Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What to do with Conflicting KPI's

Business is tough. It’s even tougher when your Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are contradictory. You end up fighting against yourself.
What business would do that? It’s just crazy, right?
We see it all the time and the simplest example is, any company that rolls out a big initiative to increase quantity of work. Sounds good so far, every company wants to get more productivity out of its workforce after all.
Productivity is key, so everyone hear this: Get more work done!
What a lot of companies forget to stress is that more productivity is great, if quality doesn’t suffer.
You might be amazed how many companies put the push on for getting more done and are shocked when they see their defect rates go up. Or just the opposite, there’s a well-publicized effort to improve quality, only to see quantity drop.
Any single KPI has the potential to be misused when considered on its own merit.
Use multiple KPIs together to form a well-balanced view of your organization, and make sure that your initiatives communicate a balanced approach clearly and effectively!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Goal Alignment: Does Your Company Have it?

Can you imagine what would happen if the boosters on a rocket were not aligned?  You can easily visualize that rocket careening left, right, then up and down in a completely unpredictable course.
Now apply this same principal to your business.  Your people, processes and tools are analogous to those boosters on the rocket.  If they are not aligned, and properly pointed at your target, your flight is not going to be successful.
Using our INSIGHT methodology, and our IGNITE suite of Business Intelligence (BI) tools, Cliintel helps its clients carefully tune the alignment of people, process, and tools.  Our Six Sigma trained experts will assess your operational efficiency with a combined approach of advanced statistical analysis and deep domain knowledge. We’ll look at the initiatives that are driven from the C-Suite and recommend ways to optimize your operations so that everyone within the company is in alignment, and pointed toward the target.
If your current BI tool isn’t capable of providing the proper telemetry and guidance for your flight, we have IGNITE to offer.  IGNITE will access any number of different data silos to show how each adjustment of your processes impacts your direction, and you’ll know virtually instantaneously.  Let’s face it, some really good  ideas don’t always work out as planned, and you’ll need to reverse those adjustments quickly, and you can’t do that effectively without fresh and actionable intelligence.  And for the ideas that do provide the right impact, you’ll want to know those impacts as well.  In either case, you’ll have the confidence to alter your flight knowing that your risks are controlled with our trusted INSIGHT methodology coupled with our BI knowledge.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Does Your Call Center Compete?

Our leadership team recently had the opportunity to visit the Zappos office in Las Vegas and take part in their 3 day “Zappos Insights Boot Camp”.  This was a very interesting and unique experience as Zappos is well known for their company culture and how they have become one of the best places to work in America. 
Zappos started out as an on-line site to buy shoes, and now sell a wide variety of products through their web site although shoes certainly remain a staple for them.  One reason that the Zappos story is so interesting is because of how they organize and run their call center. Call centers are notorious for being unhappy, unfriendly, toxic environments where anyone can get hired but no one with any talent or skill tends to stay for very long.  However, that is not the case at Zappos, where every employee in the call center is upbeat, smiling, and anxious to serve their customers. How did Zappos do that?
By clearly creating and reinforcing a culture that is unique from any other call center I’ve ever experienced.
On our first day at Zappos, before we even had a chance to learn anything about the company, before we had a chance to hear about the Zappos Culture, and before we had even met our first Zappos employee, we were given a tour of their call center. 
I was shocked. 
Call centers tend to be uniform in their layout and design with hundreds of identical cubes lined up, with employees slowly milling about glassy-eyed and almost comatose as they avoided customer calls.  Call center personnel are typically graded on how quickly they get resolution on each call, which is a nice way to say that they are paid to get off the phone in a hurry; whether the problem has been solved or not.  The rooms are generally quiet, still, and bland except for the muffled tones of employees droning on to unknown customers on the phone lines.
Not so at Zappos.  There, employees were grouped into teams of 8 – 10 where each group came up with their own identity and then decorated their area based on that.  We saw Star Trek teams, teams dedicated to long defunct rock bands, some to more recent music stars, and of course the required “Simpsons” team.  The decorations were in some cases crude, but in all cases both colorful and plentiful.  The huge call center resembled the birthday party of an over-sugared 10 year old.  
While the team lines were clearly delineated, there was no concern over cliques forming.  You see, teams only stay together for a few months and were then disbanded so that new teams could be formed with new ideas and new decorations.   Over time you get the chance to be team members with many, if not all of your fellow employees. 
Employees are not rated on how quickly they get off the call, but by how quickly they answer the next call in their queue and their ability to meet a number of points on their call check list. That list specifically calls out making a connection with the customer. Since call length is not important, the employees feel no need to rush their customers.  In fact, they are encouraged to spend the time getting to know them.   They are encouraged to build relationships with customers that they will likely never meet in person.  Why?  Because customers who know you care will likely call back and buy more products.   Customers are not someone that you must “deal with” instead they are treated like an old friend that you are anxious to help.
And this attitude extends beyond the call center to every aspect and job within Zappos.   Zappos has done what no other company to my knowledge has been able to do: they make working in a call center fun.  And that is no easy task.

