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Do you prefer Red or Blue for Government?

Right now the election is running at its highest here, this is however not an attempt to affect your opinion of who to vote for. What I think is interesting is comparing the election campaign with running a business.

Long time before the campaign really starts; all parties have come up with their plan of how to run the country (read business). This has given them a loyal portion of voters (read customers), who are pretty sure about where their vote will go (where they’ll shop). We can compare this with a good business strategy. In which direction will we take the business?

So why don’t we just update this business plan once a year, making the adjustment’s we think is necessary by comparing the Actual numbers with our Budget. A simple and cost effective way of running the business, right? Well – some companies actually do just that. Especially in the good times with growth these companies might actually earn a buck or two and survive.

Let’s on the other hand imaging a situation with high competition where your success and maybe even survival is dependent on these few extra customers (voters). Here we have an excellent opportunity of learning from the politicians. The key is real time information. Thousands of people are asked every day about their opinion and the result is published day by day in polls. This means every act politicians do can be measured immediately.

An effective yet expensive way of doing things, so what can we learn from that? In an election campaign it becomes very clear how real time Business Intelligence combined with action can move people’s opinion from day to day – or at least convince the ones in doubt.

 In most businesses it will not be profitable nor make sense to perform everyday polls among customers. What we need to find are those KPI’s we can actually change by acting, and make them available in an easy manageable way. Most companies already have the necessary data available. In many cases the tools for presenting and distributing the data are also in place. So what needs to be done is uncovering these few KPI’s that the individual employee needs to act and make them available real-time (or at least with an interval that makes sense). Besides, it is important that the KPI’s are connected with the business strategy and that the employee knows how to act.

This might not sound like an easy task, but luckily it is not an initiative that needs to be implemented over night. My points is, that with the right planning, one step at a time, and maybe some external help you can achieve a very effective tool. A tool that gives a unique advantage in these times of ups and downs – and a tool that might even be necessary to stay competitive in the future.


About Jesper Wittendorff

With many years of experience in implementing Performance Management (PM) and BI solutions at large nordic Companies I am now working as a Senior Consultant at Platon. I have participated in all parts of projects from the buying process over design and implemenation to education and rollout to endusers. At this blog I will share some tips and good advice with you, to use in your own work with Information Management. Enjoy...


2 thoughts on “Do you prefer Red or Blue for Government?

  1. In many cases Real time data is not a good solution – i personally dont Think polls should be allowed 3 weeks before an election as it tends to affect People’s decisions. At the same time i dont belive that politicians should change their politics based on a day to day feeling of the voters.. But from an IM perspective i get your point;-)

    Posted by Martin sørensen | September 8, 2011, 20:49
  2. Good point Martin. Real time data should be used as a supplement to the strategy – never instead of. However – I can’t think of a business where it is not possible to influence the bottomline positive, by implementing the right KPI’s in “real time”.

    Posted by jesperwittendorff | September 12, 2011, 10:15

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