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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

When Less BI is More!

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I was thumbing through a book that listed about 587 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

First of all "587 KPIs" is an Oxymoron. When you have 5 of them they are KPIs. When you have 587 of them they are Performance Indicators, not KPIs!

In many companies I find that they have a huge list of KPIs that they want to implement. I guarantee you that after getting two or three of these reports, daily, weekly or monthly, they are never looked at again, for any reason!

This is where less Business Intelligence is actually more.

Tell me about any business, I can tell you five or at most ten Key Performance Indicators you need to pay attention to. Also let's not get sidetracked by the term KPI. I use it here loosely to mean Information that is "Actionable". It can be a single KPI or a report that has many pieces of information you can drill down actively down to its contituent pieces as needed.

The Sales Manager may be interested in five pieces of information that are different from the five pieces of information that a Finance Manager may be interested in.

In practice, you also see an Information Hierarchy that helps managers. The Sales Manager may be most interested in a Total Sales Number for this quarter as compared to the Target number for this quarter.

The Financial Manager may be interested in Collections for this week as opposed to Targets and the Cash Position at this time.

Companies go nuts when they have a new toy in the form of a BI system and want all manner of reports and KPIs reported by the minute, on to their SmartPhone, no less!

But the real utility maybe in getting less BI but doing more with that!


Here is an interesting video about The Paradox of Choice - They talk about why Less is Actually More. Barry Schwartz of Swartmore College has written a book and gives talks about the Paradox of Choice!

I sometimes worry about my short attention span, but not for long - Herb Caen

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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