My hope is that readers come away from this book with the realization that they can improve the lives of others by giving them the answers they need to make better decisions faster and easier.

When team members have usable information at their fingertips, they can:

  • Answer questions faster, with little or no effort needed to collect the data.
  • Make better use of their time, planning improved outcomes.
  • Make improvements for the future, instead of dwelling on past failures.

If actionable intelligence sounds a lot like business intelligence, it's no wonder.

Using this book as a guide, you can play a part in making a positive impact on your colleagues by achieving the dream that business intelligence (BI) has promised since the term was first coined way back in 1858.

BI tools are the same across industries, whether you are helping a business, government, or nonprofit. BI concepts can also be helpful for individuals who want to make revolutionary change.

While they are very different in the end, both BI and actionable intelligence start with a question.

When a new question is raised, time is of the essence; the intelligence organization needs to respond quickly. However, due to the rigidness of the system and lack of focus in the organization or the governance methodology, it can be difficult to make the changes necessary to arrive at a complete decision.

For example, analysis might be performed in Excel, because a business user requires additional factors or information. ...

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