Want a better performing business? Simple. Scorecards! #makebusinessgreatagain

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Here is a good definition a friend sent to me.

Dashboards Monitor and Measure Processes. The common industry perception is that a dashboard is more real-time in nature, like an automobile dashboard that lets drivers check their current speed, fuel level, and engine temperature at a glance. It follows that a dashboard is linked directly to systems that capture events as they happen and it warns users through alerts or exception notifications when performance against any number of metrics deviates from the norm.

Scorecards Chart Progress Toward Objectives. The common perception of a scorecard, on the other hand, is that it displays periodic snapshots of performance associated with an organization’s strategic objectives and plans. It measures business activity at a summary level against predefined targets to see if performance is within acceptable ranges. Its selection of key performance indicators helps executives communicate strategy and focuses users on the highest priority tasks required to execute plans.

Whereas a dashboard informs users what they are doing, a scorecard tells them how well they are doing. In other words, a dashboard records performance while a scorecard charts progress. In short, a dashboard is a performance monitoring system, whereas a scorecard is a performance management system.

With the launch of Atlas Insights, we created a MOBILEFIRST experience for managing the performance of your business utilizing scorecard concepts and indicators.  Now you can move your business forward with data instead of looking at it in the past.

Here’s the deal, ask ANY leader in your company which metrics are important to them and I bet they may say about 7 to 10 metrics and they are known metrics that have been around for years.  Yep, that is it.  Why?  Because that is the heartbeat of the business that is important to them and their department.  Also, the best thing about defining and labeling your KPIs is that your business logic is contained in that metric that everyone can now trust the source.  Try to do that with some random bar chart someone created in a self-serve analytic tool.

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Visit http://www.AtlasBI.com, download our app and try our app for FREE with a 3 month subscription just for signing up.

Enjoy, Patrick

Business Intelligence on the MAC? Yeah, we got that! #analytics #osx

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I’ve been doing business intelligence, performance management and analytics for a long time.  One of the #1 questions asked is, “Do you have a MAC client?”  The answer from every vendor was, “No, but we have a browser version you can use… and, it doesn’t quite have all the features.“.  Well that is all great, but we know doing insights is a much better and faster experience in a native app than in the internet browser on a web site.

I think we have all seen over the last 10 years how MAC laptops have grown in demand and sales because of the iPhone.  There was a time when you walked into a business, all you saw were Microsoft Windows desktops.  Not anymore, walk into nearly any business and you’ll see all those new shinny MAC laptops everywhere.  I had one executive tell me the other day that MACs account for 70% of the computers in their company!  That was from just 5% 8 years ago.  Amazing!

In keeping with my mantra of doing the opposite of the big vendors, I thought it was important to provide a MAC application.  It works just like all the other platforms which is fantastic.  That means if you are sitting on a plane, train or automobile, you can see your data on your mobile device and then when you get back to your office, you can pull up the same metric you just favorited on your phone, right on your desktop.  The same, seemless experience from mobile to tablet to desktop.

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Why continue doing it the OLD WAY, when you can do it the NEW WAY.   Patrick

You can download Atlas Insight at the MAP App Store

If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your business. Atlas Insights is now launched!

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Just how true is that statement?  It is probably in the top 5 issues in every business around the world. If you don’t know your numbers, how do you know you’re on budget?  If you don’t know your numbers, how do you know how much your product costs to produce? If you don’t know your numbers, how do you know what each person contributes to the bottom line? I could go on…

After 5 months of non-stop development and testing, I’m happy to announce the launch of Atlas Insights for Apple (iPhone/iPad, MAC), Google Android, Windows (Desktop, Phone, Hub).  Atlas is focus on making your business more agile when it comes to getting the data that matters most out to your employees so that they can make better decisions faster.

Browse on over to AtlasBI.com to learn more how Atlas can make your business better and download for the many platforms we support. It is FREE to use for Public metrics and a super small monthly subscription to enable the sharing of Private metrics with your business associates.

Atlas Insights will completely make you re-think the importance of having your most important data everywhere you are.

Email me your feedback and enjoy the day!   Patrick

Please visit http://AtlasBI.com to download

Getting ready for launch. T-minus 6-days. Come back for the launch of our Atlas Insights

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The preview of our Atlas Insights business intelligence app is going very well.  We are heads down cleaning up some of the remaining bugs and creating content for the launch. We will completely change how small, medium and large business track and monitor their most important private and public metrics.  We are scaling it up and scaling it out and all for the fractions of cost compared to other competitors.

Stay tuned!

Enjoy the day, Patrick

Just how smart are your metrics? Probably not that much. #makebusinessgreatagain #mobilebi

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Your data or the metrics that get created from them are only has good as the person that created the metric.  Well, if you have 10’s or even hundreds of people in your organization creating self-service metrics and email them around the network like crazy, I can bet those metrics are not that smart.  Why?  Because those metrics are not an agreed upon standard like strategic KPIs that are agreed upon by management.

