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Jorgen Heizenberg

Return on Intelligence

I am happy to be part of the BeyeNETWORK team of thought leaders. I have a great interest in all things related to business intelligence, and I hope to blog about ways I see BI providing business value. In fact, I use a term, "return on intelligence," to describe the impact of delivering the right information, gathered from myriad sources, to a wide number of people which empowers them and their decision making.

I truly believe in the value of BI, especially in this economic downturn. If you have examples of positive return on intelligence or have topics you would like me cover, please contact me via this blog or at

About the author >

Jorgen Heizenberg currently acts as the Principal Technology Officer for the Business Intelligence (BI) domain at Capgemini in the Netherlands. He actively monitors the BI market for the impact on Capgemini and its clients. He is the author of many articles and white papers on business intelligence. Jorgen is also actively advising clients on business intelligence. Over the years, he has filled many different roles - all BI related, ranging from reporting specialist to BI strategy consultant. He has more than 10 years of experience on a operational, tactical and strategic level in planning, designing and creating management information solutions for a variety of clients and industries. He is known within the Dutch BI community for his original and often humorous approach toward BI. His ambition is to create a stronger focus on BI functionality and end-user benefits rather than on technique. You may contact him at  

Whatever happened to CPM or Corporate Perfomance Management?  Do you remember when it was on top of the hype cycle? Gartner defined it as ”... an umbrella term. It comprises all the relevant methods and all the processes, metrics and systems that enterprises put in place to measure and manage business performance”. Performance Management main objective is to improve the organizations performance and finds its starting point in the corporate strategy. Based on this strategy plans are made, results are measured and evaluated and actions are defined. CPM can even lead to new plans or strategies.


If we take a look at classic Business Intelligence we find that it is focused on using company data to report and analyze the current (or past) performance of the organization (lag). However, the Return-On-Intelligence (ROI) increases as organizations use this data to take a proactive approach in their decision making (lead). A good performance management framework therefore often consists of both lead and lag measures. 


Let’s break down the definition of CPM. Firstly, we take a look at ”relevant methods”. This refers to such methods as the Business Balanced Scorecard (Kaplan & Norton), Lean or Six Sigma. Secondly, it’s about ”processes”, or in other words a performance improvement process. The third element is ”Metrics and systems”. Another, widely accepted, name for metrics can be Key Performance Indicator or KPI. The system to support this would be Datawarehousing & Business Intelligence. But all these afore mentioned elements are used to ”measure and manage business performance”. And this means that CPM is focused on delivering a system with set of Key Performance Indicators to measure (by definition) past performance and use this to manage (or plan) future business performance.

Kaplan & Heizenberg 

So how is this different form the new number one on the hype cycle chart: Analytics? The main difference would be that analytics focuses not so much on measuring and managing but on analyzing data to gain insights and real understanding of (hidden) business performance. It is the next step in the evolution of Information Management. With CPM we can answer such questions as what happened and where (which we really need to know) but with Analytics we begin to understand the why. It will open up the road to not only making better decisions but maybe even the best decision.

Posted January 21, 2010 9:00 AM
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