Here are the key things we learned that I believe can be transferred to the development of almost any culture:
  1. Know your culture before you can imprint it. Clearly, values play an important part in defining that culture, and   Zappos started with a list of simple words that defined their values.  They started with 10, and further-clarified them by changing them from simple words to short statements, each one starting with a verb.  So “customer service” turned into “Deliver WOW through Service”.  “Fun” turned into “Create fun and a little weirdness”.
  2. While skills are important to any position, skills are teachable.  When hiring they make sure that each new employee embodies the spirit that is the Zappos culture.  Culture interviewing is critical in their hiring process, and if there is any question about a potential employees ability to fit the culture, that person is not offered a position.
  3. Zappos employees must show that they fit the culture continually.  Someone is more likely to be fired for failure to meet the culture than they are by failing to perform.
  4. Cultural assessments are performed annually across the organization and are as important as objective based Performance Reviews.
  5. Everyone proudly displays the Zappos name.  From T-shirts to mugs, pens and key chains, the Zappos name is ever-present, and employees display their wares proudly. 
  6. Employees are encouraged to nominate their peers for special awards when they display the Zappos spirit and culture. 
I could go on and on, but they key takeaway for me was that when you want to build something special and deliver a better customer experience that leads to happy, repeat customers, as well as engaged employees, it all begins with your culture.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Got a Problem? We Can Solve it.

The Silver Bullet Solution

Many companies want that silver bullet that solve all of their big data problems quickly, easily, and completely. This is true for many of our clients. It’s a very seductive concept, and one that oftentimes is not realistic.
While silver bullet solutions may be few and far between, what does work is implementing proven approaches for iterative and incremental problem solving. CliIntel’s approach is just that. With the big picture in mind, we focus on iterative solutions that are self-funding. In other words, we tackle one problem at a time to maximize ROI.

The Cube of Opportunity

It’s been said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.  CliIntel takes that single step by analyzing a small component of a business, documenting the opportunities, and presenting a conservative ROI calculation for capitalizing on one or two of the most feasible opportunities.  We calculate the feasibility based on the best ROI for the least effort with the least disruption (we call this the ‘cube of opportunity’).
Solutions are implemented one step at a time in order to maximize ROI for each iterative step completed.  Then the changes in performance levels are measured, presented and verified. The cube of opportunity represents small, incremental changes that yield results in days, not months. Results like these allow companies to make decisions swiftly and determine the next critical change to be implemented.
This incremental approach allows companies to protect their investment. Incremental investments are met with incremental returns, oftentimes far exceeding predictions. Funny thing with big data – once you can wrap your arms around the little things, the big things get easier.


We call this a self-funding model because the first project pays for itself quickly, and continued ROI pays for the next project.  You get to play with ‘house money’.  The second project pays for itself (even though the first project also paid for the second project) and the next project as well.  The third pays for the fourth, and so on.

Business Intelligence (BI)

This model is predicated on the fact that companies have the ability to quickly monitor their performance data.  Many companies already have ‘system of truth’ type BI system which provides time appropriate access to actionable data.  For companies that either don’t have this kind of system, or can’t ingest new data quickly enough to meet the measurement needs, we plug in IGNITE Lite, our low-investment easy-to-implement BI tool.  This tool allows for creation of baseline performance levels, and  timely access to the actionable data companies need to verify that optimization projects meet their goals.


