vrijdag 29 januari 2010

Performance management

Performance management seems to be the new buzzword in the field of business intelligence. Performance management is about measuring your business processes (% of wasted materials, revenue, etc), comparing the outcome of the business processes with your desired results (10 % wasted materials, 100 K revenue) and trying to adjust the business processes with performance measures (more efficient use of materials, sales promotions).

The above example sounds very analytical or like a system approach as thermostat works: temperature-sensitive automatic device that regulates and keeps the temperature within determined limits; If limits are exceeded it will adjust the temperature. As i said this is very system driven and this could be adapted in the years of industrialization but now organizations are more organic, needs more flexible and creative. Does plain performance management really motivate people? As Frank Buytendijk states in his book Performance leadership organisations could recieve undesired results by just adopting performance management without thinking what effect it could have on human behaviour. He distinguish two basic types of unintended behaviour:
  • People impacting on measurement. People are trying to play the numbers so that they don't have to alter their actions.
  • Measurement impacting on people. The metrics put in place drive dysfunctional behaviour. This is what i call "the system drives the people" and is defined by Frank Buytendijck as 'Measure fixation'. The numbers will become more important than running a successfull business.
So what is a proper performance management system influencing the right behaviour? That will be input for a  blog for later.



vrijdag 22 januari 2010

Goal of BI

In a couple of days i've a small presentation for a starting up business unit Business intelligence at the Future group and some people are presenting their ideas, definitions, methodlogies, frameworks, etc. I'll be talking about what Business Intelligence should be, what are the goals of BI, etc. Just a plain presentation in 10 minutes that will feed some discussion. So i started googling 'Business Intelligence': 38.100.000 hits. Hmmmm quite a lot. I searched some Wikipedia's, sites etc that would give some direction for a presentation. After a half a hour (and years of experience off course;-) ) i concluded: there's no red line in Business Intelligence. Discussion about Business Intelligence spreads all kind of directions. So i decided that i try to tell what Business Intelligence is from my point of view. Here is my opinion.

So what is Business Intelligence all about? I think there a couple of goals of Business Intelligence:
  • Decision support. This is the most familiar goal of business intelligence. Helping the business making decisions better. What is a better decision? Good question. Some cultures in organisations will enhance decision making with a good ground. Some won't. For some organisations a highly skilled BICC will have great impact and for some it won't. Sure it also depends on the information shown. A Red traffic light blinking on your screen make sure it will attract your attention. So information ergonomics is important here. Principles of colour, Gestallt, use of UI components are important. In a later blog i will go deeper into that.
  • Keeping record of what has been happened in the past for purposes like learning (why did this happen?), auditing (did we do the right thing?) and trends (where are we going?).
  • Influencing the behaviour of people (Frank Buytendijk). Currently reading his book 'Performance leadership' and i will go into detail later on.
Ok that  was it for now..


dinsdag 5 januari 2010

not more than 32767 characters in Execute SQL task.

Today i was working with Execute SQL Task in SSIS (SQL Server 2008 SP1) and I ran in a strange error. When I copied a large amount of a Query into editor window and execute it, it returns an error. It seems that the editor cannot store more than 32767 characters. Because my philosophy is creating projects which I can deploy fast on different systems (dev, Test, Prod) without install scripts and therefore I use lot SQL code(DROP/CREATE) in my packages. In this particular case I want to implement and Drop and Create of a Schema (XSD).

Creating a stored procedure or else was more a plan B option.

So I tried different options with the designer and I finally found I simple solution:
1. Use ‘Built query’
2. Insert the code and press ok
3. You’ll receive an error but you can ignore that.
4. When you look in the editor mode you’ll see that the complete query is there (!?)

But deleting the text and adding new characters won’t work.