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!