Your business problems (or shall I say opportunities) probably don’t all look the same, and certainly can’t be solved with a silver bullet.  With a repeatable process that can be applied to a wide variety of challenges, incremental  insights add up to impressive results.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Three Rules for Making our Company Truly Great

As companies are always striving for better, we at Cliintel are striving for great. Often times, it can be tempting to try and make the company’s results look better by declining assets and investments to reduce costs. Since this is not the way to make a company truly great, there are three rules that can serve as corrective measures to the leadership all-too-fallible intuition.
  1. Better before cheaper
    1. Look to competing on other options and desires than price
  2. Revenue before cost
    1. Prioritize and follow a process to increase revenue, prior to reducing costs amongst the company
  3. There are no other rules 
    1. We are a change company. In order to fall in line with what we do for our clients, we must first follow rules 1 and 2
Truly great companies accept higher costs as a price of excellence, which creates a non-price value and generates higher revenue; leading back to our mission of: “Happy Employees, Happy Clients.”  Outstanding performance is created and executed by grander value, not by lower price. Companies that seek sustained profitability should pursue strategies consistent with these three rules and avoid those that aren't. Cliintel values our employees; our people are our product. Our cultural approach and attitude holds success in balance for Cliintel, especially when our leadership team upholds following the three rules to making our company truly great. At the end of the day, everyone is responsible for making Cliintel great. An individual department does not drive success without interlinking other departments and brilliant individuals. We cannot create a truly great company by only following these three rules, but also through: teamwork, innovation, communication, and selflessness. 

Richard Batenburg Jr., CEO

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can I Ever Trust Again?

You’ve been hurt.  Perhaps badly.  You researched, cross checked, and still the data wasn’t right.  You presented some numbers in a critical meeting, and got called on the carpet right there.
Nothing derails a conversation or presentation quite like someone not trusting your numbers.  The rest of your brilliant work is shoved aside, and all focus shifts to the faulty numbers.
Your Business Intelligence software can be the hero or the heel when it comes to supporting the larger aspects of your business all the way down to the micro details of your presentations and reports.  The signs are easy to read if you know where to look:
  • Can you use your data ‘as is’ without having to alter it?  If you export data out of your BI Tool into Excel and then massage the data to create the message you need, you have a trust issue.
  • Can your users get fresh data right away?  If you have to wait for the right data to be incorporated into the BI tool, you have a delay issue.
  • Is your data ‘beautiful’, but unusable in a practical manner?  Fantastic looking data is important, but you may have a ‘true but useless’ issue.  A strong BI solution will allow you to take corrective action to solve problems within your sphere of influence.
  • When you do encounter errors in the data, can you identify what’s wrong?  Telling your BI support team that the data is wrong (without specifics) won’t give them a real opportunity to fix the problem, and you may have a granularity issue.  Your solution should allow you to drill down to a single transaction to verify calculations.
  • Are the measurement techniques clear and consistent regarding the calculation of your metrics?  You may have an ‘apples & oranges’ issue.  Measuring everyone the same way is critical to fair and objective performance comparisons.
Our experience leads us to believe the following about BI solutions:
  • The presentation should be sexy, but not at the cost of accuracy.  Sooner or later the beauty of the charts and graphs gives way to right or wrong data.
  • You should be able to prove, or disprove, the accuracy of any metric quickly and easily.
  • When you do find an error, your BI Support team should be able to isolate and fix the problem.  Communicating to users what the problem was and how it was fixed is core to lasting trust.  This kind of openness and transparency is rare.
  • The data needs to be fresh enough for you to do your job without being distracted.  Real time data is cool, but is it really needed?  Two-week old data, on the other hand, may make it impossible for you to adjust your methods effectively.
  • The data needs to have purpose.  Each metric should have meaning to the business, and a specific set of solution paths when performance doesn’t measure up.
In general, if your data is fresh, easily accessible, relevant, and correct, you’re well on your way to building trust.
Cliintel works with companies who are battling their own internal trust issues, showing you how and when to retrieve the right data, from the right place, at the right time, for meaningful answers to some of your most difficult questions. When a large body of users start referring to the BI solution as the ‘system of truth’, that’s when you know you can trust again!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Defining Everyday Culture and Environment

