Business Intelligence is only half the answer, organisations are missing out on a key ingredient

Over the last 12 months I've met many organisations, both large and small. And after having many hundreds of conversations with senior managers and CxO's I've come to the conclusion that organisations fall into 3 distinct groups when it comes to Corporate Performance.

Without question everyone I talk to recognizes the importance of Corporate Performance, and are generally committed to improving performance, but few seem to understand what it takes to really drive performance.

For example, when I pose the question, how do you manage Corporate Performance, I get one of the following 3 responses:

  • We use spreadsheets to report on what's happening
  • We have dashboards which our IT department have developed using (Tableau, Qlik, SSRS, Power BI)
  • We send monthly emails to the responsible owners who send us back the data which we collate and copy into word/powerpoint in readiness for the SMT.

All very valid answers but unfortunately really do not do what they're supposed to be there for. What assurance is there in the data being presented, how accountable are the owners of decisions made based on the information presented, how do we know whether the decisions that the SMT are making are really having an impact and if not why are they not.

In the current climate where every decision (at least within the public sector) is coming under ever increasing levels of scrutiny and budgets continuing to be cut it makes no sense to ask the senior leaders to make spending decisions based on unassured, unaccountable processes and practice.

It is now time to embrace Corporate Performance Management and recognise that it is more than just reporting the numbers, more than just-in-time management of the numbers it's about being able to track on an almost real-time basis how the organisation is performing, its being able to understand what things impact performance (lead and lag indicators) it's about being able to track commentary and evidence around decisions made on the data and also being able to track and manage the benefits that the actions/campaigns/programmes that your being asked to invest in are having to your organisation.

Organisations that don't evolve from only monitoring performance will continue to function in a fire-fighting mode of operation. The whole organisation will be working very hard to stand still and ultimately will continue to waste money and lose good staff.

Organisations that think managing performance is enough will not be operating to their greatest potential. They will continue to meet their organisations objectives but will never be able to exceed or push their organisation to the next level of performance.

Only organisations that can make performance happen will be leaders in their industry. Enabling data based decision making together with transparency of performance across the organisation, governance of decision making, action benefit realisation and causal impact analysis on an almost real-time basis will provide.

What type of performance organisation are you? Which type of performance organisation do you aspire to be?

About the Author

Mark Dale

Mark Dale

Mark is one of our Local Authority and Health specialists in the south. Primarily focused on enterprise performance management and business intelligence.

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