Human Insight + System Intelligence = Business Intelligence?
I had an interesting conversation some time back with a Business user. We were in the process of finalizing reporting requirements for the organization. They use SAP BI as their reporting Platform.
‘We do not get the WHY behind a particular KPI’, was his complaint. But we do get that. We have traffic lights which define an exception in the Data and points out the trouble areas. You can then drill down on that particular area and indentify the problem.
‘But isn’t my answer to the WHY restricted by the level of Drill down. For e.g. If my sales are weak in a particular country, I will drill down to regions, districts etc and finally only know that a particular district has low sales. But I am still not able to figure out WHY. I then need to talk to the Sales Manager of that region to understand the reason behind this.’
He was absolutely correct!!! The answer to WHY is restricted to the Data available. There is no assessment of WHY this has occurred. I am sure the dejected Sales Manager of that region has a lot of insights and reasons of why this has occurred. So are we not losing the Human Insight into Data that defines actionable intelligence?. And if the System does not provide this information how is this collated. Mostly through excel files, where an analysis of the Data is done and Inputs provided by the Business area owners.
So is this where future reporting is headed? Is the future a set of tools that combines Data and Human Insights into the Data to provide holistic Intelligence, which is available at the click of a button? Commenting on Data is one of the Options available, where Business area owners can provide their insight into the numbers.