ITM501 - Strategy Module 2 - Case - 10003

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In this module's case, you're going to explore some of what passes for conventional wisdom in the domain of business intelligence application, probably noting in passing that first, much of the advice may be contradictory although delivered with great passion and enthusiasm, and second, most of it manages to avoid any real confrontation with traditional management structures and decision procedures and priorities, concentrating instead on ways of manipulating information to presumably work around the organization rather than allow itself to point out shortcomings in the organizations themselves. This is not a course primarily about organizational politics -- there is plenty of time in the rest of your program to come to terms with the old reptilian sub-brains of the organization that perpetuate power differentials, reward distributions only vaguely related to organizational priorities, suboptimization of organizational resource utilization, and all of the other weirdnesses that pretty much guarantee performance and satisfaction shortfalls and failures. But, as you may have surmised, even though it's not our main focus it is the key subtext for all these issues. Unless we openly acknowledge that decisions are largely political (in either the organizational or national sense) and that information is often more useful as a cloak for political priorities than as a substitute for them, the only ones we're going to fool are ourselves.

 

The Business Intelligence Guide website is a gold mine of useful information about BI specifically.  Read some of the overview articles (they're short), to generally familiarize yourself with BI terminology:

 

Electrosmart Ltd. (2011) The Business Intelligence Guide.  Retrieved February 27, 2011, from http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/index.php.  Recommended sections include:

 

BI Best Practices.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_strategy/BI_Best_Practices.php

 

BI Solutions.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_solutions/index.php

 

BI Drivers.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_strategy/Drivers_Of_BI.php

 

BI Barriers.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_strategy/Barriers_To_BI.php

 

Getting Started in BI.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_program/index.php

 

But feel free to follow up in any other sections that you believe will help you address the case.

 

Now let's look at two specific cases of BI implementation.  Remember, these cases were written by the companies supplying the "solutions", so read carefully and if possible between the lines:

 

Konitzer, K. and Cummens, M. (2011) CASE STUDY - Using Analytics to Improve Patient Outcomes and Billing Accuracy at Marshfield Clinic.TDWI. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://tdwi.org/articles/2011/07/11/case-study-using-analytics-to-improve-patient-outcomes-and-billing-accuracy-at-marshfield-clinic.aspx

 

Microsoft Inc. (2011) Exclusive Resorts, LLC Destination Club Generates Rapid ROI, Enhances Services, Takes Control of Business. Microsoft Case Studies. Retrieved September 16, 2011, from http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Dynamics-AX/Exclusive-Resorts-LLC/Destination-Club-Generates-Rapid-ROI-Enhances-Services-Takes-Control-of-Business/4000009718

 

There's a lot more out there in the optional and supplemental readings as well as the wide wonderful world of the Internet to give you a feel for what's working and what's not in this area; the more widely you can spread your own information gathering net, the more effective your analysis is likely to be.

 

When you believe you have a reasonable feel for a variety of business intelligence implementation experiences, you'll be in a position to write an effective short paper on the topic:

 

Lessons to be learned from the Clinic and Resort cases  about creating, implementing, and using business intelligence

 

Remember, BI is a complex socio-technical innovation, so thinking about the question in socio-technical terms is likely to be of some value to you.

 

 

 

Case assignment expectations:

 

Your paper should be short (5-7 pages, not including cover sheet and references) and to the point. It is to be structured in the following manner. You are expected to:

 

·         Begin this paper by stating your position on this question clearly and concisely -- what are the "lessons learned"?

 

·         Citing appropriate sources, present the reasons why you draw these conclusions. Be sure to make the most effective case you can.

 

·         Then establish what counterarguments can be made in response to your conclusions.

 

·         Finally, review your original position in light of the counterarguments, showing how they are inadequate to rebut your original statement.

 

By the end of your paper, you should be able to unequivocally re-affirm your original position.

 

 

 

The following features of your paper will be assessed in particular:

 

·         Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly. In this case, there isn’t a single right or wrong, yes-or-no answer – several perspectives can be justified. Your task is to construct a logical, well-reasoned, and persuasive argument for your conclusions. Be sure that you take a defined position on the question, and construct your paper to support that position with suitable arguments and evidence.

 

·         Your focus on the question as presented, and your ability to use the language of the module convincingly. Here, this means your ability to understand what business intelligence and data analytics are, your understanding of the complexities of organizational change being described, your ability to "read between the lines" to identify issues not necessarily described explicitly, and your sensitivity to the internal organizatiuonal politics involved.

 

·         Your ability to consolidate ideas from reading materials and your understanding of the materials. Select your illustrative cases to prove your point; don’t just dump a bunch of illustrations onto the page just to fill space. Use information from as many sources as you can, as long as it’s of good quality. At the least, you are expected to show evidence of having read and understood the required readings.

 

·         Your informed commentary and analysis -- simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.

 

·         Some in-text references to your readings, with citations in proper academic format. For assistance with proper paper formats, reference lists, and citation procedures, please consult the TUI Course Guidelines and/or the Purdue University manual listed in the Background Material.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution Description

 

In this module's case, you're going to explore some of what passes for conventional wisdom in the domain of business intelligence application, probably noting in passing that first, much of the advice may be contradictory although delivered with great passion and enthusiasm, and second, most of it manages to avoid any real confrontation with traditional management structures and decision procedures and priorities, concentrating instead on ways of manipulating information to presumably work around the organization rather than allow itself to point out shortcomings in the organizations themselves. This is not a course primarily about organizational politics -- there is plenty of time in the rest of your program to come to terms with the old reptilian sub-brains of the organization that perpetuate power differentials, reward distributions only vaguely related to organizational priorities, suboptimization of organizational resource utilization, and all of the other weirdnesses that pretty much guarantee performance and satisfaction shortfalls and failures. But, as you may have surmised, even though it's not our main focus it is the key subtext for all these issues. Unless we openly acknowledge that decisions are largely political (in either the organizational or national sense) and that information is often more useful as a cloak for political priorities than as a substitute for them, the only ones we're going to fool are ourselves.

 

The Business Intelligence Guide website is a gold mine of useful information about BI specifically.  Read some of the overview articles (they're short), to generally familiarize yourself with BI terminology:

 

Electrosmart Ltd. (2011) The Business Intelligence Guide.  Retrieved February 27, 2011, from http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/index.php.  Recommended sections include:

 

BI Best Practices.  http://thebusinessintelligenceguide.com/bi_strategy/BI_Best_Practices.php

 

BI Solutions.  http://thebusinessintelligen

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ITM 501 Module 2 Case study.doc
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