Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise Organizational Leadership
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in helping to raise the consciousness within organizations and those who enjoy quietly leading by example. Olivia offers an inspirational approach to business intelligence.

Olivia's book is ideal for a book club. Within a community of readers, people can consciously slow down and reflect on all the wonderful...
Published on June 26, 2009 by Carl Gaertner

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book but not on BI
I will be clear from the beginning: this book is not about business intelligence. At least not the way most people understand BI. You will not read words such as data bases, data warehouse or data mart. That being said, we can start the review.

Most of the book, compares BI with nature processes (evolution, physics, chaos, etc.). It is very hard to highlight...
Published on November 21, 2010 by Sandro Saitta


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book but not on BI, November 21, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
I will be clear from the beginning: this book is not about business intelligence. At least not the way most people understand BI. You will not read words such as data bases, data warehouse or data mart. That being said, we can start the review.

Most of the book, compares BI with nature processes (evolution, physics, chaos, etc.). It is very hard to highlight some BI concepts in this flow of physical and biological concepts. The text contains a lot of citations and quotes. It is thus difficult to keep reading with a continuous flow. It looks like the book gather some texts that are not related together. This is due in part to the high number of contributing authors.

However, some good points should be noted. First, some chapters are quite interesting. Even if not about BI there are important subjects that are discussed such as communication in the company, team work or self-development. The list of references given in each chapter is huge. It thus very easy to continue the reading when you find a chapter interesting.

Finally, 10 principles for leading a dynamic organization are presented in page 134. They are important and well described. To conclude, I would recommend this book if you're interested in a new approach to company communication. Just remember that this is a non-technical book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise Organizational Leadership, June 26, 2009
By 
Carl Gaertner (Bloomington, IL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in helping to raise the consciousness within organizations and those who enjoy quietly leading by example. Olivia offers an inspirational approach to business intelligence.

Olivia's book is ideal for a book club. Within a community of readers, people can consciously slow down and reflect on all the wonderful ideas. If people only apply 5 to 10% of what they learn, from reading her book, organizational capacity will still grow immensely. When one finds ways to sow the seeds of knowledge and wisdom over a period of time within any organization, one can anticipate the joy in watching the seeds germinate and grow in the years to come.

Beyond contemplating how the broad spectrum of ideas can enrich organization behavior and optimal decision making, the concepts also offer opportunities for interpersonal reflection. This was an unanticipated consequence for me. By embracing chaos theory, acknowledging that order eventually emerges out of chaos, and appreciating systems thinking, my opportunities for personal growth have expanded.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Book on Business Intelligence, August 7, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
I have a very broad interest in business culture and practices, and in particular in those factors that make certain businesses succeed. I am particularly interested in how businesses use information that is available to them to form strategic decisions and ensure long term growth. The title of this book suggests that these are the very topics one would expect to find in the book. Unfortunately, it is quite a bit of a misnomer. In fact, this book takes the old advice against judging book by its cover to a whole new level. This book has absolutely no information on business intelligence, unless by that you consider page after page of vague and oftentimes vacuous "advice" on how businesses should be structured in a more "holistic" way. Replete with new-age jargon and ideas, the book lacks explanations for why these ideas would be the right ones for any business to be structured around, and provides no advice as to how to practically implement them in actual companies. The author draws upon many different resources, and some of the information drawn from these secondary (and tertiary) sources is actually not all that bad. However, there are also some very questionable ideas and analogies whose relevance to the business world remains dubious at best. As a college Physics professor, I am particularly taken aback by the chapter on Physics analogies as it bears no relevance to the subject at large, and in many cases draws incorrect conclusions from certain fields of Physics like quantum mechanics and chaos theory. I cannot help but feel that these topics are simply thrust into this book so as to satisfy a need for their trendy and non-traditional appeals.

The only place where there is even the remotest mention of real world companies is the last chapter. Several businesses are profiled, but most of these are either very small businesses or non-profit organizations. Even there, there is no mentioning on how these businesses and organization acquire, analyze and use business intelligence as it is usually understood. This book is well written in terms of the basic mechanics of writing, and there are some interesting ideas thrown around, but overall it is not a very good business book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to thrive in the global economy, August 30, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
In collaboration with 21 contributors, Olivia Parr Rud provides a wealth of information, observations, and recommendations that share a single purpose: To prepare those who read this book to respond effectively both to the perils and to the opportunities associated with Business Intelligence (BI). More specifically, to help them get their organization in proper alignment in the global economy.

