Performance & Insight

We build better insight by combining strategic performance models with agile business intelligence solutions
We are a leader in Microsoft's Power BI solution - rapid, low-cost, self-serve, cloud-deployed and accessible everywhere
Our Balanced Scorecard and Business Intelligence solutions power clients of all sizes, across all industries

Driving performance improvement begins with building performance insight. At all levels – from an executive view of enterprise success, down to frontline operations and outcomes. There is a considerable difference between mere dashboards or reports, and building a truly strategic model of enterprise performance with insight into causes, control, signal vs noise, and value drivers – and having it linked to and driven from enterprise strategy.

This is the difference – the opportunity space – we address comprehensively in three ways:

  • Defining a model of strategic success through the Balanced Scorecard system
  • Building powerful tools for insight, exploration and uplift through Business Intelligence
  • Establishing the right signals around control and causes through Performance & Process Analytics

We have successfully architected and implemented numerous enterprise balanced scorecards, performance reporting solutions and business intelligence platforms across diverse industries for clients large and small, with deep expertise across the breadth of Performance & Insight as well as in deep-dive subject matter like Statistical Process Control, Microsoft Power BI, and Machine Learning.

Why We Start And Finish With Performance

Our model for building sustained business success begins and ends with performance & insight. The reasons are clear:

  • to be successful, Strategic & Transformational Change require, at minimum, clearly defined outcomes and benefits
  • operational performance improvement is at the heart of better-practice Process & Operational Excellence initiatives
  • process analytics is at the heart of Lean Six Sigma and almost any robust methodology for data-driven improvement
  • Project & Business Change Portfolios are led and underpinned by clearly defined and realised benefits from the suite of projects they govern
  • frontline operation and business practice is governed by KPIs and KRAs  at business unit or function level

As a discipline in ensuring client success and the health of any engagement, everything we deploy is (a) first defined by a measurable performance outcome, (b) informed, guided and course-corrected by causal and inferential insight into key performance drivers, and (c) finalised only when outcomes – strategic or operational – are measured and controlled to demonstrate long term change.

Aligning Performance & Insight

Building Performance & Insight has deep roots within Strategy formulation and execution, but should also drive and inform the business change and operational excellence agenda,  approach and objectives.

Our Performance & Insight Clients

How We Assist

Power BI
SQL Server BI
Performance &
Process Analytics

Balanced Scorecard Implementation

The Balanced Scorecard, originally developed by Drs Kaplan and Norton, is more than a system of metrics – it is a strategic planning and management system used by enterprises globally to align business activity to the organisational strategy, improve internal and external communication, and monitor operational performance against strategic goals. The Balanced Scorecard, when properly developed to accurately reflect the causal levers of change in an organisation, becomes a model for future business success, an a recent global study by Bain & Co placed the Balanced Scorecard fifth on its top ten most widely used management tools across the world.

Since the first incarnation of the Balanced Scored in the early 90’s, which identified four perspectives of performance – Financial, Customer, Internal Business Process, Learning & Growth – the Balanced Scorecard has evolved to build out a Strategy Map with objectives and clear linkages between them, with measures related to the strategic success of achieving each objective, all underpinned by and aligned with an overall Destination Statement or Vision.

In our experience the measure of success in implementing the Balanced Scorecard is whether it results in more focused, more potent, and more challenging strategy execution. The risks of a cursory or naive implementation are simply that execution doesn’t “move the dial”. We have deep expertise implementing the Balanced Scorecard as part of strategic planning, or standalone as a performance model and instrument, into organisations of all sizes and across all industries. We take the model further, by defining Value Driver Trees – a set of real operational levers in which discrete top or bottom line uplift is driven by internal or external activity, and how to chain those together to form powerful strategies for driving financial performance.

Microsoft Power BI

Many organisations today are looking for the power and insight of a Business Intelligence solution, either locally within a business unit / team or globally across the enterprise. However, the expense and complexity of an Enterprise BI solution, with costly infrastructure and licensing as well as non-trivial data modelling, integration and architectural effort is often prohibitive.

