What’s the difference between Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)?

BI helps you understand your business, and EPM helps you improve your overall business performance based on BI. BI is an important component of any EPM solution because it delivers actionable business information, but an EPM system is where the rubber meets the road.

An HR Dept. may be tasked with reducing turnover within an organization or a particular dept., because when you consider recruiting, training, COBRA, and the opportunity costs associated with a vacant position (lost productivity, lost knowledge, added constraints to manage workloads through the transition period), high turnover can be a costly drag on performance.

Using BI, preferably through an interactive, real-time dashboard with business alerts, an HR Dept can monitor their turnover company-wide or by dept, and drill down to the manager and employee levels to understand the reasons. Is high turnover compensation, employee performance or managerial related? Are trends developing, and can these considerations be tied back into the budgeting and planning processes that are an integral part of any EPM solution, to effect positive change. BI delivers the metric, turnover, but an EPM solution delivers the tools to react quickly and decisively, and improve performance enterprise wide.

Consider the New England Patriots humbling loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. BI was the score of the game, it was the number of passing yards, rushing yards, and interceptions or turnovers. This data provides valuable insights as to why the Patriots lost, but it doesn’t show them how to win, or how to initiate a change w/in the Patriot’s organization to improve competitiveness. That’s not only where Bill Belichick comes in, but more importantly, Belichick’s coaching (EPM) system. The coaching staff and players need to review the tapes, understand their mistakes, make adjustments, and not only focus on improvements for next week, but consider recruiting efforts to fill gaps in talent for years to come. That’s what an EPM system enables by linking and aligning corporate objectives company-wide. And that’s also why when selecting an EPM solution, it’s critical to consider scalability, and integration capabilities to either interact with, or replace disparate applications and point solutions. Vendor viability, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and proven technology to standardize, consolidate and deliver a single, trusted version of company-wide information are other important considerations.

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