Much has been written about Zappos and their founder Tony Hsieh as his company is recognized as a leader in customer-centric, employee-centric, culture-based management. But what does all of that really mean, and most importantly, does Zappos operate the way Tony describes it in his best-selling management book, Delivering Happiness?
I first visited Zappos in April 2010 and found the experience exhilarating from a management perspective. At the time, Cliintel was looking for new office space and an effective way to use that space. I took many ideas from Zappos; multiple small conference rooms, brightly colored walls and open “funky” cube group work environments.
My company operates from a set of nine values; Judgment, Curiosity, Passion, Communication, Innovation, Honesty, Impact, Courage, and Selflessness. Many people believe that nine is just too many, and I was pleased and felt vindicated to see that Zappos had 10! During my first visit, the company was in the midst of being assimilated by Amazon.com as they had been acquired for over $1B. At the time the very animated, heavily tattooed and pierced tour guide talked about how a condition of the deal was that Amazon would leave the Zappos culture alone, bringing only their logistical prowess to bear; Zappos would be allowed to retain its “weirdness” and its unique employee/customer-centric philosophy. Having been through many mergers and acquisitions in my career, I was skeptical, to say the least.
In April 2013, I returned from my second visit to Zappos and am pleased to report that after 2 years, Amazon.com has indeed left the Zappos culture intact. In fact, Amazon.com and the gigantic war chest of money that came along with it enabled Tony Hsieh and his team to extend their customer/employee-centric philosophies in several meaningful ways. The commitment to new hire training during my first visit was along the lines of two weeks; currently new employees spend over four weeks in training – not on-the-job training but in-classroom. This training not only involves the technology aspects, but centers on their customer service philosophy and most importantly: the culture. Another unique feature of the company that remained intact is that new hires are offered the equivalent of approximately one month’s salary to leave after two weeks of training. This is not a punitive or PIP offer, it’s an open offer every employee who is hired regardless of where they are on the performance scale in the first couple of weeks. This commitment helps ensure employee engagement and reduces employee turnover to levels unheard of in the call center space, which is essentially the core of Zappos’ business structure.
Even more profound than during my first visit, it was clear that every employee, regardless of their level, was able to repeat, and most importantly connect, with the company’s 10 values in their daily work - everything from customer service to expense reporting. The empowerment the employees exuded and the obvious connection to the company’s values was simply astonishing. The tour provided me not only with proof that the ideas in Tony’s book were being carried out at Zappos, but more importantly, gave me a profound sense that the embodiment of values in a company have a powerful impact on culture.
Newly minted ideas were being executed with typical “Zappos flair” and weirdness. One idea was a professional development program that gave employees access to a personal goals coach, allowing them to take ownership of a component of the performance appraisal system by making them responsible for the achievement of 30-day goals. The weirdness was apparent when walking through a stairwell connecting the first and second floors of the Henderson, Nevada facility where employees were invited and encouraged to write on the walls with markers. The weirdness soon turned into empowerment when I read some of the thoughts people shared on the walls about their goals and the date they achieved them, and by signing their names, released all anonymity. In many cases, these were very personal achievements - which ranged from weight loss to education and empowerment through exiting dangerous domestic situations.
I highly encourage you to visit www.zapposinsights.com and arrange for a tour to see this magic for yourself. They’ll schedule the one hour tour and arrange for a shuttle to pick you up at your Las Vegas hotel, feed you while you’re on the tour and take you back to your hotel – all free of charge. The tour really begins when you get in the shuttle, since it’s driven by a team member who is more than happy to answer questions and demonstrate their company values from the moment they meet you. If you’re staying on the Las Vegas strip it’s about a 2 ½ hour investment and if you’re a business person open to a little weirdness and new ideas, it could change your life – and the way you do business.