In response, Microsoft has brought to market a powerful, agile and self-serve BI solution in the form of Power BI, delivering a host of benefits for agile BI implementations:

  • Cloud-based with no deployment required, hosted on secure, high performance Azure infrastructure in Australia
  • Powerful, flexible data import from any internal or external data, point and click dashboard design with inbuilt click-and-drill and natural language querying
  • Mobile and tablet device ready with the Power BI app, as well as desktop access across all modern browsers
  • Completely self-serve with the power and flexbility for complex models, calculations and custom visualisations
  • Fine-grained security and user privileges down to row-level access and integration with your internal Active Directory roles/privileges
  • Two licensing options, either no-cost for “Free” or extremely low-cost for “Pro” plans, with unlimited scalability for small to large rollouts on a per-user basis
  • integration with Excel, Powerpoint, Sharepoint and other Microsoft products, plus PDF production, to support team sharing and distribution

Power BI is a new and powerful way to deliver Business Intelligence fast, inexpensively and scalably. No doubt there are comparable tools on the market, but none with Microsoft’s heavy investment in product development, self-serve vision and design quality, tight integration across Office and other data providers, and commercial strength in the market.

We are experts in Power BI, with a track record of implementations, small and large, for small teams as well as large enterprise deployment. Through our numerous implementations we have built out the critical success factors for fast and robust Power BI implementations, including training and empowering end users, building out Power BI dashboards and complex queries, putting the right controls and framework around ownership and deployment across the Enterprise, and low-level tweaks for better model building and distribution.

SQL Server Business Intelligence

Enterprises increasingly depend on analytics to identify trends and patterns in their key line of business data – imperative in making better, faster decisions. In order for enterprise users to truly get the most of this insight — particularly frontline business users — Business Intelligence tools and features have to be interactive and relatively easy to apply. Business Intelligence continues to be a major focus for Microsoft, which has striven to make SQL Server a flexible and robust enterprise database platform.

We assist enterprises to design and build server-side Business Intelligence solutions on the Microsoft SQL Server platform. SQL Server BI is a complete and robust platform for Business Intelligence, Reporting and Business Analytics. SQL Server BI can provide a business with key information by collecting disparate data from multiple heterogenous sources, transform and integrate that data, going back a long way and making it possible to integrate and report on this combined data. SQL Business Intelligence is built on a number of components that each provide key transformation and insight :-

  • Integration Services is the transformation engine that imports, refines, filters and stores data from multiple other systems
  • Reporting Services delivers transactional reporting and data querying with flexible filtering, grouping and joining of datasets
  • Analysis Services brings multiple datasets and sources together into an integrated business model allowing cross-system and cross-functional insight
  • Power View and related Power Query tools, combined with presentation layer technologies, enabled powerful charting, slicing and dicing, and interrogation of line of business data rapidly and effectively.

We have built and deployed SQL Server BI solutions in organisations of all sizes: SQL Server is a mature and powerful platform compatible with other core Microsoft technologies, and the Business Intelligence platform is highly suited to environments where a robust server-side BI technologies is the preferred architecture.

Performance & Process Analytics

For performance systems to fully deliver insight and impact, businesses must go deeper than the numbers reported. Often, performance metrics present the surface insight – outcomes and outputs – rather than drivers and inputs, without which the right levers of change and course correction remain unknown. Performance Analytics takes raw outcomes, and builds out causal and predictive insight through a range of approaches and tools including:

  • Statistical Process Control: which establishes a framework for knowing when a process stable and predictable, and whether observed movements are signal (real) or noise (random variation)
  • Statistical Modelling: using a variety of inferential and predictive statistical tools to understand causation, material contribution of inputs to outputs, and how to robustly optimise performance
  • Machine Learning: applying complex data mining tools like Neural Networks, Support Vector Machines, Evolutionary Algorithms etc for classification and regression

We have successfully applied complex analytics to solve commercial problems like predicting customer churn, optimising material mixtures, reducing contact centre failure demand, finding optimum service routes, detecting duplicate payments, and reducing hospital in-patient bed days, amongst others. With a pragmatic mixture of business acumen and data science, our analytics practice has built a number of leading solutions to challenging analytics and optimisation problems across a number of F500 clients.

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