How BI can help your reputation and more…

It concerns me to see several car manufacturers recalling their vehicles to carry out urgent safety repairs.

Not only is there a massive cost involved in such a process, but the impact on a firms reputation can be far higher.

A number of the manufacturers involved have previously been held in high regard. The actions taken now by these manufacturers in resolving these problems will determine future consumer buying decisions.

And this leads me to my point about BI.

If you have BI, and you have a metric which monitored problems reported by owners, wouldn’t there have been an early opportunity to spot that something was going wrong? Perhaps an ‘outlier’ on that chart or scattergram which suggested something was looking odd. Perhaps an alerter which indicated a higher percentage of faults on a particular model or range than the norm.

It’s when you start to visualise these outliers – those items which sit outside of the normal boundaries, that you should start paying attention. And I say visualise, because you won’t spot these outliers too easily on a table of values. You need a visual prompt, be it a chart or an alerter.

Another case of leveraging your BI tools to spot trends. I read somewhere, and forgive me for not providing the source, that a large Wall Street firm spotted a worrying trend in mortgage defaults in the US, long before the worst of the financial crisis took hold. It promptly decided to withdraw its exposure from that part of the market. It probably saved their firm from going under.

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