Richard Batenburg, Jr., President and CEO

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Value of Sharing Data

Should you share your performance data throughout your organization?  This can be a vexing question, and all too often the answer is ‘only when absolutely necessary’.  Fortunately, organizations are slowly coming to the realization that while data is power, shared data is powerful.
There are many reasons for taking a position of secrecy regarding performance, some of which include:
  1. I’m not meeting my goals, and I don’t want this to be generally known.
  2. My performance goals have not been clearly established, so I don’t really know if I’m performing or not.
  3. I know I’m performing well, and I don’t want other managers to hire away my best talent.
  4. In general my team performs well, and I don’t want the emphasis to be placed on the few areas where we are underperforming.
Certainly all of these are real concerns.  The good news is that there is an answer for each of these situations that leads to great solutions for all involved.
The first major shift an organization can undertake is to move away from using data as a tool for punishment, and towards a mentality of inspect what you expect, and train for success.  Each area of underperformance can be successfully turned around when an organization takes a positive stance on identifying, deconstructing, and resolving problems.  Let’s face it – we all have places we can improve.  This is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of healthy recognition.  Using data to punish your team makes everyone want to shy away from the realities of doing business, whereas having an open conversation focused on specific ways to improve is good for everyone.
Another key use of data is to more tightly integrate the various levels of management in an organization.  If you don’t have and share the data related to performance throughout the various tiers in your organization, you won’t be able to identify best practices and share them ubiquitously.  Sharing performance data allows you to know which players are top notch in various areas, so that under-performers can seek out over-performers, and learn from them.  If I’m having trouble with something, it’s very reassuring to know that I can reach out to a teammate for assistance, especially when that teammate has a proven track record of success that’s verified by the data.  But I can’t identify my potential mentors if performance data is kept a closely guarded secret.
Performance data can also expose areas of uncertainty, so that you can dig deeper for root cause.  Poor performance may be very difficult to explain, and putting that performance under scrutiny should allow for better research into the exact causes.  This requires a culture of openness to discussion, sharing, and true problem solving.  The benefit of understanding root cause is that you can then bring resources to bear directly on the previously unclear problems.
One of the most powerful results of sharing performance data is healthy ‘coopetition’ which is the combination of cooperation and competition.  Organizations that both compete and cooperate can bring about tremendous transformations in surprisingly short periods of time.  Again, this requires full exposure of performance data so that teammates can share expertise in their areas of strength, and learn from others in their areas of weakness.
It should be known that truly sharing performance data is more of a cultural issue than a technical one.  Today’s software will easily allow you to share your data, but can your organization survive the honesty?
In today’s global economy, perhaps you should ask yourself if your organization can survive anything but honesty.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Slowly Changing Dimensions

One of the more interesting aspects of BI is being able to track an entity (person, place or thing) that undergoes a name change.  How do you ensure that all of the activity and measurements are properly correlated before and after that name change?
Business Intelligence parlay calls this type of entity a ‘Slowly Changing Dimension’ (SCD). Perhaps a simple example can clarify the issue:
  1. Your company has grown through acquisition, and your divisions have non-standardized codes that identify the source of a sale (Internet, Direct sales, word of mouth, etc).
  2. This created a lot of reporting problems because you weren’t able to compare apples to apples, so you underwent a major standardization process so that every division now uses the same code value to equate to the same code outcome.
  3. Unfortunately, the standardization process did not include changing all of your historical transactions to reflect the standardized codes, so when you run a report including dates before the standardization, the initial problem remains.
Why didn’t the standardization solve the problem, and how do you solve the new problem that now exists?
The solution can be pretty simple when you plan properly for these slowly changing dimensions.  The data required to solve a simple SCD issue like the one above might include something like this:
Division IDCurrent Code IDMaster Code IDStart DateEnd Date

