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The lack of intelligence in business

Organisations lack clarity of goals and objectives, and lack imagination when it comes to defining their business differently. They often follow and react instead of leading, and global markets, competition and technology, are increasingly driving different value for consumers and businesses, creating a place called ‘the sea of mediocrity,' typified by "we stand for nothing and fall for everything".

This is according to David Miller, CEO of MiIler Steward, who will be presenting on ‘The Intelligence of Business – or at times the dire lack thereof', at the ITWeb Business Intelligence Summit, to be held at The Forum in Bryanston, on 1 and 2 March.

He says this sees people and departments becoming survivalists not adventurers, and creating silo-based organisations, resulting in a ‘hot potato' syndrome. "When these things happen, BI becomes tactical – data not information – which does nothing for the strategic life of the business."

Miller asks: "We have great measures through our BI systems, but against what shared goals, objectives and measures are these? How do they create intelligence and meaningful information upon which to make informed decisions? In essence, they lack shared and well-understood future state and as such, measure everything and anything to justify their indefensible position."

Speaking about how important BI is to today's businesses, he says agility, efficiency, accuracy and availability of meaningful information, cost efficiencies and trustworthy information is critical within today's business, social, political and socio-economic environments.

"Business and businesses are no longer the holders of the exclusive domain of BI; it has become interdependent with our societies, governments, charities, and is critical if any of these consumers of information are to thrive, simply because of the plethora of available information, data, statistics that bombards us daily. The ability to take complexity and are it meaningful has got to in many ways, be enabled by BI."

David Miller, CEO of MiIller Steward.

David Miller, CEO of MiIller Steward.

In terms of what businesses should be doing differently in light of BI, Miller says: "Albert Einstein summed it best when he said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Firstly, organisations are too often reactive to changing socio-economic conditions and become ‘blame'-orientated. With a differentiated value proposition, a clear view of what success looks like and an organisation designed to meet this plan, is where BI adds most value. Simply because you have alignment to goals, measures and as such, you can develop intelligent reporting and querying around these to constantly measure and assess your progress and attainment of objectives."

When asked what takeouts the audience can expect from his presentation, Miller replied: "I hate telling, there is greater value in showing – expect thoughts, practical ideas and lessons from the mistakes I have made, concrete ideas upon which to think and act differently. It does not mean I am right – but it opens up a healthy space for open, honest and transparent dialogue with businesses. I think principles and facts make better points of discussion than opinions. Expect something a little different."


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