The material is carefully organized within four Parts: Sensibly, the first provides an overview of a business "landscape" that seems to become less comprehensible and more perilous each day; next, five "essential competencies" that an organization needs to leverage new opportunities (i.e. communication, collaboration, innovation, adaptability, and leadership) are examined; then in Part Three, new models for viewing BI are introduced, with special attention paid to systems thinking; then in the final part, Chapter 10, the focus is on "some possibilities beyond corporate borders, given the mastery of the essential competencies." The reader is also provided with I formation about the potential of Holacracy, the role of the visionary, and profiles of five exceptional leaders (e.g. Ben Freeman, Antanas Vainius, John Castagnini, Julie Roberts, and Jim Riordan) who "are working to make a difference" in the increasingly more "volatile" business world. These leaders are among the 13 contributors.

Rud and her colleagues share their thoughts and experiences when suggesting how to

Navigate of the "uncharted waters" of the global economy
Capture value
Devise an appropriate business model
Communicate effectively
Establish and nourish a culture of collaboration
Embracing the new paradigm for adaptability
Develop leadership for/within a dynamic organization

I was especially interested in material about "the seven realities that jeopardize business survival" in Chapter 1" provided by Jim Davis, Gloria J. Miller, and Allan Russell in the book they co-authored, Information Revolution: Using the Information Evolution Model to Grow Your Business. They are:

1. Business cycles are shrinking.
2. You can only squeeze so much juice out of an orange.
3. The rules have changed; there is no more "business as usual."
4. The only constant is permanent volatility
5. Globalization both helps and hurts.
6. The penalties of not knowing are harder than ever.
7. Information is not a by-product of business; it is the lifeblood of business

The co-authors are senior-level executives with SAS and propose what they are convinced is the most appropriate business model to accommodate the seven realities: The Information Evolution Model. For more information about it, read the book and/or please visit [...]

I was also interested in the material on leadership, in Chapter 7, including Rud's observation about "Paradox of Empowerment" -- "True power is the ability to relinquish control" -- and her discussion of "10 Principles for Leading a Dynamic Organization" (Pages 134-146), principles that "tackle the central issues of corporate management in the areas of strategy, organization, and execution. However, the focus is on the dynamics involved." Judi Neal makes an especially valuable contribution in this same chapter, describing Edgewalkers who "have the ability to tap into the energy of an organization, its inherent wisdom (or perhaps its quantum field), to reveal what is invisible to others." Edgewalkers have visionary consciousness, multicultural responsiveness, intuitive sensitivity, risk-taking confidence, and self-awareness. The challenge for them, obviously, is to avoid falling off the "edge"...or to be pushed.

Perhaps at least a few people who note the title of this book will incorrectly conclude that it is primarily (if not exclusively) about competitive intelligence. In fact, the scope and depth of coverage include but are by no means limited to that important subject. As Rud and her colleagues correctly point out, business information is most valuable when it is properly organized to ensure expeditious processing of the information needed (obtaining it, evaluating it, prioritizing it, disseminating it, updating it, etc.) so that appropriate strategies can be formulated and executed (and on occasion, modified) to achieve strategic objectives. BI worthy of the name requires a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective system. Here in a single volume is just about everything anyone needs to devise such a system.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Managing expectations, August 26, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
If you're a business intelligence practitioner like me, you might have certain expectations from a book entitled Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning your Business in the Global Economy. You might think it contains lots of practical examples for implementing BI projects. Or if you're someone who uses (or wants to use) BI in day-to-day operations, you might think it can help you to find and fix the gaps in your current usage. This book meets neither of those expectations.

Having read Olivia Parr Rud's book Data Mining Cookbook, I expected the second book to provide the same type of "how-to" explanation that I found in her first book. It didn't take me long to realize that my expectations were all wrong.

So what is the book about? The first part of the book concentrates on the state of business in general. There are plenty of problems familiar to those in management positions and BI practitioners cited in Chapter 1, "The Evolving Business Landscape." One point raised with which I agree wholeheartedly is the acknowledgment that IT for the most part has kept up with advances in technology (such as BI), but business people are often unable to keep the same pace which ultimately leads to failure of the technology.

Overlooking human issues related to the technology is a key contributor to this failure, Rud explains. A survey of the possibilities for addressing this failure is the real premise of the book, rather than a focus on BI as a technology or process. Chapter 2, "Models from Science and Nature," is an interesting blend of quantum theory, the hive mind, chaos theory, and universality (among others) and a hypothesis that these models might be applied successfully to the business world. But how would you do that?

