When you think of human intelligence, what comes to mind? The ability to solve complex engineering problems? Or discover a cure for some deadly disease? It turns out that human intelligence covers a broad range of aptitudes that are often overlooked in business.
Consider the following statistic: According to Gartner, 70 percent to 80 percent of corporate business intelligence projects fail due to poor communication, as noted in this article. Given the high cost of these projects, even a partial failure can be devastating. And here’s the rub. According to this research, the failure isn’t due to flawed business intelligence. It’s due to flawed human intelligence!
After many years of working with clients to develop their business intelligence, I began to see a relationship between the level of human development within an organization and the successful use of business intelligence. I shared this research and its connection to successful business intelligence in my book, Business Intelligence Success Factors.
To understand the connection, let’s look at why business intelligence is so vital and what's required for success.
In today’s high-tech, global economy, most linear processes are being automated or outsourced. The result is a level playing field for many large organizations. To remain competitive, companies must continually innovate.
For a large company to be truly successful, innovation must be embedded in the systems, processes, and organizational culture. This requires a high level of agility and adaptability, which builds upon competence in two main areas: business intelligence and human intelligence.
Business Intelligence is generally understood to be a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information. Human Intelligence is more subjective and open to interpretation. I'm defining it as the levels of emotional and social competency of the employees of an organization with a special emphasis on the leadership team. The human intelligence is what translates the data into actionable business knowledge, which leads to better decisions and smarter actions. To really be successful, business intelligence and human intelligence must evolve simultaneously.
In previous AllAnalytics.com posts, I've praised the Information Evolution Model defined by Jim Davis, Gloria Miller, and Allan Russell in Information Revolution: Using the Information Revolution Model to Grow Your Business. (See: Modeling Innovation With BI and Where BI Fits Into the Information Evolution Model.) This model defines the stages through which an organization must progress to achieve true innovative functionality.
My current research is unveiling a similar human intelligence evolution that supports an organization in achieving the highest level of the Information Evolution model, the “Innovative Organization.” I'm testing my thesis with a survey that explores multiple aspects of the processes, culture, and performance of a typical midsized to large organization. Through the survey, I hope to understand and measure the alignment between the level of business intelligence and the level of human intelligence and to determine to what degree this alignment is correlated with the success of the organization.
If you're interested in participating in my research and you're an employee of a midsized to large organization, your participation would be invaluable and sincerely appreciated. If you're a consultant who works with such organizations, feel free to answer the questions as if you were holding a position with one of your client organizations.
The survey, which you can find here, takes five to 10 minutes. All responses remain anonymous. Each participant will receive a summary of the results. Please feel free to share this with others. In the meantime, share here with the AllAnalytics.com community your thoughts on the evolution of human intelligence.