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Guest Post: Maintaining Diversity – and Accuracy – in BI Measurement

By David A. Turbide, CFPIM, CMfgE, CIRM

Business intelligence (BI), data mining, dashboards and executive information systems (EIS) are becoming ever more commonplace, putting powerful analysis tools and dynamic indicators and alerts into the hands of managers and individual workers throughout the enterprise.

Ideally, when these systems are set up, the indicators at each level are related directly to higher level measurements, right up to the corporate objectives and KPIs.

This is the way it should be – and the way it actually is on day one. Unfortunately, users often create new measurements that, although they may seem reasonable and valid, do not tie back to corporate objectives.

These systems are designed to be flexible, allowing users to tailor their measurements and indicators as they see fit. As a result, actions and decisions aimed at improving performance on a non-aligned measurement may actually reduce performance and results on measurements that really count: those that support the business objectives and goals.

Measurement tools are valuable and you don’t want to restrict their use; however, it is important to make sure that appropriate measurements are defined on each and every dashboard and BI throughout the organization, tying directly back to corporate goals and KPIs. It’s also important to be sure that every BI user, even though they might have dozens of other user-defined indicators on their screens, will continue to pay attention to the “authorized” and coordinated measurements that were provided for them by the corporate BI implementation team.

Dave is a consultant, writer, educator and subject matter expert with first-hand knowledge of manufacturing management practices, supply chain functions and enterprise systems. He is certified by APICS as a Supply Chain Professional, at the fellow level in Production and Inventory Management and in Integrated Resource Management. He authored six books, published hundreds of articles and is currently President of the APICS Granite State Chapter. www.daveturbide.com