The goal of Part 2 is to answer that question by enumerating five key competencies that a business must adopt to be competitive and ostensibly to use its information effectively: effective communication, collaboration, innovation, adaptability, and leadership. Each of the five chapters in Part 2 is devoted to one competency. While you won't find anything that directly relates to BI here, you will find some interesting ideas and brief case studies that you might find helpful if you're responsible for managing groups of people.

In Part 3, the book transitions to "Models and Practices." Chapter 8, "Systems Thinking," is where the book gets technical, but not about BI in the pure sense. Instead, the chapter leads you through the application of systems thinking to business analytics, with lots of diagrams to illustrate recurring patterns commonly found in time-series analysis. The final pages of the chapter explain how this approach ties into BI in general. Chapter 9 introduces "Holacracy," an innovative way to manage a business that among other non-traditional practices includes "integrative decision-making."

Part 4 concludes the book with a single chapter, "Possibilities," which imagines a world in which the practice of Holacracy extends beyond business to community, geographical regions, and beyond. The chapter also includes highlights of a few entrepreneurs that exemplify thinking out of the box and fostering positive change in the world. Whereas the book began with an assessment of the world as we know it, it concludes with an inspired vision of the world as it might be.

In the end, I felt that this book was not really about business intelligence after all. But that was just a matter of my personal expectations. If one considers business intelligence as a way of doing business by interacting intelligently with people, then the book provides ample food for thought and describes interesting aspects of current research in fields that relate directly or indirectly to business management. From that perspective, I think it would make a good addition to the curriculum of an MBA program.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Science of Understanding Business Success in this Century, August 3, 2010
By 
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
If the reader is not a businessperson but picks up this well written book out of curiosity, perhaps the best way to approach what Olivia Parr Rud sets out to accomplish is to first define exactly what Business Intelligence really is. It is not just being smart at business. The dictionary defines it as 'Business Intelligence (BI) refers to computer-based techniques used in spotting, digging-out, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments or associated costs and incomes.' So this book is not so much an 'how to' book as a scientifically oriented analysis of the practice of making business successful in terms of Business Intelligence. She steps into the arena of the chaos theory, complex adaptive systems, quantum physics, and evolutionary biology. The reader, if uninitiated in all of these concepts is in for a hard read: for the smart businessperson these parameters prove how well prepared is Rud at discussing her model for success!

She wisely divides her book into four sections: Part One she calls The Landscape, in which she presents the world of big (and yes, even small but smart) business as an evolving world directly influenced by all of the same factors that rule the universe; Part Two - The Success Factors - allows the human aspect of communication, listening, creativity, leadership, adaptability, and all the ingredients that make a significant leader AND follower; Part Three - Models and Practices - among other pages of significant information shares the concept of 'Holacracy' or, again with a little outside help 'a complete and practical system for achieving agility in all aspects of organizational steering and management.'; and Part Four, Possibilities.

If the above sounds as though this is a textbook for postgraduate work, then spend time with the manner in which the author uses these outlines to explain her hypothesis and discover how even without a degree in business administration the reader can learn the postulates she makes. No, this is not light reading and this is not a book than can be scanned quickly. But for those who take the time to settle in with the writing of Olivia Parr Rud the clues to 'aligning your business in the global economy' will seem clear. Grady Harp, August 10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look, July 31, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
Business Intelligence Success Factors
Review By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca, CPA (New York, USA)

The author presents a whole series of insights aimed at streamlining
system processes. Some of the human elements in the equation include attentiveness, letting go of inner clamor/noise,
deferring to others, honoring boundaries, suspending judgment
until reviewing facts and clarifying intentions.

The book goes on to explain how collaborative teams avoid
failure via increased transparency, pattern recognition,
online tools, peer level participation, open systems to preclude
hoarding information and collaborative contributions. Some of
these steps sound easy enough assuming that an organization can
screen out environmental noise, politics and other factors
which interfere with a rational internal decision-making process.

There is a very interesting section on the functioning of
the human brain. For instance, the left cerebral cortex
gathers and interprets facts while the right cerebral cortex
"sees the big picture." These functions may be optimal
when we are young; however, middle and old age sets in along
with a modicum of cerebellar atrophy.

The book describes how risk management failed to adapt to a
changing business landscape; thereby precipitating
the 2008 business meltdown. More specifically, the business
approach to derivatives, stock market variability and
real estate was devoid of the fundamental analysis and coordinated
regulatory oversight necessary to separate
authentic/verifiable transactions from ill-conceived ones.