You see, if metrics are agreed upon by a group, that means where they come front, when they get updated and the math that makes them a metric is agreed by all parties.  That is very important when you want to TRUST a number.  When a dashboard is emailed to you in a pdf, the first things that come to mind are when was the last time the data was updated and how did they come up with this.

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When building my new mobile analytic app, I wanted to build TRUST right into it.  That means the metrics are SMART by using a standard Green, Yellow and Red to call attention to a number that is off.  And, by providing a threaded communication trail by the author of the metric telling you what the heck is going on!  SMART right?!

Enjoy the season, Patrick

PS: If you want to make your data SMART too, just email me and I’ll add you to the secret preview list.

It’s time to go back to what is important to the business. #kpis #makebusinessgreatagain

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It is not about spending several thousands, if not tens of thousands on some self-serve BI tool that will give everyone the ability to be their own data scientist.  Never mind the human capital costs of people trying to find data and make up their own insights.  Self-serve BI is just plain expensive and do you really get a valuable return on it?  I would dare to say NOT!

If you truly want to make your department or even your whole business run better, you need to focus on the performance of the business. That means monitoring strategic metrics that tell you the health of the business.  Typically, this is called a KPI or Key Performance Indicator that relates to a metric in the business that is very important.  You then find these KPIs on Scorecards which basically groups them into subjects for departments and divisions, etc.  Then once you have this, it allows you to roll up the metrics and see the overall health of the business using classic indicators like Green, Yellow and Red.

Between 2005 and 2009, this was a really HOT topic.  How do we get our business into scorecards that let’s everyone in the organization to focus on the same strategic objects?  I actually started my business, Extended Results, on being a management consultancy focused on Performance Management and Scorecards.  My first 3 years of business was nothing but scorecards and the data management behind those metrics.  I jumped in early and enjoyed the wave.   After 2009, things changed and the theme of “self-serve” and people ignored scorecards and down when the productivity of business around the world.  Yes, look up the productivity number, the federal reserve posts it and you’ll see businesses are less productive today than they were 10 years ago.  How is that even possible with all this great technology?!  Why didn’t scorecards work?  Because dashboards are the WRONG delivery platform, plain and simple.

I believe we have to go back to KPIs and Scorecards which gets the entire department and dare I say, company, back on the same page of what the strategic objectives are of the company.  But, they need to be delivered on the correct platforms that make it super easy to take a quick glance and know the business is on or off track.  Mobile is the platform to effectively deliver these important business metrics because mobile is everywhere you are and so can your business.  That’s why in my next app, I’m providing an important scorecard view right within the experience to take your business on to the go where ever you might be.

Enjoy the day, Patrick

PS:  If you want to be a part of the early adopter program, just email.

Is it time to redefine Business Intelligence (BI)? #bigdata #analytics #makebusinessgreatagain

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I believe Howard Dresner coined the term BI for Business Intelligence some time ago. I’ve used this term for probably 15 years and have thrown it around to encompass everything relating to data and getting it in the hands of business users.  Then, over the past 6 or 7 years, everything became BIG Data and Analytics. Catchy huh?  What does that really mean to a person that actually has to make a decision based on where their business is headed?

I was recently reading an article on the pitfalls of bi and it really made me THINK about purpose of the term BI.   If you have read any of my posts over the past 10+ years, you know that I am all about business performance and really trying to get the whole organization focused on specific business objects that are measurable.  When you have people focused on the same Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), then you have the whole department locked in on the same goals all moving towards the end-zone.

I think the issue with calling everything BIG DATA or Analytics is that it really means so many things to so many people.  What does that result in?  Yep, you guessed it, everyone creating their own playbook and running in different directions on the field.  That is no way to win the super bowl, just ask any NFL coach.

We need to go back to KPIs and Scorecards!

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Oh, I know a bunch of you just rolled your eyes, but deep down, you know that I am right.  You just spent $50,000 or maybe even $100,000 or maybe even more (sucker) on a self-serve tool from one the big vendors because the sales person sold you some magic words “that if you buy my tool, you’ll find some insights you never knew before that will make you money.”  Hahahahahah.  Dude, you just been had…  I’m sorry to tell you that. The only person that is going to make any money is that sales person on their commission.

Here’s the deal, ask ANY leader in your company which metrics are important to them and I bet they may say about 7 to 10 metrics and they are known metrics that have been around for years.  Yep, that is it.  Why?  Because that is the heartbeat of the business that is important to them and their department.  Also, the best thing about defining and labeling your KPIs is that your business logic is contained in that metric that everyone can now trust the source.  Try to do that with some random bar chart someone created in a self-serve analytic tool.

Seriously, we have to get serious and do the right thing for the business and not your career about being a so called data scientist.  I think it is time to put all these cool new terms and animated bar charts into their appropriate buckets and get back to making businesses great again.

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Oh yeah, what do you think we should rename business intelligence tool?  Are businesses intelligent?  The people are, but not the business.  I believe we should call this “Business Insights“.  Because, at the end of the day, that is what we are trying to do as professionals, we’re trying to provide Business Insights to decision makers in the company so they can make the right decisions going forward.

Enjoy the day, Patrick