How to get the Master KPI

image It seems finding the best KPI is done by first taking a look at performance. If it is good the job is made easy by simply asking the CEO the secret then check the poor performers for a match. And taking a look at the competition that is doing well to see what measures they focus on that work better also helps.

When performance is poor then armed with C levels comments which themselves may differ, if you then ask operations you will see there where you have miss-matches that need to be fixed. And in every case you should go and ask the customers and see what the match is there too. In all case you must check the three standard KPI’s are in place called “Consistency” “Teamwork” and “Focus”, that actually always work.

As most people know, in any organization getting agreement internally on one or two key measures that give the business momentum to drive and sustain itself, make the best KPI’s.

Getting the business KPI going takes work to commit to a focus and cut to the chase. And keeping it there it is not just about just making a dashboard. It needs much more to maintain it, with action and plan conversations to match. And it then only works with timely, consistent and reliable reporting, so it becomes the language of success.

Larry Who?

There is something not quite right about this video. It has been around for while and collected quite a lot of comments, many not all that flattering.

Larry Ellison in this video reminded me of Dean Martin the comedian, but nowhere near as endearing.  I must admit I did found myself enjoying his lampooning. In the safety of his disciples he also gives Microsoft stick.

Maybe it is because we see some lighthearted human side of this man whose personal image syncs with the ruthless practices of the Giant Oracle business he started and still heads.

Disliked or not by non disciples this leader of giants lightheartedly reduces cloud computing to the simplicity of what it is really is:

The cloud is Computers hooked up to Networks, that’s all it is.

He also distinguishes SaaS as a packaged business model for rental of computing services This is not new either past now and the future, so nothing new.

Taking some advice of a long time journalist mate who says don’t just be mesmerised by a good show, always go for balance. which I did

I found another video by  Marc Benioff CEO of the cloud computing giant, who lampoons Ellison.

They are each quite short. Enjoy them both !!!

First: Why Larry Ellison hates Cloud computing



Then Benioff who will always be Benioff, even sick like he was at this conference.

when asked about the Oracle CEO flip-flop cloud computing strategy, the CEO and co-founder just couldn’t help ridicule his former mentor,


Here is the response in text

Larry Ellison.6 months ago he said its ridiculous and made some very caustic remarks which is not very much like him and then he said something very Zen in a kind of very spiritual or mentor way the key to cloud computing, the key grasshopper to on-demand is on premise.

And the key to on-premise is on-demand. And you can not have on-demand without on-premise, and you can not have on-premise without on-demand.

It was very Zen.

It was like hitting a new level of enlightenment when I heard of it. This guys got it. On-demand is on-premise and yet on-premise is on-demand.

And if you can understand that then you’ll know why cloud computing is what it is.

Swift Codes Reference Information.

image A list of Bank SWIFT codes is something you may not think is useful until you need one. I am going one to our resources page for you to book mark for future reference, when you do. 

What are SWIFT codes you may ask and why would you need one?

Today a client asked us for the Swift code so they could pay us. Not having it handy meant the funds transfer was delayed. In a nutshell the SWIFT code is a unique bank code used for all interbank messaging.

If you have need to send money from one bank to another especially for international transfers, a SWIFT code is required. 

Sometimes when you send money, bank staff may look them up for you so you may not be aware.  But if your asking customers to pay you via bank transfer they may request it.

When you send an international SMS. you need a unique country code before you add the area or provider code which is part of the phone number. Sending money to a bank is no different. There you need specific bank and its code, before you include the branch and beneficiary account information so the funds can be sent.

In our case our bank, DBS is in Singapore and our client’s sending bank is in another country. Here is what we gave them, based on a format you can also find on the DBS bank website …..

Account Name: (your name as in bank’s records)
Account Number: (your bank account number)
Bank Name: DBS Bank Ltd
Bank Address: 6 Shenton Way, DBS Building Tower One Singapore 068809 

For a more expansive list of the codes go to our resources page : >> SWIFT BIC CODES List

For the technically minded and/or trivial pursuit exponents here is a summary of SWIFT facts.

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Economist says Mining is booming

image According to The Economist Feb 25th 2010, article headlined The Data Deluge, using data mining techniques credit-card companies lead the way to identify such things as fraudulent activity.

Using data this way Insurance firms too are more able to spot the scams. For example accident claims on a Monday are more likely to be staged as such claimants tend to assemble friends as false witnesses over a weekend. 

To do this rules based data crouching thru millions of transactions lets them see which cards that are likely to be stolen, and which claims that are likely to be dodgy.

This report in its full context is about the unchecked data explosion occurring

It reports on its value and use to include benefits of data mining, also known as business intelligence, and the risks to both business and personal information.

It is well worth a read…… “The Data Deluge


Thanks to Steve Bennet at oz-analytics for alerted us to this.

BI: Is it about the tools or managers who use them?

image A new breed of manager is emerging to manage information. CIO teams who have provided BI tools to business departments are trending to use BI more strategically. Once a BI data warehouse and reporting platform is in place, if it integrates well with with Finance, CEO’s become quickly tuned in to the value of having reliable information to share to get momentum.

We all know as a team player being quick to score is important. But we also know the real game is played in the coaches’ box, where they have a full view. Here they have an ability to understand the total competitive state to plan tactics and execute plays. Being up to date and confident with good intelligence, as the runners bring back the field detail they can’t see, means they can control the game to win by handling things well as they happen.

