There have been a few interesting articles popping up recently that showcase “best practice” BI deployments.
The first is an article in Computing describing how Carphone Warehouse have delivered store performance dashboards nationwide by providing Android tablets running Microstrategy.
This demonstrates the best possible use of BI. The organisation has not only seemingly achieved the gold standard of having a “single version of the truth” with respect to having a single source of information for store sales performance, they have also put the BI tools used to generate those figures in the hands of each store manager.
This shortcuts any delays caused by producing reports centrally and then distributing, and also appears to be geared up to allow every staff member to view their own performance (and compare against their colleagues). The approach allows staff to trial out new strategies and sales techniques and quickly see the results alongside their peers and other stores. Carphone Warehouse are quoted as describing their vision to expand the information available so it can assist in targetting campaigns and also improving efficency across the board – and even more radical is the talk of “gamification” by awarding badges and achievements.
What isn’t really discussed in the article is the level of user adoption and how well received the new figures have been – but assuming this hurdle has been overcome then this is a very laudible implementation.
Adidas have also recently presented on how they are using BI, together with a data warehouse consolidation project, to provide a consolidated view of their customers to their partners. The focus here is B2B but the same intentions are clear – present unambigous figures directly to those who have interest in them and also those who are in a position to modify their behaviour and strategy based on those figures.