Author: activedirections

Why Business Intelligence equals Business Success


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Business Intelligence (BI) combines data tools and infrastructure with techniques such as data mining and visualisation to collect and organise all your business data in a way that is useful and makes sense. Put simply, it’s about helping you and your teams make smarter, data-driven decisions, faster.

Why is BI so important?

Business Intelligence gives you accurate, understandable, actionable information on demand. Anytime access to organised data means that you can pinpoint inefficient business processes and hidden patterns quickly, identify areas of strength and weakness, drive change and instantly adapt to market or supply changes.

By incorporating BI into your organisation, you will be able to:

  • Track your business performance – discover issues or problems and identify ways to increase profit.
  • Get valuable insights into your customer behaviour – how loyal are they to your brand? what products do they buy and how frequently?
  • Compare data with your competitors and spot market trends.
  • Empower your teams to make fast and confident decisions that benefit your whole organisation.

Set your business up for BI success.

  1. Make sure buy-in is organisation wide. It’s important that every department from Marketing to IT realise the benefits of having access to data that’s going to make their job much easier.
  2. Plan big (scalability), but start small (get small wins to ignite interest). And make sure you identify every single possible data source from the get-go.
  3. Maintain clear communication. This one’s important, if people don’t understand what’s required of them or don’t understand how to use the tools then even the best BI systems will fail.
  4. Build a data-oriented culture. Treat your data as a strategic asset and focus on capturing, cleaning, and curating meaningful data from across the business. You’ll also need to give every employee access to the tools and systems business-wide – a Dashboard will help your teams navigate the data on their own and find what they need, when they need it.

Business Intelligence has the power to transform your business allowing your teams to respond quickly to challenges, make smart decisions and power up productivity. It will also help you deepen your customer knowledge, improve customer experience and smash those lofty sales and marketing goals.

How we made it through 2020 and what we’re doing differently in 2021.


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We realised that planning is important but Resilience is critical.  

When the pandemic finally hit our shores, our best-laid plans went astray. We needed to reassess and readjust… very quickly. In reaching out to our clients and consultants, it was clear that we weren’t alone. 

In the beginning, we found that most businesses were struggling. However those that were able to dissect their business model, focus on more collaborative, systemic solutions and measure success beyond just business performance were able to bounce back more quickly.  

In 2021 we will be: Helping businesses flex their resilience muscle by making sure that in this unpredictable business environment they’re able to absorb stress, recover critical functionality and thrive in dynamic and ever-changing circumstances.  

We took a pause. 

2020 was a great opportunity to look inward and focus on improving our people engagement, processes and systems.  

Like many of our clients we took the time to work on the business, not just in it.  We were able to check in with our consultants and some of our clients to get a better understanding of what we were doing well and where we were falling short.  

They say “feedback is a gift”, we like to add “It’s what you do with it that counts”.

In 2021 we will be: Leading with empathy and knuckling down on all the valuable lessons we’ve learnt this year. From the importance of active listening to supporting our local communities and businesses we are excited about the possibilities.   

We adjusted our definition of success.    

This year has given us the opportunity to think about other ways to measure what it takes to be successful in business.  

Is it a happier and therefore more productive workforce or creating more opportunities for collaboration and innovation? 

We’ve found that our broader definition of success has helped us solidify our own purpose and has us asking “What kind of work do we want to do more of? Where can we make the biggest impact?” 

In 2021 we will be: Celebrating all our wins no matter how small and sharing our expertise and knowledge as we continue to build our Active Directions community. 

We made technology work for us.  

The events of 2020 not only shocked many businesses into re-evaluating their business models, they’ve also provided us with an unavoidable reason to embrace digital transformation.  

We’ve found that facilitating strategy and planning processes via virtual and digital channels can actually deliver better outcomes than in-person processes. It requires more preparation, more readiness to adapt to change, and more active participation from everyone but we’ve found the results make it well worth the effort. 

In 2021 we will be: Continuing to help our clients embrace the various online platforms that enable the virtual offices, focus groups and collaboration, that make virtual working sustainable and productive. We’ll also be helping businesses implement technology to support their employees in safely getting back to the physical office if and how they choose to.

Whilst 2020 has been full of challenges, set-backs and reckonings we’ve come through the other side with a few battle scars but also an enthusiasm for what’s possible. Our challenge to the Active Directions Community is to not let 2020 be a wasted opportunity. 

We’ll see you in 2021! 

Meet Suzie Woods


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Suzie is a Senior Business Analyst with Active Directions specialising in leading and managing projects, as well as Process Mapping. She has worked across a range of different industries in roles such as Project Manager, Business Analyst and Transformation Specialist.

Passionate about understanding and assisting organisations from the inside-out, Suzie is able to run Agile projects, identify process improvements, as well as define KPIs for employees and the business.

Suzie is also an Australian Chartered Accountant and has experience establishing internal audit departments and developing Organisation Policy and Procedures.

What problems do you consistently solve for your clients? 
Finding more efficient and effective ways of doing things is definitely my superpower! I do this by clearly reviewing processes and procedures to identify improvements and economies of scale. I also assist in developing integrated solutions for organisation. I can assist with project management, create policy and procedures, assist with HR planning including developing job descriptions and clear KPIs that are measurable as well as create HR frameworks.

What are you happiest doing when you’re not working?
I love spending time with my 14-year-old daughter and my family. Whether it’s going out for dinner, enjoying Coastal walks, or exercising outdoors – I love being with people! But, you’re just as likely to find me at the beach with my head in a book.

What would your personal motto be?
Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…”There is no such word as CAN’T”
When I was 10 and I couldn’t stand up on water skis, I kept saying “I can’t do it!” and my uncle, who was driving the boat,  kept saying  “There’s no such word as CAN’T”. Eventually I got up on those skis and all these years later I still say those words to myself.

Solve any problem with these five fail-safe steps


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1. Identify the REAL problem​

  • Be clear and specific and make sure that all the right people are in the room to help you define the problem correctly. ​

2. Understand the problem ​

  • It’s one thing to define a problem it’s another to understand it completely. ​
  • Use the 5 Whys to help you get to the root cause of the issue. ​
  • Do you have all the information you need to consider every variable? What do you need to fill the gaps? ​

3. Identify all the possible solutions ​

  • List and evaluate every possible solution along with what you think the outcome will be for each one and what it will take to execute on them. ​
  • Again you need to ask yourself are all the right people in the room to help you get to the right solution? ​

4. MAKE A DECISION​

  • Choose a solution and assign someone to get it done. ​

5. Do and Review ​

  • Once you’ve chosen your solution don’t just set and forget.
  • Evaluate it and if it didn’t work then you need to get back in the room, ask why and test a different solution. ​
  • If the problem is successfully solved, then you can take those learnings and apply them to other parts of the business.

Following these steps will help you get to a solution quickly and effectively every time.

Download the Active_Directions_Problem Solving Checklist to get started.