Customer Oriented

There is a disconnect in the current BI delivery model between decision support tools and the decision-making process.

On the IT side, we continue to make incredible progress on data storage, integration, access and delivery. However, line of business users - the business decision maker, isn’t interested in the success in this area; their primary concern is answering such questions as:

  • Which customers are the most profitable? Why is that? How do we raise the Profitability of those customers who fall short?
  • Is there enough inventories on hand to fulfill this order? If so, what downstream impact should we be prepared for with other orders?
  • What product or service offerings will best drive our revenue goals this quarter?
  • What is the right offer in terms of product mix, cost and pricing to preserve our gross margin requirements while we grow?
  • Where should we be focusing our sales people at this time? Do I need to split territories?

Strategic decisions, on the other hand, are most often made at the executive and upper management levels within the organization. Because strategic decisions can impact many divisions and functional areas within the business, they occur less frequently than day to day tactical decisions. Strategic decision support usually means providing consolidated and cross functional data. The analysis of data necessary for strategic decision-making often leads to additional questions, which ultimately means additional requests for data.

Examples of Strategic Decisions:

  • Should we enter the market with this new product line?
  • What distribution channels should we pursue in global markets?
  • Do we put market share or profit margin at the top of the priority list for the next two years?
  • Does that mean additional marketing budget allocations or investing in Manufacturing efficiencies or new product development?

Knowing whether the user at hand typically makes tactical decisions, strategic decisions or both, will help frame the decision support solution you deliver.

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