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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

BI - Driving with the Rear-View Mirror or the Windshield?

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In the feverish fervor to implement a Business Intelligence system, quite often a good question fails to be asked. What is the purpose of my BI system?

Is it predominantly to look at past performance for post mortem purposes or to use past information to predict where I am headed? Or Both?

Is it for driving with the help of the rear-view mirror or driving looking through a windshield?

Just like driving, looking at the rear-view mirror helps but not as much as looking through the windshield!

Past performance may not be as accurate a predictor of the future. But monitoring what is happening in the immediate past can always help steer us to where we want to go. Are our products doing as well as we thought it would, today? this week? this month? Is it headed in the right direction and in the right volumes?

On the other hand, some new innovation may complete throw out of whack all your predictions regarding future performance if some new innovation makes you obsolete in a small amount of time.

Like Amazon's Kindle Book Reader - When the iPad came along. the Kindle became less attractive as a specialized single-function machine when a more general purpose machine could do THAT ALSO.

Like the Electric Typewriter and the IBM PC.

Like Netflix and BlockBuster. Like Redbox and Netflix as it is playing out today. BlockBuster underestimated how much NetFlix will affect its business. No Late fees and a totally hassle free way of getting and returning movies.

Now RedBox does not make you wait for your new movie even a few days. Drive over and get it if the local RedBox has a copy. Netflix is countering with its strategy of not requiring you to even venture out of your house. We will stream it live!

Looking at past performance may not have been a great predictor of the future in all these cases.

On the other hand, sales of Tide detergent. I bet past performance data will help them a lot in doing a whole bunch of planning, short term and long term.

Might be worth thinking about the purpose of BI in your case. Is it for learning lessons from the past or predicting the immediate future? Might help in selecting the right BI tools.

Its hard to make predictions, especially about the future - Yogi Berra

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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