Business Intelligence (and Enterprise Information Management – EIM)

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  • The only way to accomplish your objectives is to measure (through crisp, clear and alive Analytics and Dashboards) your end-to-end processes and then to improve the effectiveness & flexibility of these processes.
  • We can give you the tools to gain control over your business processes so that they deliver better quality, faster, and at lower cost; providing you with a competitive advantage.

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Enterprise Information Management (EIM)

Our clients typically generate large amounts of data in the process of ideating, developing and delivering products and services to their customers. This together with a growing recognition of the business value of data and of the need to better use data as information in business decision making results in our clients wishing to build visionary capabilities that will ensure the optimal use of information within the organisation to support the decision-making processes and day-to-day operations that require the availability of knowledge.

The growth in information volume, velocity, variety and complexity, and new information use cases, makes Information Management infinitely more difficult going forward than it has been in the past. In addition to the new internal and external sources of information, practically all information assets must be available for delivery through varied, multiple, concurrent and real-time channels and mobile devices. All this demands the ability to share and reuse information for multiple context delivery and use cases.

Enterprise information management (EIM) is regarded as an effective way for our clients to better control and leverage the volumes of information they generate and maintain.Our clients typically wish to develop a Vision which will significantly enhance the value of their data, creating a “single version of the truth” for all who access and utilize information, company-wide – all aimed at optimising the use of data as a corporate asset while breaking down organisational barriers that can result in compartmentalized information and disparate data management processes.

As part of the EIM initiatives our clients wish to assess the current Information Capability Framework which describes the people-, process- and technology-agnostic set of capabilities and its ability to enable this Vision. This Framework needs to organise, integrate, share and govern the client’s information assets in an application-independent manner in support of their EIM Vision and goals.

Our EIM initiatives also involves an analysis of structured as well as unstructured information and encompasses functional areas such as data quality, data governance, master data management (MDM), and data retention and disposal.

Our clients also require us to assist them in assessing the ability of its current Information Capability Framework for information creation, capture, distribution and consumption (provide and preserve information as a business asset that remains secure, easily accessible, meaningful, accurate and timely). They also require us to also assist in the development of the roadmap/ strategy to achieve this vision

Ultimately our clients wish to manage data (including Big Data) from a variety of sources to drive faster and more informed decision making. The EIM capability needs to assist our clients to proactively govern data to ensure complete and accurate information, in a cost effective manner and ensure regulatory and security compliance.

Our clients wish to empower their Information Workers to easily find their own solutions and draw their own inferences “at the speed of thought” – i.e. information must be made available to all Information Workers anytime and anywhere (certain data-related aspects must be managed centrally but analytics and visualisation should be available decentralised)

Glossary of Terms, Concepts and Definitions

  • Enterprise information management (EIM)is an integrative discipline for structuring, describing and governing information assets across organizational and technological boundaries to improve efficiency, promote transparency and enable business insight. Information infrastructure is a set of technology capabilities to support information management goals.
  •  Knowledge/ Information worker– identified network of employed persons representing the Business wishing to produce or analyse ideas and information. These employees thrive on information access and consumption and are looking for it on the go. EIM functions need to ensure that high quality information is available, protected, controlled and effectively leveraged to meet the knowledge needs of all enterprise stakeholders, in support of the enterprise mission.
  •  EIM need to combine business intelligence (BI), manufacturing intelligence (MI) and enterprise content management (ECM) and take these approaches to managing information one step further, in that it needs to approach information management from an enterprise perspective. Where BI, MI and ECM respectively manage structured and unstructured information, EIM should not make this “technical” distinction. Our clients wish to approach the management of information from the perspective of enterprise information strategy, based on the needs of information workers. This will assist with availability of information during the decision-making processes, market analysis or procedure definition ([update]Information workers in their daily activities need access to both data – structured – and content –unstructured – as far as their role and responsibilities give them the appropriate rights.)
  •  Big Data– Gartner defines big data as high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making. Big data is information of extreme size, diversity, complexity and need for rapid processing. Big data warrants innovative processing solutions for a variety of new and existing data, to provide real business benefits (it can include external, non-corporate data example social media, etc.)
EIM and the Information Capability Framework comprises of Master Data Management (MDM), data governance, data warehousing and other interdependent data management initiatives or EIM functional components. These components include:

  • Data governance/stewardship,
  • Information architecture,
  • Information quality management,
  • Master and reference data management,
  • Data warehousing/business intelligence,
  • Structured data management,
  • Unstructured data management,
  • Metadata management,
  • Information security,
  • Analytics and Visualisation and
  • Process management.

