needed!
 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Proverbs 29:18
So, how do the top 20% of high performing companies use Analytics?  They start with a vision.  They think of their organizations as high performance engines with sensors (e.g., performance metrics) to ensure all of the moving parts are working at peak efficiency.  All of the moving parts – every team, department and division – are monitored to provide them with timely performance feedback, so they can learn – with the right coaching/management/mentoring, as well as motivating rewards and recognition – how to best manage their business processes to optimize performance.
The Performance Analytics Roadmap includes the following steps:
  1. Strategic InitiativesThe first step in defining your Performance Analytics Roadmap is to identify the strategic initiatives throughout the organization that achieve strategic objectives.
  2. Performance Measures – The next step in developing your Performance Analytics Roadmap is to make sure the strategic initiatives include measurable performance metrics for both business processes and targeted outcomes.
  3. Rewards and Recognition Programs – Cash and non-cash incentives, as well as recognition of individual and team performance achievement, are highly effective tools for helping employees take ownership of organization objectives.
  4. Scorecards – Performance feedback is a foundation best practice that empowers employees to understand where they can improve their individual/team/department performance.
  5. DashboardsDashboard design is an art and a science, employing visual analytics with summary information linked to progressively more detailed information, to keep employees informed about what they need to know to continue learning and focus on maximizing productivity.
  6. Reporting and AnalyticsReports and analytics are questions answered, which are learning experiences that lead to more questions answered – continuous learning – that produce better, faster decisions. When focused on performance improvement, good things happen.
  7. Business User Self Service – A key to sustained high performance is to empower business users with the ability to access information and quickly develop answers to their own questions.
  8. Security ProfilesEnabling business user self-service, security profiles keep business users focused on relevant information, while restricting access to proprietary information.
  9. DataNothing is possible without data sourcing, integration, governance and architecture to provide current, accurate, comprehensive, organized data.
I wanted to briefly summarize each Business Analytics component that contributes to strengthening organizational performance.  I will write more about each one in the coming weeks.

What do you think is the most challenging component of a Performance Analytics capability?