Trilogy Logo Trilogy Tidings
 April 2018
in this issue
     Has any recent news suggested to you that business intelligence is suffering from a shortfall? Me too. I share some thoughts on doing something about that deficiency.

     Then I add some borrowed insight on the importance of workflow and market failure.

Regards,
Joe

10 Dimensions of Business Intelligence

"Business intelligence." The smart alecks will claim that phrase is oxymoronic. Just think about recent news about major companies behaving badly owing to lack of intelligence about the untoward effects of their activities on their customers and on society at large. But my own critique will be more measured.

Business Intelligence
 
I think we can agree that all businesses need to know stuff ... all the time ... in order to fully exploit their participation in markets of interest ... and to sometimes consider entering new markets as well.
 
OK, what do they need to know? The following list is intended as a reminder of the most important dimensions of business intelligence that require attention from time to time from both defensive and offensive perspectives. Here are my Top 10:

          1. Existing market stats
          2. User impressions of products and concepts
          3. Unmet needs and future requirements
          4. Technology assessment and trends
          5. Existing solutions and potential alternatives
          6. Competitive assessment and positioning
          7. Pricing sensitivity and analysis
          8. User interactions and experiences
          9. Business strategies and planning
          10. Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures

You will find more detail on these important dimensions in two new articles. The first provides more detail on these 10 dimensions in the form of some clarifying sample questions to be answered. The second offers a solution matrix suggesting how best to gather the required intelligence.

Here's to staying informed for great success!
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Forget Product -- Focus on Workflow
    
Your customers really don't love or even like your product (with the exception of a few love-struck Apple users). Your customers just care about getting a job done, easily and error-free. This acute insight is most appropriately attributed to Harvard's Clayton Christensen circa 2005. (His talk at a Boston event more than a decade ago was one of the best I've ever attended.)
 
Since your customers care most about a job to be done, they care about workflow (whether they call it that or not), not the product or service that enables or supports that job. I read a few recent articles by folks I respect that nicely expand upon this truth. Their examples focus on medical and scientific instruments, but their conclusions are every bit as valid for backhoes.
 
Chris Ross, a product designer, argues for trying to understand how users are likely to actually use your new product before you finalize its design. He draws the surprising conclusion that designers of already commercialized products are often surprised at how those products are actually used differently from their prescribed usage. You can read Chris's short piece here .
 
David Chapin, a marketing expert, addresses the importance of workflow in some detail using a concrete lab instrument example. He wants you to focus on selling solutions, not products. And he offers prescriptions for executing that shift in approach. You can read David's piece here .
 
Absorbing these thoughts will be well worth your time. And, don't forget to research Christensen's work to get fully grounded in the topic.
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More on The Absence of Market
    
You will find a nice complement to my March newsletter dealing with startup failures in a recent newsletter from Charlie Goodrich. A good read to complete the picture.
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Contact Info
ContactInfoJoseph J. Kalinowski, Principal
919.533.6285
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