»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Gold mine or mine disaster?

The expectations for data mining were very high. Its new methods were supposed to automatically uncover the buried information treasures in databases. Now, the German magazine ‘Wirtschaftsinformatik’ has reprinted an article on this subject in its 50th anniversary commemorative issue. What better reason to look back at 16 years of data mining!

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Traffic light charts – A black-or-white world (just in color)

Traffic lights in charts are junk. They portray the world in black or white – just using red and green instead. Because they use a bit of threshold voodoo, some people consider them to be an “intellectual” form of chart junk. That makes them even more dangerous – for report authors and consumers alike. And the worst part of it all? The alternatives are so simple.

Friday, May 9th, 2008

When making analogies, think digital

The KPIs that managers need to drive their business are nothing more than numbers. Speed is measured in numbers, too. That’s why professional pilots only use digital (and not analog) speedometers.

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Death to business charts!

Dense, straightforward charts are rare. As a student, I was amazed how the graphic designers at management consultancies worked with such meticulous detail. Years later, I am convinced that we simply have to bid standard business charts farewell. They will die out slowly but surely…or to word that a bit more positively, they will be replaced by efficient graphical tables. All we need to do is follow twelve simple steps…

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Management accountants should be good jugglers

Management accounting is a real balancing act. One shouldn’t make decisions for the senior management but is expected to be a consultant, an IT expert, and much more. How can management accountants learn to master this balancing act?

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Can we steer cars like businesses?

We have already discussed the fact that no one in their right mind should steer a company (or a bank in particular!) like an automobile. But what about the other way around? Porsche’s Sport Chrono package has similarities with management reports. That, indeed, could be useful.

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Which way to paradise?

Awards are very flattering. Innovation awards are even more so, because not every innovation is appreciated. Sometimes, it is important to differentiate between innovation and success. After all, being on the cutting edge can have its downsides and it is not an automatic guarantee for success.

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Can we steer banks like cars?

Sachsen LB could have at least tried to. Their board of directors trusted a few traffic lights. They were usually green, but now all German taxpayers see is red.

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Sure-fire ways to spoil data, Part II

And if that weren’t enough, Howard Wainer has a few more tips that are guaranteed to drive your chart consumers crazy!

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Suitable vs. foolproof reporting

It’s understandable that managers don’t want to spend more time studying a computer screen than they would perusing the business section of the Wall Street Journal to simply get their latest revenue statistics. Yet it is no reason to substitute suitable for foolproof reporting.


Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.