Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Business Intelligence Chronicles Part 1: Six Blind Men and a Elephant

Many years ago when I transitioned into Business Intelligence Applications (Peoplesoft EPM/Cognos) from a ERP Transactional Applications (Peoplesoft Financials) background, one of my first endeavors was to "sell" the concept on an ongoing basis to what almost always used to be a wary audience of executives, managers and users who had heard the buzz but were not exactly sure what it meant. With my Sales and Marketing Background I knew that a picture will do it better than words.

The first slide in my presentation deck was the parable of the Six Blind Men and the Elephant :

  • Is it a Wall ?
  • Is it a spear ?
  • Is it a snake ?
  • Is it a tree or a fan or a rope ?
    Each blind man describes the elephant from where he is standing, from his perspective, and each is different...
    With EPM - Provide timely & consistent information across the global organization in order to align executives, operational managers, field sales force and knowledge workers in defining, viewing and pursuing strategic objectives.

The slide always drove the message home and I retained it in my deck as we continued to roll out BI applications to more sites/functions. Always succeeded in getting the audience engaged as it very aptly described the state of data and information in most sites/functions/organizations and what we intended to do about it. A very clear positioning for our "Brand".

What do you think ? With the multitudes of BI applications and Data Warehousing Solutions are organizations today better equipped to see the Full Elephant or are they still like the Six Blind Men ? Share your stories and watch out for Part 2 of The Business Intelligence Chronicles.


Glenn said...

I can see the angle of each person having a different 'view' of the elephant/data. In one way that troubles me. Nobody figures out what they are all looking at. Even with all these views. Not a positive thing. But hey, if it is working for you, that's great!

Becky said...

I agree that the parable is still an accurate depiction of what we do. I love the "data archeology" term for the same reason. Rather than implying that we know exactly where the data is and how to get it out, data archeology expresses the idea that we don't know, it's going to take some digging and careful picking away of un-needed parts to get the one nugget of information. I would love to have a copy of your full slide in a better graphic format. Can you forward it to millerbeckyjo@gmail.com please?


kailash said...

I feel as long as a person is sitting on top of the elephant(mahout) and coordinating with the blind man i can see 6 different perceptions and strategies coming your way.


Search Google


Site Meter