Business Analytics – From Chosen Few to Common World View

 How organizations can benefit from
Business Analytics
to make them more aware and flexible
by utilizing the potential of all individuals

In this paper we will investigate the specific discipline of supporting managers and leaders throughout an organization. In this context there are two major trends to consider: First, organizations need to act and react more quickly on different issues as a consequence of global competition, regional instability and vulnerability are faced with a business environment of rapid and disruptive change, fleeting opportunities, incomplete information and an overall sense of uncertainty and disorder. Second, the individuals that add up to an organization are seeking more empowerment and involvement, therefore the number of managers has increased as a percentage of the organization, and although these individuals might not be managers in a classical sense, they are still becoming more and more dependent on information to support their decisions. 

Traditionally this kind of empowerment has only been available to a “Chosen Few”, and most often the system has been somewhat manual. The reason for this appears to be that the strength of the ERP systems and the spreadsheet is the actual manipulation and storing of data, whereas the strength of Business Analytics lies in creating a Common World View and allowing the users to access information freely that complies with this Common World View. This approach has the benefits of allowing the individuals in an organization a high degree of empowerment and initiative, yet ensuring that the decentralized initiatives are in line with the organization’s overall mission and strategy. An organization that succeeds in empowering its staff will have shorter cycles of observation, decision and action, and the various levels in the organization can react more quickly and more autonomously, yet in total accordance with the overall plan; “The Common World View”.

We found that on average the features relating to the business needs carry more weight than the deployment and management features. The need for a Common World View and the ability to focus actions are the top priorities.

It is noteworthy to bear in mind that the participants come from various types of businesses, yet they have the same preference for the important features as well as the system that supports these. This leads us to conclude that it is possible to deliver these benefits to all companies regardless of their line of business provided that the Business Analytics system allows the users to Meta Morph, e.g. modify the system to accommodate their individual needs.

Figure A – Average rating of feature importance based on Constant Sum distribution of 100 points for all participants. The individual features have been colored according to their category.

 

Figure B – Perceptual mapping for all participants based on average rating of top 10 important features. Projections have been made to the lines that represent the participants that in agreement.

 

With reference to Bill Gates we note that information has traditionally been for the chosen few managers, but this paper suggests that there can be some significant benefits from Business Analytics in that it can make the organization more aware and flexible. Business Analytics facilitates the fast information flow of quality information to every employee and manager who needs it, which facilitates faster actionable decision cycles. Business Analytics also ensures that there is a Common World View that the increased number of actionable decisions comply with.
 

 Based on this research we conclude the following:

  • The participants’ assessments of important issues are in line with the research results reported in the literature.
     
  • The need for organizational context and actionable decision cycle optimization are forced upon organizations from the market environment in the competition for both customers and employees.
     
  • Decentralized decisions in an organizational context can be facilitated by Meta Morphing which is a combination of allowing a Common World View to be brought into the context of the individual.
     
  • The Business Analytics system investigated supported Meta Morphing and was perceived superior to the Spreadsheet and ERP systems in covering the features that the participants rated most important to their organizations; in particular the features positioned as facilitators of decentralized decisions in an organizational context.

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