Goals of the EIM initiative

  • Smarter decision making with complete, timely, and accurate information (decision making resides in business and the goal is supporting business decision making)
  • Increased productivity with access to any content relevant to the business processes
  • Drive individual and organisational performance, enable BI and MI standardisation, and ensure that relevant and timely information is delivered to business users in a way they understand.Be able to provide more efficient, effective and proactive services to their external and internal information customers (all internal to the organisation). Enable the organisation to realise enterprise-wide integration and alignment goals.
  • Improved regulatory compliance with superior information lifecycle management
  • Make it possible to use appropriate processes, policies and technologies to collect, disseminate and maintain the integrity of critical data across multiple programs in a manner that is equitable and responsive to all aspects of the enterprise. The EIM initiative needs to allow the organisation to  integrate data across the enterprise, with the primary goal of building a source of enterprise-aligned data for distribution and consumption by all users in the enterprise.
  • The building of an efficient and agile data management organization with enhanced capabilities for information creation, capture, distribution, and consumption. Provide and preserve enterprise business information in a manner that is secure, easily accessible, meaningful, accurate and timely.

Deliverable: Develop the Vision

The value discipline within the organisation and the role of information within is what will determine the vision in information management. Our clients wish to understand this first, before developing the appropriate strategy. Table 1 below shows 12 different ways to create value in information management, based on different visions that may come from the value disciplines and belief systems that Gartner’s identified.

Deliverable: Understand Phase (As-Is). Assess the current environment and its ability to enable the Vision (Technology, process, visualisation; information)

  • Assessment of the organisation’s current information management maturity for the functional components of the EIM framework (e.g. Data governance and stewardship, information quality management, master and reference data management, information architecture and metadata management.) A typical output can be described by diagram 1 below.
  • The ideal Information Capability business model consists of appropriate processes, technology, data architecture and standards, organizational controls and governance structure (Process – process modeling, data integration, data migration, data maintenance, Data QA and Control, data archiving; Technology – Open design, integrated design, scalability, on-demand connectivity, standards compliance: Architecture standards – conceptual data model, logical data model, metadata, information exchange model, use cases; Organisation – enterprise data, management organisation; Governance – culture of data stewardship and quality, worker empowerment, quality metrics). The business model/ capability framework to be assessed as part of our deliverable often look something like diagram 2 below.
We typically assess the current Framework and its ability to streamline business processes, simplify data collection & transformation, consolidation & centralisation (virtual) assure data quality, provide data access and generate analytical reporting.

Critical Success Factors and vendor selection criteria

  •  In order for the business benefits of the EIM initiative to be fully realised, the interdependencies of the framework components must be understood. The components will typically fail if treated as independent (siloed) projects as opposed to a larger enterprise program initiative. Look at Foundational framework components (data governance/stewardship, information architecture, metadata management) while still keeping a strategic EIM perspective.
  •  EIM must not only address structured information stored in databases, transactional systems, marts, and warehouses, but also information contained in spreadsheets, EDI documents such as sales orders, and other semi-structured data. In order for EIM to have maximum impact, all data must be managed from end to end, regardless of its point of origin, source, format, or location.
  •  The majority of data quality solutions are applied only to the information contained within warehouses and other sources designed for end-user access and decision-making support. But information contained in back-end systems also plays a crucial role in core business operations. Therefore, data quality must be managed at the point of origin—not just the point of access.
  •  “Real Time” Is Critical
  • Many people associate data warehouses and marts with historical information. While this may work for some needs, there are many scenarios in which information needs to be managed in a true real-time fashion. For example, information derived from certain B2B transactions, such as sales orders, may need to be dynamically pushed to suppliers or pulled by production automation systems the moment transmission takes place.Since information contained in warehouses is rarely this current, the additional burden is placed on back-end systems, negatively impacting their performance. However, when an EIM strategy supports real-time information capture and handling, data is instantly available to facilitate core operations, and the strain on back-end databases and data warehouses is eased, freeing them up for their primary purposes—transaction processing and decision support, respectively.
  •  Master Data Management – an EIM solution must enable the creation of a single system of record—whether it’s a central physical master data instance or a “virtual” repository—that can feed complete, consistent, and correct data back to applications across the company. This is particularly important in certain key functions, such as customer relationship management, financial management, or inventory management, where numerous disparate systems, maintained by different departments, may contain multiple versions of the truth that can negatively impact related business operations.


Who We Work With

  • AlexanderForbes
  • Rhodes
  • Bestmed
  • Anglo American
  • DataCentrix
  • Enviroserv
  • FirstRand
  • Sasol
  • FTP
  • MTN
  • Omnia
  • PEP
  • SABS
  • Sasol
  • StandardBank
  • SunCityResort