This simple table allows your BI functions to:
  1. Associate code 2B in Division 1 to master code 1A during the active dates of January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2012.  Transactions during this time period can be coded correctly by joining from the transaction [c1] to the SCD table on division, current code, and start/end date range.  This is the old code that is being replaced (by 3A).
  2. Associate code 3A in Division 1 to master code 1A during the active dates of January 1, 2013 through the current date.  In this example, non-standardized code 2B has been replaced with corporate standard code 3A.
  3. Associate code 2B in Division 1 to master code 2X during the active dates of January 1, 2013 through the current date.  9999-99-99 indicates the code does not have an end date, and all transactions for division 1, code 2B, for dates after January 1, 2013.  In this example, code 2B in division 1 has taken on a whole new meaning as of January 1, 2013.  2B hasn’t been used in this devision prior to January 1, 2013.
  4. The Master code in each example allows a many-to-one relationship, so multiple current codes can ‘roll-up’ to a single master code.  You may have more than one code in a division that fundamentally means the same thing at the corporate level.
Of course this example is a simple one, and there are many circumstances of much greater complexity.  Hopefully this example will serve to illustrate the problem, and help you to solve the simple problems now, and move to more difficult ones over time.
SCD’s are a fact of life in BI implementations, and having a practical solution is critical to your data accuracy!
One final thought – standardizing your codes across a large organization can be a truly painful project.  If you can properly use SCD’s, you may find that standardizing all your codes is not required after all!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Do you Walk the Walk?

Everyone talks about the importance of developing and implementing a solid strategy, but who really walks the walk? I think of strategy as nothing more than a playbook that helps your business beat the competition. In a nutshell, it’s about winning. While no two winning strategies are exactly the same, a successful strategy includes an objective, a scope, and a competitive advantage that sum up the outcome a company intends to achieve, the arena in which it will compete, and the methods it will use to win.
A strategy also typically sets a time frame for achieving the objectives. Although new strategies ultimately will be required as a company’s business environment changes, a good strategy will provide guiding principles for the long-term despite the short—and even medium-term changes a company faces.
I’m obviously a big proponent of winning. I talk about it regularly to our employees – the people that make Cliintel tick. They, in turn, talk about it with our clients. Strategy must start at the top, but in order to work, must be communicated to every level of the company and implemented by all. This means that from the “chiefs” to the front line employees, a clear objective must be known. If it’s not, things get lost in translation, people move in a multitude of directions, and the strategy gets off course. When objectives are clear, each silo, each department, and each individual contributor knows what their part is in the big picture.
Cliintel helps bring all of it together by showing companies how to look at disparate data in ways that are meaningful to their overall strategy. If you aren’t looking at your data in terms of how it directly impacts your strategy, what’s the point of looking at it? To win in business, we have to be smart. Cliintel can help you improve operations, reduce waste, and achieve your company objectives. To find out more, explore our website or give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation. You have nothing to lose. And everything to win!

Richard M. Batenburg Jr. CEO, Cliintel

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Big Data: Analysis Paralysis

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, what’s the next step you’re taking to get a handle on your data? With Big Data, taking that first step will lead many of us into “analysis paralysis”.  You probably know people who love data. These are the folks who analyze it for months and develop a national data warehouse project before handing over their “perfect” analysis. By that time, the data is old and useless.
The faster way to get to your goal and to realize immediate value is to capitalize on just a piece of the pie. Take a baby step. One of the analogies we use at Cliintel is that making good use of your data is like getting oil out of the ground. When extracting oil from the ground, you don’t put a 50-mile-wide pipe into the earth. A small pipe is driven into the earth in order to verify the presence of oil. The next step is to get the oil up to the surface, and send it off to the refinery where you can turn it into a usable product. The same is true with Big Data. The key is to establish the data that’s going to be valuable (i.e. translates to sales or cost savings), and get that data refined so that it’s usable across the company – from the C-suite to the front line employees. 
Getting the data monetized is the goal. Moving beyond analysis paralysis is about choosing one or two pieces of information that has the ability to grow revenues or save costs. The investment you make in extracting the right data pays for itself. It then turns into dollars saved or revenue earned that can be used to extract the next layer of data that’s critical to your next business problem. It’s a step-by-step process that can turn your organization from one that’s paralyzed by Big Data, into one that’s empowered by it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We Mean Business!

