Have you purchased expensive business intelligence tools and feel like you might have wasted your money? Are you drowning in data and struggling to focus on what matters? Lodestar's business analytics coaching, is here to prevent you from information analysis paralysis.
Lodestar Solutions’ focus for 2016 is FASTER CHEAPER ANALYTICS! A key to faster cheaper analytics is to focus on only what matters. When I start coaching a client, I often find they have a lot of idea on how to use data. The various departments have their initiative but they are all fighting for the same resources. The result is IT and BI resources get pulled in a 100 directions and feel like they never get anything done. This results in frustrated team members and even more frustrated executives.
*Research shows that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time. http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx
The solution to all this inefficiency & waste is actually quite simple. You must get all the team members on the same page. The team must evaluate all the areas they can use the BI tools then, as a group, prioritize what are most important initiatives – which will provide actionable information – which will help the organization meet their strategic goals.
HOW: Getting a group of people with their own motives to agree can be like herding cats. Here’s a cliff note version of how Lodestar Business Analytics Coaching can facilitate the definition of what, when, and where to focus in our Lodestar Workshops.
1. Schedule a workshop and invite team members that understand the strategic initiatives of the company as well as people that understand current processes and data. Please note that you will not discuss tools in this meeting so don’t worry about if someone knows Cognos, or Microstrategy or whatever software you use.
2. Set the purpose and objective of the meeting up front so everyone knows the desired outcome.
3. Start with a description of the strategic initiatives/goals of the organization. (Believe it or not people usually don’t know what they are.)
4. Setting a timer, give them time to brainstorm so they can write their thought on sticky notes. They should document how they see BI being used to deliver actionable data to the business users. Ideally, they will do this in the form of user stories. The recommended format is:
“As a (users role) I want to (desired action) so that (value/benefit).”
5. Next, have the participants present their ideas while the facilitator has the group establish the priority of the various ideas. This task should also involve the use of a timer.
6. Once the sticky notes are arranged, review the prioritization and discuss how it relates to the strategic goals, accessibility of the data, and availability of resources. This discussion may result in the reorganization of the notes.
7. The facilitator will then question the group on which of the items should go in the first phase or sprint. The goal of each phase is to deliver a working product like a dashboard.
Small focused sprints will allow you to gain wisdom from the data and not drown in it.
If you would like more information on the benefits of a Business Intelligence Strategy session or to talk about our Lodestar Business Analytics Coaching trained to facilitate dynamic sessions, please contact Lodestar Solutions at 813-254-2040 or Services@LodestarSolutions.com.