Monday, 31 October 2011

Is Information a Tool for Democracy?

Senior BI Consultant, Angus Menter, explains how democracy’s central premise is carrying out the will of the people, meaning people get access to services that meet their needs. To achieve this they following steps need to happen:

1.     Understanding what the needs are

2.     Finding good ways to deliver the services

3.     People being able to access those services

Information is important to each aspect. It takes two main forms, narrative and fact-based. Business analytics can help to get a fact-based view, which of course for right or wrong we then often express via a personal or political narrative.

Read this White Paper to gain an insight into how DSCallards believes that information supports democracy:

Source:  Angus Menter, Senior BI Consultant, DSCallards
About Angus:  Angus Menter worked in SAP & Business Objects public sector for ten years. He joined DSCallards in 2010 to contribute to the way the company engages with their customers, including defining the company’s BI project methodology.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Part 1: “Data, Data everywhere...but not a drop when I need it!”

How many times have you asked IT to provide you with a report on inventory levels, or gap times in processing, or even a dashboard to provide a "at a glance" status view of current product and process flows?

As manufacturing businesses increase or decrease their production, change their processes, hire/train new employees, develop new methods and shift their vendor mix, huge amounts of data are generated. Add to this a constant stream of customer and product data — and your data quickly becomes a growing tangle of information distributed across disparate applications and systems — data that could be critical to decision-making, if it were available quickly!

In our experience a key tenet to making information more manageable is a Data Integration strategy. Data Integration is both process and product — using the best tools but not the best strategy to organise and flow data can result in inaccurate data and incorrect assumptions. Likewise, a great process for managing information can be hindered by tools that don’t work fast enough, require a large team of consultants for maintenance, or are so difficult to manage that they just aren’t used.

Key Warning Signs of Manufacturing Data Bottlenecks

• Multiple, disparate databases are used to support customer, production or financial data, but are not sharing information
• Difficulty in making critical information available for reporting — ie, real-time data demands
• Limited IT resources constantly tied up in accessing data, rather than managing data flow
• Critical processes are slow — hindered by data availability

If your organisation is currently using a data integration solution, the following questions can help determine if the solution is working satisfactorily, or not.

1. Is fresh data available in time for reporting?
2. Are your data requests promptly serviced by your IT team?
3. Is all data about customers, suppliers and employees available when needed, or does it require more customised handling by the IT team?
4. Can your company improve the speed of the current solution for data retrieval/reporting without adding any expense?
(This refers to either hiring additional staff, purchasing new hardware/systems, or reworking existing processes)

If the answer is “No” to these questions, then I really recommend that you come along to our free 1/2 day event on the 7th of December in Maidenhead, UK. 

To register, visit the link below.

Hope to see you there.
Lee Grogan

Source:  Lee Grogan, Sales Manager, DSCallards