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Craig Schiff

I am very excited about this opportunity to share my perspectives and experience in my BeyeNETWORK Blog. For those of you who may not have read my articles and newsletters over the past few years, I hope you will appreciate a vendor-independent perspective on all things related to Business Performance Management (BPM). I focus on key topics organizations should consider throughout their BPM project lifecycle, from early stage requirements definition and justification, key measure development, vendor selection and finally, successful deployment and rollout. Of course, market trends and vendor updates will also be part of the mix. Please stop by on a regular basis to see what's new, and to make this interactive, please share your opinions. If you have a specific question, contact me directly at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

About the author >

Craig, President and CEO of BPM Partners, is a pioneer in business performance management (BPM). Craig helped create and define the field as it evolved from business intelligence and analytic applications into BPM. He has worked with BPM and related technologies for more than 20 years, first as a founding member at IMRS/Hyperion Software (now Hyperion Solutions) and later cofounded OutlookSoft where he was President and CEO.

Craig is a frequent author on BPM topics and monthly columnist for the BeyeNETWORK. He has led several jointly produced webcasts with Business Finance Magazine including "Beyond the Hype: The Truth about BPM Vendors," the three-part vendor review entitled "BPM Xpo" and "BPM 101: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Business Performance Management." He is a recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. BPM Partners is a vendor-independent professional services firm focused exclusively on BPM, providing expertise that helps companies successfully evaluate and deploy BPM systems. Craig can be reached at cschiff@bpmpartners.com.

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

July 2006 Archives

I recently received a copy of a BI/BPM research report from a technology-focused investment bank called Boston Corporate Finance. The report tracks the trends they have observed in the space as well as some projections as to what may happen in the near future. Some of the information is well-known and obvious, while some of it is thought-provoking. Much of what they see is in line with what we have observed ourselves so they have clearly done their homework. They comment on the merging of BI and CPM (Corporate Performance Management or BPM Business Performance Management), they see predictive analytics generating new interest in the space, they note the convergence of structured and unstructured data, .and they speculate on potential IBM BI acquisitions. It's certainly a worthwhile read and you don't even have to register to get your own PDF copy. Just follow the link above.

Posted July 17, 2006 12:26 PM
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EPM, or Employee Performance Management, seems to be on the upswing. Its focus on identifying, measuring, and monitoring employee performance against specific goals and then tying it to incentive compensation plans is a natural extension of BPM - Business Performance Management. While BPM lays out strategic objectives at a corporate and departmental level, EPM brings it down to Earth and makes it actionable at the employee level. The rise of BPM has generated renewed interest in EPM. For some time now this kind of work has been done with high-priced consultants and spreadsheets. Now there are several firms advocating application software solutions. Those firms include IXP3 in Australia and Strategix Performance in the U.S. among others. We think there is a definite need for this and it can magnify the benefits of a BPM initiative. Is your firm an EPM user or prospect? I'd be interesting in hearing about your experiences with EPM.

Posted July 10, 2006 11:52 AM
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Numerous vendors lay claim to the ability to provide predictive analytics. These firms include Business Objects, Computer Associates, and OutlookSoft as well as several others. While they all seem to agree on the basics - predictive analytics enable a company to more accurately determine the potential outcomes of today's business decisions - they disagree on how you get there. In other words, much like business performance management itself several years ago, vendors and consultants are taking the opportunity to define the requirements of predictive analytics to fit their own capabilities. To begin the march towards a more standard definition, and therefore more stable ground for end users (as well as consultants and vendors), we would like to propose a list of 12 key elements to look for in a predictive analytics system.

The list that we are about to share was developed by a firm we have recently become aware of called Isis Solutions. They focus almost exclusively on predictive analytics and their executives have a strong grounding in advanced mathematics. While we think it is a good, fairly inclusive list, it certainly is open to debate if this is the last list we'll ever need of required predictive analytics components. We are looking for your feedback to help further develop and evolve the list. Now on to the list. Before you can predict you need to analyze and forecast. The first 7 elements focus on analysis: Variance Analysis - to identify deviations, Cost Allocation - to calculate operating income, Activity-Based Costing - to determine efficiencies, Slope - leading indicator of future trends, Mean - key indicator of performance, Standard Deviation - measure of variability in the business, Statistical Process Control - identify processes that are in and out of control. Next comes 3 elements related to forecasting: Holt Winters - seasonal forecast, Linear Regression - linear forecast, Flex to Historical - volume forecast. Lastly come the 2 elements that enable you to predict: Monte Carlo Simulation - calculate the confidence in the forecast, and R Squared - identify the hidden relations between actions. This list of 12 essential business analytics is intended to provide the key elements necessary to enable an organization to more accurately predict its future. Do you agree? We'd like your input.

Posted July 6, 2006 8:17 AM
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