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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Has Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Pervaded Operations?

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This was spurred by Jessica Ann Mola's question posted here on ebizq elsewhere on whether BI has mainstreamed and gotten into country's operations.

You may have noticed grocery store employees or employees at places like Wal-Mart walking around with little wireless handheld devices scanning this product's bar code or that one's over there! A lot of them are immediately affecting another remote company's operations instantly, placing orders or affecting the manufacturing line at a bread factory nearby!

Business Intelligence, especially with respect to business processes can have the most effect, positively, on companies' operations, agility, and ability to best the competition!

If New World Bank can process your Mortgage Loan Application in 15 days while an Old World Bank loses out because they can do it in only 45 days. This is where a lot of collection of data on exactly where the Old World Bank is wasting time on processing that can lead to making the 45 day lead time to 15 days.

Sales data and Financial Data have been warehoused, business-intelligenced, sliced and diced to perfection!

Process Intelligence, widely also known as real-time, operational intelligence, is the new Business Intelligence that will affect Operations in more profound ways than the current use of Business Intelligence in Sales and Financial aspects of a company's operation.

It is amazing that when certain technologies have been pronounced as mature by the IT press, like Business Intelligence or Data Warehousing, they are morphing, changing and evolving to suit ever new uses!

Evolution - The stream of tendency in which all things seek to fulfill the law of their being - Marcus Aurelius



The scenarios described in the posting are relevant, but do not go far enough to describe true "Process Intelligence". They demonstrate that business intelligence can be utilized within the context of a process, but provide little intelligence about the process itself. When I hear the term process intelligence, I am looking for information about process behavior that will enable me to assess, evaluate, and optimize a business process. Typical KPI's or even event anomalies do well to point out deficiencies that are the result of a process or a events as they occur within a process, but don't go far enough to reveal the underlying root cause - which is resident in the patterns of behavior that emerge as processes are executed over time.

Unfortunately, Root Causes don't automatically pop out of any process. They will have to be teased out and analyzed, over a long time to have any meaning. You can do analysis only with all kinds of measurement. Some are KPIs like Productivity, Effectiveness metrics. But they will have to be analyzed in conjunction with independent variables - application response time, experience of person performing the process, etc. There also, quantifying the cause and effect nature of how independent variables affect dependent variables have to be teased out only with measurements of various kinds and experiments. Let's say that productivity is falling - do you know if it is because system response times are slower or the people performing the process need more training?
However, the underlying foundation needs to be meausrement of dependent variables. No measurement, no progress on a longer term analysis of what the root causes are!

Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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