MSBI : BI # 54 : Business Intelligence – Tools & Theory # 46 : Business Intelligence User Model #3 : Content Management System & End User Segmentation

Hi Folks,

This post is part of Series Business Intelligence – Tools & Theory

Currently running topic for this series is listed as below :

Series Business Intelligence – Tools & Theory

>>Chapter 1 : Business Intelligence an Introduction

>>Chapter 2 : Business Intelligence Essentials

>>Chapter 3 : Business Intelligence Types

>>Chapter 4 : Architecting the Data

>>Chapter 5 : Introduction of Data Mining

>>Chapter 6 : Data Mining Techniques

>>Chapter 7 : Introduction to Data Warehousing

>>Chapter 8 : Different Ways of Data Warehousing

>>Chapter 9 : Knowledge Management

>>Chapter 10 : Data Extraction

>>Chapter 11 : Business Intelligence Life Cycle

>>Chapter 12 : Business Intelligence User Model<You are here>

Continuing from my previous post on this series, If you have missed any link please visit link below

We are going to Cover the Following Points in this article

  • Content Management System
  • End User Segmentation

Content Management System

Content Management System (CMS) is a set of procedures which can be used to manage work flow in a shared environment. The procedures can be manual or can be computer-based.

These procedures are designed to:

§ Allow a large number of people to contribute and to share stored data.

§ Control the access to data which can be based on user roles. The user roles define the information what each user can view or edit.

§ Aid in the easy storage and the retrieval of the data.

§ Minimize the repetitive duplicate input.

§ Improve the simplicity of report writing.

§ Improve the communication between the users.

In CMS, the data can be defined to be anything like the documents, the movies, the pictures, the phone numbers and the scientific data etc. The CMSs is often used for storing, controlling, revising, semantically enriching and also publishing the documentation. The Content which is controlled can be industry-specific. For example, the entertainment content differs from the design documents for a fighter jet. There are the various terms for systems that are related to processes do this.

Examples of CMS are web content management, digital asset management, digital records management and electronic content management. The Synchronization of the intermediate steps, and the collation into a final product are the common goals of each. The Web or Content Management System (CMS) allows number of people to preserve a website using a simple web-browser based interface.

The CMS basically consists of a number of templates relating to the standard „types‟ of information, for example, event promotion, staff profiles, press releases and product listings.

End User Segmentation

The Business applications have failed to please the growing reporting and the analytic needs of the business users. To overcome this restraint, most of the IT organizations have ventured on implementing the business intelligence solutions. The promise of the BI solution is to give the reporting and analytics from dissimilar systems to all types of business users. Yet, the carefully designed and developed BI solutions have not been victorious in generating a higher user adoption.

The saying “build it and they will come” does not hold true. BI solutions which are designed fairly well, fail to increase the end user adoption and the user engagement.

Application of the right tools and technologies to the solution plays a major role for any BI implementation and the companies must efficiently promote the BI solution in the organization.

Every company will have a marketing team which will promote the right products to the right user segments. The purpose of the marketing arm is to collect the data about the consumers, align the product marketing to the particular customer segments and also develop a comprehensive communications strategy for the implementation. To reach the aim of persistent business intelligence across the enterprise, the rollout of the BI solutions should also be considered as a marketing activity. An integrated communications strategy associated with the BI implementation strategy can provide effective promotion for the BI implementation which will result in the increased user engagement and adoption.

There are five key steps to be followed in the development of an integrated communications strategy to promote the BI solutions. The five key steps to be followed are to:

1. Understand the customer needs.

2. Define the end-user segments.

3. Evaluate the brand image segment by segment.

4. Develop a communication implementation plan.

5. Implement, measure, monitor and revise.

1. Understanding the Customer Needs

The aim of the marketing is to understand the user behavior before encouraging the products to the customer. The BI team should attempt to understand the current or the potential BI end users and how are they going to use or will use the BI solutions. The end users of the BI solutions will vary from people who run the reports to the users who will consume these reports and make the decisions based on these reports.

While the BI team conducts the frequent requirements sessions, understanding customer behavior in this step is like understanding how the users will perceive the BI solution, what are the barriers for the adoption of the new tools, and the needs and wants of the users from the BI tools.

To understand the barriers to adoption, the BI team must also use other tools such as the customer workshops, the surveys and the interviews. How the customers will use the information and the tools for information searching, retrieving and consuming will be the key in articulating communications implementation plan and also understanding the user behavior, which is required to develop the end-user segmentation in the next step.

2. Defining End-User Segments

The efficient marketing teams segment the customer base strategically, and then select the most attractive customer segments. The segmentation allows the tailoring of product offerings and marketing messages to request the preferences of the targeted customer segments. The BI team will have

to also divide the end user base of the BI solution to efficiently design the marketing strategies around each end-user segment.

Figure shows flowchart for defining an end user segment.


