Proactive analytics and unstructured data are the key components of an operational business performance management solution
Over the last twenty years, we have seen steady growth in the use and popularity of business performance management (BPM) solutions. If you look at business performance management use by functional area, you will find that it has been deployed in the approximate ratio of 60% financial, 30% marketing and 10% operational. Thus, if you have been using business performance management to analyze data, it is likely that you have been working with financial or marketing data.
Perhaps it is time to realize that traditional BPM systems have not “cut it” when it comes to operational business performance management. With exponential growth in computing power delivering voluminous amounts of near real-time structured and unstructured operational data, there is clearly a void in the ability of traditional BPM solutions to address operational use. BPM vendors have been listening to the market and now recognize the market opportunity. If you are looking for a BPM solution that addresses operational business performance management, don’t be fooled by the often clever product repositioning statements of some vendors. What should you look for if your organization is beginning to investigate operational business performance management? Two areas that operational business performance management should address are proactive analytics and unstructured data.
We are clearly entering the next phase of business performance management use which could aptly be called “proactive business performance management.” Initially, BPM systems ran in batch mode. They were soon replaced by interactive BPM systems which have been the norm during the last decade. Proactive business performance management facilitates operational analytics by giving organizations the ability to “automate” what was the interactive OLAP slice-and-dice discovery process offered by traditional BPM solutions. This automated discovery process is a “must have” feature for operational business performance management analysis for two simple reasons: once analysts have asked all the questions they know to ask of their data, there is simply too much data and too much complexity for any team of analysts to know where to look next. To expect that a business person can “discover” a valuable insight hidden in their data by stumbling across it is not an effective way to become proactive. With the proliferation of data, users need to be guided to emerging issues they had previously never considered.