Getting Started in Business Analytics & Data Science

Good business analysts are “bilingual” – able to speak fluently to both business managers and IT folks.   Here are a few next steps and concrete resources to dive into analytics and start building expertise:

1. Take a course on analytics, like this one from Loras College

2. Join the IIBA and get certified in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge

3. Read up on better practices, especially books from Stephen Few at and for the fundamentals of information design, I love Edward Tufte’s work

4. Play with some tools:

5. Join a community of like-minded people:




Now available: Intro to EPM for Finance Professionals course

I’m happy to announce that my intro to EPM course is available via Proformative.

Click this link to receive a 10% discount when you sign up – you also get access to hundreds of courses on all things Finance from Cashflow to Treasury, FP&A, SOX, and more.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.03.13 PM

This CPE-credited course is under an hour and walks through the component parts of EPM and how they all fit together in a management process.

This is a good refresher of the main concepts I cover in my book.

Hope you enjoy the course and all that Proformative has to offer.

The Enterprise Performance Management Wheel of Fortune

I’m extremely proud to announce I’ll be presenting at ODTUG’s Kscope16 in Chicago in July of 2016.  For details on the event, click here.

One of my presentations is something new this year: the EPM Wheel of Fortune.


Here’s how it works:

  • An audience member volunteers to spin the wheel (yes, it’s literally a wheel that spins), and it will land on a key driver of value in many organizations;
  • Then, together with the audience, we agree on the definition of the driver and we decompose it into some of its component parts;
  • We take the driver and it’s components and we walk it through the EPM process (see here for more details);
  • When the walk-through is done, we’ll have a good set of initiatives that can give new insights and accountability on the main value driver – and use them for competitive advantage.
  • Then we do it all over again, using a new spin and a new value-driver.

By the end of this session, participants will see a simple process for uncovering new initiatives that use the power of EPM to make a difference in the business.

Hopefully I’ll see you at Kscope16 in Chicago and we’ll have some fun and learn something new together.

Enterprise Planning & Forecasting Flow – with Oracle Tools

I was asked to elaborate on my last post to include which Oracle technologies address which part of the enterprise planning ecosystem, so here you are!  Please note, there are many ways to implement planning using Oracle tools, these are some of the most widely used.

enterprise planning flow with tools

Enterprise Planning & Forecasting Flow

I was asked to show how all of the part of an organization’s budgeting, planning and forecasting come together and support each other, and how the organization can get more sophisticated at forecasting.  This diagram helped explain the overall flow as well as some of the elements you would want to put on a roadmap.

enterprise planning flow

This should be a good starting place to have a debate about using the right planning and forecasting for better insight into the business, better resource deployment, and better profitability decision-making.

Klondike15 – a new Hyperion user conference

klondike15For anyone in the Ohio/Michigan Lake Erie area, there’s a new Hyperion User Conference this February called Klondike.

Check out the agenda and register here:

8 Report Types for Better Information Delivery

An important distinction to keep in mind while designing and building your management operating system is the classification of information and reports in the Gather process.

Classifying helps you assign the right process, tools, data, and resources to information, reports, and the Gather process. Without an overt classification, you can end up delivering information inefficiently, or worse, incorrectly.

Here are some common classifications:

  • Financial. Usually relates to items found on the Profit and Loss statement, balance sheet, or cash flow. Content can be at a detailed or summary level.

    Enterprise Performance Management, A Management Operating System, EPM, Ron Dimon

    A Management Operating System

  • Operational. Usually contains information about volumes, units, headcount, inventory levels, and so on. Can also be at a detailed or summary level.
  • Executive. Typically cross-functional information at a summary level.
  • Sustainability. Information relating to environmental, health and safety, and community and social issues.
  • Management or Internal. Includes flash reports. Typically contains information managers need to make business decisions before being transformed for external consumption.
  • Statutory or External. Information that has been transformed according to GAAP or other regulatory standards.
  • Canned. Standard reports that are used over and over again.
  • Ad Hoc. Usually one-time information that’s situational and does not need to be retrieved later— although if found useful across different audiences and at different times can quickly find its way into a canned report.

You can learn more about EPM and how it can help your organization build a common business process to execute its strategy in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO)

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