Figure Defining an End-user segment

As a beginning point of segmentation, the list of all the attributes or the preferences that the end users believe is important in choosing how they use the reporting tools. Some of the main attributes for BI solutions are the user expertise, the history requirements, the key performance indicators, the analysis at detail level, the multidimensional analysis done by department, by decision-making and by exceptions. Once the key attributes have been identified, a tree diagram can be used to segment the end users based on the preferences to the attributes. Defining the segments where the needs are same within the segments but are dissimilar across the segments. One way to check if the segmentation has been done correctly or not is to check if each of the segments requires a different marketing mix.

The two popular frameworks used for the segmentation of users in BI implementations are Bill Inmon‟s “DSS End-User” and TDWI‟s “MAD Framework.” The BI teams can use these frameworks as a starting point and also to drill down further to develop their firm‟s specific end-user segmentation.

Once the suitable end user segments have identified the market size, the number of users will have to be designed in each of these segments. As the company will not be able sell to all the market segments, a BI team will not focus on all the end-user segments and should priorities the end-user segments which will be first targeted. The end user segment prioritization is generally based on the attractiveness of the segments and also on the relative capabilities of the BI solution to appeal to the segment. The relative attractiveness of the segment can be obtained from several factors, such as the number of end users, the growth rate in user base and the resulting business value to the company.

The BI team will have to first target the primary and secondary segments and then develop a roadmap to address the remaining segments.

3. Evaluating the Brand Image Segment-By-Segment

The Brand raises a certain image in the minds of the customer, distinguishing the products and also providing a consistency in the message and the experience. The well-known brands such as Apple, IBM and Coke create some kind of emotion in the minds of the customers. The BI team should attempt to understand and assess the BI brand and position, as it links to the various end-user segments. The end users in different segments can have various levels of BI brand awareness, and also the recognition of the differences will allow the BI team to create a suitable communications plan. The BI team can plan useful marketing strategies such as introduction to BI solutions, or BI tools to increase the brand identification among the different user segments where the brand awareness is low.

4. Developing Communications Implementation Plan

The integrated communication plan is created from the information collected. The BI team must align with the BI implementation team to work through the finer details, and also create a marketing implementation plan. This is an iterative process which should go through a number of changes depending on the feedback from the main constituents. A communication plan must be customized for the end user segments to make sure that the right or the relevant message is conveyed to each of end user segment. Some times, the communication items should cover more than one segment and also more than one product. The communication strategy must also include communication items to improve the brand value of the BI solution throughout the project.

The following the steps should be followed for the communication item which is given below:

a) Defining the objective: The objective of the BI team should always be defined regarding each communication problem. This can be an introduction to the brand which is an infomercial about a particular tool or the motivation to use the BI solution. The objectives may be communicated by developing a before and after strategic profile of the end user segments. Keeping the objective in view and also the target change in mind will considerably increase the efficiency of the communication.

b) Choosing the content: The BI team should design the content of the communication to deliver the right message for a particular end user segment.

Some of the content ideas that have to be considered are:

º Introduction to BI tools,

º Status of the BI solution,

º Benefits of the BI tools.

º The implementation status of the solution.

The BI technical team have to make sure that the content related to the implementation details of the solution has been reviewed.

c) Choosing the media: The media for the communication has to be selected based on the end user segment. Some of the users may prefer

email updates while others may prefer elaborate demonstrations of the product or the learning sessions. The popular media choices can be newsletters, talk shows, podcasts, road shows, Q&A sessions, posters, blogs and other promotional items such as the T-shirts.

d) Deciding the execution and the timing: The timing and the frequency of the communication can play a major role in the efficient advertising. The BI team should get the direction from the copywriter‟s pyramid and Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA) models for the execution. The BI team should control the timing of the communication. They should consider using the pulse marketing a popular timing strategy used frequently by the marketers. In pulse marketing the communication will have to be triggered on the periodic basis to avoid the lowering of the awareness of the solution like the pulse sent out at regular intervals.

e) Considering any costs: The BI marketing activity considered should be relatively low in cost. However, make sure that all the costly communication activity has a well defined objective. Putting the costs and objectives in the viewpoint can guarantee higher returns on the investment.

f) Do not ignore the people aspect: People will buy from people. There will be few influential people in the company who will have the power to influence others because of the position or their knowledge. Greater profits can be obtained by recruiting these individuals as the solution champions and also focusing communication effort around these users.

5. Implementing, Measuring, Monitoring and Revising

When the communication plan is ready the BI team can apply the plan by working along with the BI technical team, the project team and the key business sponsors. The BI team will have to carefully examine the results of the communication plan and measure the efficiency of each communication activity. Also, the BI team will have to collect the feedback from the sample or the test groups of the end user segments during execution, so that a corrective action, if any, can be taken.

BI has gained importance among the business users and the executives which remains a top investment for a majority of the companies. The enterprises should take a strategic approach toward the BI to include the comprehensive data and the analytic needs of the organization instead of using the BI to address the tactical and the immediate needs. Efficient marketing and communications marketing strategy should be an integral part of the BI implementation to make sure that there is value for the money spent on the BI solutions.

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