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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

In which Jill, with a nod of the head to operational reporting and BPM, reminds BI users and practitioners not to forget about where their companies are headed.

In his book Corporate Lifecycles, author Ichak Adizes maintains that all too often companies allow their current structures to determine their strategies. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But what can't your company do because of weak IT investment, anemic management commitment, and flawed incumbent technologies?

My clients usually know what the answer to this question isn't. It isn't timely delivery of BI reports, speedy data loading, or changed data capture. But what about real-time individualization of customers, support of customer do-not-solicit requests, or customer and product hierarchy management? Is your Do Not Call list all that it can be? (Check out www.catalogchoice.org for shades of things to come.) Is your customer support tiered, fast, and relevant? Do you know who's profitable within and outside of a household? What about the ideal product mixes for an existing customer segment?

You see where I'm going. In our rush to proselytize our existing capabilities, we forget what's in the business' pipeline. Most of this has to do with the lack of sustained and regular business requirements gathering.

But it also has to do with the business' failure to think big. After all, you've reengineered your supply chain and you now have query access into your ERP system. And your CRM project is finished, right? (The answer should be no, Mr. Rest-on-Your Laurels Marketing Fatcat.) Irrespective of your industry or market segment, your customers are very likely taking you for granted, and their likelihood to attrite is--as 2002's popular colloquialism put it--only a mouse click away.

In our rush to admonish companies that IT should be collaborating with the business to apply automation to business goals, ultimately enabling strategy, we overestimate the business side, and underestimate IT. We have lots of clients at which IT makes the initial plea for expertise, support, or executive guidance, ultimately educating the business side about what they didn't know they didn't know. A company's strategy--indeed its very differentiation--may well hang in the balance.

Technorati tags: Corporate Lifecycles, CRM, corporate strategy, BI strategy, strategic BI, CRM strategy

Posted January 7, 2008 7:22 AM
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