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Tuesday Tech Tip,September 24, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 10:17

It's all just fun and games...

sep24-1I was just sitting her thinking about what it would be like if my job was a video game.  …I have to work right now, I’ve almost earned a power up.  Once I get a power up, then I will qualify for an extra 15 minutes of lunch time and one vacation day.  I’m so close – don’t interrupt me. … It would be kind of cool.

Technology Business Research writes a Business Intelligence Software Vendor Benchmark twice a year and on September 18 they reported that business intelligence software could approach spending up to $40 billion by 2018.  What they think will be a major reason for this will be the clients moving from stand-alone tools to packaged BI applications and analytics apps which complement their own business applications.  (Read Article.)  The greatest factor in the selection for the product is usability.  The features are no good if they will not be accessed by the business personas fulfilling processes. 

The silo effect is becoming monumental despite the Internet of Things (IoT) because the last two years alone, businesses have generated more data than we saw in the previous 60 years.  Trying to determine who is creating the data, who is capturing the data, and how it is stored is the major hurdle for any good business analytics product aiming to tear down the silos and level the information exchange thus, enabling the business decision making process.  The data itself can be structured, like columns in an excel sheet or unstructured like emails in an employees’ inbox, however, it is all necessary to see a whole picture of the work being conducted by a business.

sep24-2What is the real game changer? In my opinion, it will be Gamification.  I like how Wikipedia puts it, “Gamification techniques strive to leverage people's natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.”  Essentially it will turn your business dashboard into a game that you love to play.  Instead of ease of use or usability, it’s one step further – it’s fun. Employees will want to figure out how to do things faster to get more points, get bonuses, and collect certifications because their gaming dashboard will reward them with that brain stimulation of being on a leader board or receiving company gift cards, etc.  Types of rewards include points, achievement badges or levels, the filling of a progress bar, and providing the user with virtual currency.

Let’s look at an example of why this will have a profound effect on our business community using Company A and Company B.  Company A is not impressed with letting games into their work environment, but they are struggling with information silos and would like to solve the problem using a dashboard of business analytics.  Company B loves the idea of giving a fun environment to its employees and looks for the dashboard analytics but with a gaming feel to it.  Both companies make the selection that makes the most sense to their organization.  But, Company B seems to have a lot less problems with adoption of the product.  In fact, people seem to be staying late to finish up tutorials and earn certifications.  Two of the employees in one department have already started to compete on a leaderboard and managers seem to be passing out more compliments than instruction.  When a product involves some sort of brain stimulation, it helps to push the player to get more.  Not to mention, most children are growing up in this environment.  According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 99% of boys, ages 12–17 and 94% of girls in the same age range play video games.  Eighty percent play five or more different genres, with racing, puzzles, sports, and action being the most common.  (Check it out.) Imagine recruiting for the business!  The business intelligence community is about to explode and from the look of it - work is going to offer a whole new way to look at challenges.

Tuesday Tech Tip,September 17, 2013 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 21:29


The Basic Questions

Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”  While Steven Hawking reported, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”  So, think about actually seeing the problems of your business and situate yourself in a position to adapt!

A good dashboard should give you key insight into your business, and should fulfill goals that you have set for your business.  But, a dashboard should also give you the at-a-glance, real-time data concerning the basics of your business.

 There are two basic questions in business:

1. What product or service makes me money?

2. How do I sell it?

Now we can get pretty complicated answering those questions, but start out by building the basics.  Collect the information you need to build off of and make it easy on yourself to look at this data whenever you want.  The rest of your analysis can be added in later to support those goals that you and your business are currently developing. 

I put together a list of questions that you should be able to answer at a glance with the proper software and hardware.

1.  What product or service makes me money?



  • How do you make that product?
  • How much can you make of it?
  • How expensive is it to make?
  • How long does it to make?
  • Which products are you making right now?  Where are they in development?
  • How much is currently in stock?  What does that cost the company?
  • How do you price this product?





  • What are the services?
  • How do you provide that service?  Does it involve travel? Does it involve phone calls?  What kind of resources and software do you need?
  • How often do you provide this service?
  • What are the services?
  • How efficient are the services?  How long does it take to provide?
  • What does it cost you to provide that service?
  • What service is performing the best financially?  The worst?
  • What is the lag time between providing each of these services at request?
  • How do you price this service?



2.  How do I sell it?





  • What are the features of each of the product?
  • What problem do those features solve for the potential client?
  • What amount are you spending to present those products to a potential client?
  • What does that client look like? How many of those potentials are in your pipeline?
  • How many clients currently purchase each product?  How much are they paying for it?
  • What product sells the best?  What product sells the worse?
  • How long is your sales process for each product?





  • What are the features of each service?
  • What problem do those features solve for the potential client?
  • What amount are you spending to put those services in front of your potential clients?
  • What does a client look like?  How many of those potential clients are in your pipeline?
  • How many clients enjoy each of your services?  What do they not know about?
  • How much do they pay for your services?
  • How long is your sales process for each service?
Once you can access and trust this kind of data, setting goals for your business becomes second nature.  Adaptation is based on situational awareness and your genius for tracking will reflect your business intelligence.



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