A bit of a buzzword, ‘situational intelligence’ refers to the gathering together of data to enable faster, clearer decision making.
Here we look at exactly what that means in practice – and how boards of directors can use it to enable better decisions.
What is situational intelligence?
The situationalintelligence.net blog describes it as:
“a proven approach that unites data from across an organization to provide the context needed for fast, confident decision-making.
Situational intelligence correlates, analyses and visualizes massive amounts of disparate data to identify the crucial few items that require attention.
All types of data are useful in situational intelligence, including data from enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, etc.), operational systems (pumps, motors, etc), IoT devices (meters, sensors, etc.) and external systems (weather, social media, traffic, fires, etc.)”
In short – it’s an approach that allows decision-makers to distil a range of data into the most salient points, and focus on those that are most important.
What are the benefits of a situational intelligence approach?
Its main benefit is its ability to ‘cut to the chase’ – to enable you to quickly identify the key elements of a situation or issue requiring a decision.
As a result, situational intelligence can help your organisation:
- Prioritise operational tasks based on financial impacts
- Improve cross-team collaboration and communication
- Anticipate and respond faster to unplanned service disruptions
- Measure peaks in customer demand and match them to capacity
- Identify and proactively address high-risk assets and situations
- Optimise asset and network performance
- Detect theft or fraud
- Optimise shift and schedule planning to cope with changing demands
Some of the benefits organisations achieve through this are:
- Reduced risk
- Increased safety and asset reliability
- Increased productivity
- Better regulatory compliance
- Improved customer satisfaction levels
- Lower costs
- The identification and creation of new revenue opportunities
How can boards benefit?
One of the main tasks of a board is to set business priorities. Without sufficient data and insight, it can feel as if these priorities are set according to the person who ‘shouts loudest’ or dependent on the latest short-term goal.
Situational intelligence moves you away from this short-term, reactive planning towards data-led, informed decisions. And its ability to enable collaborative decision-making can dramatically speed up the time taken for business strategy to be decided.
What can boards do to harness situational intelligence?
- Make sure data is easy to access
Whether this means collating previous board papers and relevant corporate information online, via a board portal, or harnessing the management information available via automated workflows, financial planning systems or other platforms – you need to have all the necessary data at your disposal.
- Ensure board members can get to grips with it easily
Make your board packs easy to navigate and read – whether online or in hard copy. Consider offering a choice of delivery methods to account for all your members’ preferences. Your directors are busy people. Make sure your board papers are clearly ‘signposted’ so readers know what information is most important. Clarity of indexing and well-organised board packs means members can focus on what’s important.
- Give everyone time to consider the data
Make sure all your directors are on the same page by giving them the information they need, and the time they need to understand it. Ensure board packs are sent out in good time, so that your board members can interrogate the data you’re sharing with them.
Read our blog for more tips on how to brief board members effectively for meetings. Effective preparation will make it much easier for your directors to make the most of the intelligence available.
Situational intelligence can have significant benefits for boards looking to improve their decision-making processes. If you want to read more about the role board portals can play in ensuring you have the right data at your disposal, download our free Board Portal FAQs – you can get a copy here.
You can find out more about how situational intelligence can benefit your board by attending AWCS's workshop on March 21st, which Perivan Technology is a proud sponsor of. You ca find more information on how to register and attend here.