Big data is big business. Serious business. Cliintel takes big data very seriously when we’re working with our clients to help them break through the noise of incoherent, unusable data. But, we’ve also got a softer side. While our number one goal is to make our customer’s day-to-day business operations a little more seamless, we also like to connect with the very people who are trying to make sense out of their data. We just spent a day filming a new series of videos that will appear on our website, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. If you’ve ever embarked on a video project, you know there is a lot of pre-planning that needs to take place. But, nothing is more important than the moment of truth . . . that is, when the director says “quiet on the set” and the spotlight is on you.
Well, the spotlight was on me and our CTO, Paul Ousterhout. If you don’t know us, you might see our images on the website and classify us as the “typical C-Suite”. Guys with ties. The sort of people who eat, breathe and sleep big data. The latter is certainly true, but we were able to take the serious side of big data and have a little fun with it by sharing stories about how we’ve helped companies get a handle on their data so they can make informed decisions that truly impact the bottom line. And, we can get a little animated. Jokes were flying. And, maybe a swear word was thrown out here and there. But, all in all, the production process was fast and fun. The kind of results you get when you’re just telling it like it is. And that’s what we do best. We help you look at your big data in ways that allow you to improve operations, reduce waste, and impact the bottom line. Stay tuned for our new video series and let us know what you think. Big data is big business. And Cliintel is the trusted expert that helps you see through the clutter. 

Richard M. Batenburg Jr. CEO, Cliintel

Friday, February 1, 2013

TM Forum Recap:Big Data

Big data was the buzz at Management World Americas’ TM Forum last month in Orlando. Lauri Smith of Comcast presented a case study on how they’ve been successful at using big data to provide relevant, real-time information to their technical operations team members. I presented alongside her, showing the value of using the data that already exists within an infrastructure to make smarter decisions about day-to-day operations, and how this can save a company millions of dollars.
The gist of the whole talk was about using data as “carrots” and not “sticks”. In other words, when employees use data to make intelligent decisions about what to do next, or how to make improvements in the way customers are served, or how to gain more market share by being in the right place at the right time – that’s motivating. On the other hand, when companies use data more as a weapon to find errors that lead to finger-pointing, it’s not helping the company grow or use the data in a powerful manner.
Big data can enable better decision making from the top down . . . and the bottom up. By aligning strategy, operations, and tactics, each entity within the organization is moving in the same direction, thereby enabling systematic transformation to take place.
When you provide widespread access to the data you already capture every day, and translate it into business intelligence that leads to the right actions to actually grow your company, well, that’s powerful.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sprinting Into a New Year!

When we flipped the calendar over to 2013, we celebrated Cliintel’s official completion of its first year under our new name, and our 10th year in business. After 12 months of the many adjustments that come with rebranding, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to helping our customers gain improved process efficiencies. This means less waste, more revenue, and happier customers. I like to think of what we do as having a ripple effect. When we work with large operators in the cable, telecommunications, utilities and retail industries, we’re helping them improve internal operations while also improving their own customers’ experience, which turns into more satisfied customers.
 And we’re helping some great companies. For example, our INSIGHT™ process optimization methodology continues to help ARRIS optimize their WorkAssure™ platform so that their customers, including heavy-hitters like Time Warner Cable, provide the best customer service and response times to their customers. Again, the ripple effect. Our IGNITE™ software provides the analytics companies need to aggregate massive disparate data sets into logical, actionable information. This means that people at every level within an organization can actually USE the data they collect to make the day-to-day decisions that impact growth. We’re also working on the development of a new SaaS product that will bring our powerful software to a cloud host, allowing for easier and more cost- effective access to critical data.
Our success ripples on to our customers, and continues on to their customers. Partnering with Cliintel gives our customers insights into their own business processes, supported by a strong foundation of industry specific expertise. With 2013 off to a fast paced start, we look forward to helping our customers grow while at the same time expanding our own product offerings to meet your most critical needs. We also look forward to communicating with you on Twitter, Facebook, and through LinkedIn to share ideas, answer questions, and help propel your company forward. Thanks for your support, and for allowing us to be part of the positive ripple effect you build in your own company.  

Richard M. Batenburg Jr. CEO, Cliintel