Driving the Business with Business Intelligence


Let's talk about business intelligence.  The Oakwood Team is pretty jazzed about the conceptual metaphor: “Driving Your Business with BI”.  The spot-on clarity of the comparison—and how important it relates to the business culture and competitive marketplace we now operate is astonishing. It’s critical to understand the depth of this seemingly obvious observation.

Driving Success | Business Intelligence

  • The business marketplace is the gasoline.
  • Your business and the related business transactions are your business engine.
  • Your BI system and data architecture is the automobile frame.
  • You and the key personnel running your business are (of course) the driver.
  • Your dashboard is—well—your dashboard, providing the most critical key operational data.
  • Your goals and indicators are your windshields, and your long-term strategic plan is your GPS.

The Bottom Line

Your bottom line is the destination (victory circle—or Pike’s Peak—or wherever you’re going).  So, it boils down to whether you want a Chevy Chase vacation or a Lance Armstrong finish.

While “driving the business with BI”, your car and the act of transporting yourself within it is analogous to steering your business using BI as your physical and strategic co-pilot. In business, I’ll opt for the Dr. Spock-like copilot awake at the wheel!

Those who travel with a particular destination in mind have a transport method, map, accurate information and other critical travel tools since you’ll not go far smoothly or too fast without them. Our driving business metaphor again rings very true considering BI delivers fundamental operational, tactical and strategic actionable information to the right people at the right time in the right format (closer to like Southwest, not TWA).

I’m reminded there’s a whole lot to this metaphor.

Paradise By The Dashboard Light

By now even your baby sister (or babysitter) knows about BI dashboards. The dashboard and BI portal is your business windshield. It is the clear vantage point for the daily navigation for the most important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of your business. It literally aligns those you expose to it and held accountable to it. This is similar to how all people in the car end up at the same location the car does —no matter who in the car might have wanted to go elsewhere.

Shallow Society

Our society—like it or not—is largely a dashboard-first consumer. That doesn’t mean the information is shallow. As a society, we demand that complex information is delivered timely and precisely.  At the right time, in the right format and right now. Business operations critically require the same, each day of the business journey.

Dashboard-first doesn’t imply shallow thinking either, but actually the opposite. Information required for deep and wide business analytics should be increasingly detailed and drillable down to the last detail.  First, it must be presented for a quick analysis at a high level for overall understanding.  That gives us the strategic big picture. Welcome BI, for giving us the information to navigate through and around the pot-holes, broken bridges, and closed roads.

Bottom Line Business Intelligence

From experience, I believe the medium is the message when it comes to ‘stewardship and steering’ of your business with BI. Folks at all levels of your organization need to know they make a difference. What better way than a BI value-chain scorecard built exactly to how their efforts contribute to the operational, tactical and strategic goals?


Next Steps

Review our case studies and engagements where we helped companies just like yours solve a variety of business needs.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.