BI systems

Is Your BI Ready for Swimsuit Season?

It is a fact that data management is all about structure and that data is mostly stored in “column and row” databases. And when your view of the world revolves around data and managing data, this makes sense.

But a business, like a human, is a living, changing organism. Have you ever thought about how you would define yourself (a human being) in terms of columns and rows and tables? Can you imagine trying to shove your curvy, ever-changing, and likely asymmetrical swimsuit body into neat and orderly right angles?
Businesses are dynamic, organic, ever-changing, and operate more like a mind-map than in an orderly grid. And for every rule, there is an asymmetrical exception. Given this, are you easily able to define your business in terms of columns and rows? No, data might fit neatly into rows, columns, boxes, and right angles but a business doesn’t.
However, most BI systems are built using data management techniques and therefore, they force the business to define itself in rows and columns and hierarchies. It is a painful exercise, and most of your business’ nuances disappear. People often say, “we have to align to the system” instead of “the system has to align to our way of doing business.” Why do we accept this outdated view of technology?
A BI/Performance management system should tell your business story with all the nuances and exceptions you have. The business world is full of exceptions. BI should model your business story exactly as it is. Don’t compromise. Don’t customize the software solution – rather you should expect the software solution to handle all your nuances and shapes.
Are you able to reflect your real-life business scenarios in your software solution? If you are – then the question is: at what cost? How much do the exceptions cost to implement? Challenge your vendors with these sorts of questions.
And if you already have a good BI system, we invite you to take a look at how a business management platform can enable your current BI system to more easily fit your living business model.

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