With constant change being now such a part of life and post recession dynamics to contend with, the question is, ‘How do managers and coaches in business keep abreast of all this in a “win or die culture”. Like the game; those with a blend of strategic and tactical skills who have access to reliable business intelligence information are surviving well in the markets that no longer take prisoners.

My attention was raised on this subject by a question put David Brown, a business leader now living in Europe, as he talked of his real life experience in Asia; “Do today’s Managers have the skills to adapt to the current Economic Climate?”

His observation was that many in business still draw a blank when confronted by process metrics. A past CIO himself and now mentor, when speaking with CIO leaders his example highlights a concern about managers who don’t understand the value-add steps and risk that must be controlled to ensure money-in turns into more money-out.


clip_image002I was constantly surprised by the lack of their knowledge of the tools that could help them better manage their Business. In one of my presentations at a Microsoft Seminar to CIO’s I used an example of an end-to-end process, “Cash-to-Cash”; and how the process could be decomposed into lower level processes allowing performance metrics to be applied to better manage their Working Capital. But I could see from the look on their faces that they did not understand and would not be able to communicate this approach to their Companies Management Team.

I repeated this presentation at a CIO Magazine event, where I was a keynote speaker, and once again could see a lot of blank looks on the audiences faces

                                                                         …. David Brown, Biz Performance

This got got me wondering if it is really is about knowing the tools or if it also about the focus of the managers who use them.

To most a Business Information (BI) specialist means the guy who takes care of the data and the systems that reports it.  And CIO’s, who often wear 2 hats do those jobs plus a whole lot more on technical infrastructure when IT is not separated out as a function.

On the other hand a Business Intelligence specialist (also BI), is the person who makes use of the data value to promote action to grow the business.  There is the dilemma as that person, who understands the outcomes and how to use and mange with information, lives in the business or in Finance.

Many CIO’s now recognize this BI Dilemma and when looking for for BI solutions they don’t just go to a BI Vendor for the answer. They are actually taking a more end to end approach by restructuring to blend with high end business teams to separate BI from the technical side. As they do they are also finding more demand for their time as BI redefines itself to focus on the information value to get and maintain that business momentum.

With this higher value by aligning business and IT to create intelligence centers, companies are now seeing the CIO move back more to coaches’ box. This is also seeing them reduce their time playing go fetch.

Getting them in the Funnel

 imageThe Eyeblaster funnel analysis shows display advertising is still very important to influence behaviors and get people in the sales funnel. As they move to buy at the conversion and buy choice points “search and display” are  more and more important. A question you may ask on this may be, “Is there more to it?”

To try to answer that “Reach Beyond the Key Word” was a tag line that got my attention to read more. from “Eyeblaster”, a New York based media firm with offices world wide on all continents.

A review of the, Eyeblaster site shows credible content and research. Some fun stuff too plugs a need for better back-ends in advertising with a transparent view of the adverting business that is not always as slick and flashy as they would have us believe. It leaves the impressions that it takes work to be professional and get it right to bring out the value for a business to grow.

But why, you may ask, would I look at a US based model, when many of us work in Australasia where the markets are quite different. Firstly unlike Asia, they are willing to publish there research and be challenged. And second, no matter how different the cultures are that influence buying behaviors, the marketing fundamentals are still the same. It is all about the numbers and in the end without doubt, the US thinkers still have upwards of the best understanding and skill on how to interpret underlying marketing analytics in what is still the worlds most advanced market.

On a separate parallel, this week I had dinner in Bangkok with fashion designer and entrepreneur, Kate Wood.  Kate is my daughter ans she is travelling though as part of her twice yearly buying runs to Thailand, India and elsewhere. She is also one who takes no prisoners in a very tough market in her quest to develop her own stamp on the fashion design world.

She argues that mature marketers, like the US and the Japanese leaders in retail technology are becoming less relevant in wider Asia as local counterparts with local value are evolving fast. This is especially so in places like India where the brain power and credibility is high on creative marketing and where they are now pushing Europe as suppliers with 30+ % if the worlds’ higher end fashion. In the end we both agreed it is all about the numbers and the process of understanding to make them work.

Like Australia NZ,  Europe and Japan and in fact all developed nations with large economies, it seems what is now important is “search” which is used extensively by buyers in doing their research. Knowing how to leverage well with “search and display” is a conversation that is still incomplete. To help this the Eyeblaster research shows the relative maturing of the search value and differing buyers approaches in a range of sectors.


So how true is the statement that while Display increases reach to get people in the funneln  Search is becoming more important as the buyer moves to intent stage.

imageEyeblaster says, overall, for customers who used both search and display, 72% of conversions arrived as a direct result of the display channel.

Only 23% of the conversions were a direct result of the search channel. 5% were the result of display ads that were followed by a search.

Some verticals, such as B2B and Travel,try to focus on harvesting users who are already in the funnel and therefore have a larger portion of their conversions coming from search.

Everyday we are bombarded with material from Internet marketers who assert that Internet marketing is now king.  It seems the Eyeblaster findings show that Display may still  be the leading media format although they conclude that each channel plays a unique key role in the cycle.

While search harvests prospective customers that are already in the purchase funnel, it actually only reaches a limited number of people.

For all the sales people reading you may well ask. what is missing in this analysis?

It seems for many of us when we are supported by a good marketing campaign the job is easier, but the close on transactions is still mostly driven by face to face contact.

There seems little doubt that Display is still the sustaining factor that gets the funnels started. Ssearch and Display then helps with the education and conversion phase.

I wonder what the analysis would look like if live salespeople conversions were added to the channel mix.

To get Eyeblaster’s Search & Display: Reach Beyond the Keyword report, its is on their site.