Chapter 5 The Initial Answers

Key Points and Questions

  • The next step in business intelligence.
  • Get the project up to speed.
  • Keep measuring the results to win over and satisfy sponsors.

Congratulations. By the time you reach this stage, you should be able to answer your first strategic business questions with a satisfying answer. Was that it? Is it done now?

No! We must measure the results, plus understand the monetary benefits and the soft benefits to justify developing after even more actionable intelligence.

Actionable intelligence can be used in many different ways, both proactively and—sometimes, in the face of disaster—reactively. It is with the latter that a company's actionable intelligence capabilities are truly put to the test.

On March 11, 2011, we arrived at work hearing about a terrible tragedy. Japan had been hit by an earthquake and a tsunami—lives were lost, and nuclear meltdown loomed. Our CEO convened a crisis management council to determine the welfare of our employees in Japan, how we could assist the people of Japan, and what was the impact on our business.

We received a call with a request to provide intelligence about our business including the risk to supply, sales, and so on.

We created an analysis that showed:

  • Our current global inventory at manufacturing, distribution, and suppliers
  • Production plans that could be impacted by a decline in raw materials sourced from Japan
  • Suppliers and customers impacted by the crisis

My team delivered the information ...

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