New systems should be designed to leverage chaos and adapt
non-linear approaches to classic challenges
faced daily. In addition, our social consciousness now recognizes
empathy, attunement, inspiration and intuition.

Cost minimization alone should never be the ultimate determinant.
For instance, outsourcing may seem to be the
best option until an earthquake or major tsunami wipes
out major parts of an organization's operations overnight.
There are cases where data redundancy may be the best option
so that company information can be recreated
no matter what happens or where it happens.

Sustainability is another important consideration in designing
business operations. What happens when the
water supply dries up? Hopefully, the technologies of the 21st
century will solve some of these problems
through desalination plants and virtual power from the "Artificial Sun," artificial intelligence power grids and other scientific
innovations just percolating in labs right now.

The Tragedy of the Commons describes how shared resource
overload leads to ultimate depletion of resources.
One of the reasons for offshore drilling involves the
ever-growing scarcity of provable oil reserves on land.
Ultimately, the Tragedy of the Commons in the oil industry
must give way to alternative energy sources; such as,
coal gasification, wind, solar, natural gas, smart power grids,
ocean wave power and other technologies yet to be
perfected this century or even the next.

The concept of a holacracy admits to the existence of
multi-intersecting decision points. Decisions and operations
of one circle are never fully independent of others.
Each whole circle is also a part of a much wider circle and shares
its environment with other functions and subcircles of a
broader circle.

The goal is to find workable decisions and
not necessarily optimal ones. A number of chronic foreign
policy decisions involve searching for workable solutions
which satisfy the basic threshold goals of the major
strategic constituencies in the various groups and subgroups
which constitute nation states or portions thereof.

This type of decision-making schema may suffice in an
organic organizational structure; however, keen competition in
an industry may require more optimal decisions to differentiate
from competitors. For instance, optimality may be
needed in a power grid design or water distribution system
to minimize waste.

Overall, the book provides additional methodologies and
data analytic processes to aid businesses (large and small)
in the never-ending search for solution sets to problems from
the simple and linear to the highly complex, interdisciplinary
and non-linear.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is your company doing OK, but needs a little improvement in the way it does things or a change in what it sells?, July 22, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
I liked this book, and I think it would be a good read along with the following other books I have previously reviewed:

>>Being Strategic: Plan for Success; Out-think Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change
>>Run Your Business Like a Fortune 100: 7 Principles for Boosting PROFITS
>>Roadmaps and Revelations: Finding the Road to Business Success on Route 101
>>No Man's Land: What to Do When Your Company Is Too Big to Be Small but Too Small to Be Big

What all these books have in common is a target audience that has underperforming companies with meaningful business intelligence that can be used to do strategic planning to correct existing problems within the company and strategize how to take advantage of nonpursued opportunities so the company ultimately moves forward in a positive and more profitable way.

I would have liked the instant book being reviewed more if it had gone into a little about business plans, using the business plan as a benchmark, and strategic planning to make the business plan better. The leadership at a company should evaluate her company in terms of "what she has now." Then she should figure out the problems her company has, and also figure out what opportunities her company could have. Finally she has to have her company adapt so it will eliminate the problems and take advantage of the opportunities. If the book had done a good job explaining this, then it would have gotten a 5-star rating from me. Unfortunately, the book fell short.

The author indicates there are 5 competencies a company leader has to be good at: communication, collaboration, innovation, adaptability, and leadership. I propose that leadership subsumes communication and adaptability, and thus really only leadership counts. I also propose that innovation is overrated, and collaboration may or may not be important depending on the company and the market it exists in. Having said this, I believe much of the book discusses things that really are not important, but may be interesting reading for a company leader to consider. What is important is that a leader needs to be a leader and be able to create a business plan that accurately portrays her company, and then be able to do strategic planning to modify the business so the company can change for the better.

I got the impression from reading this book that the author is a big fan of (1) mass collaboration, and (2) innovation. I personally am not. Collaboration is usually a bust in the business world. And true innovation doesn't come around all that often. Companies will grow, improve, and become more profitable when they do the right things and do those things right. And as time passes those right things will change. So keeping up with time is what leadership is all about. Read this book and you will be reminded of all this. 4 stars!

PS. Amazon provides a copy of this book's Table of Contents (TOC) in the Search Inside feature. Take a look at the TOC to get a better idea of exactly what this book is about.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Scholarly Look at the Evolution of Business, August 18, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
We are rapidly moving from a mass production of product business model to knowledge based business model. The old command and control methods that worked so well in the mass product production model does not and will not work in the knowledge base model. We need new strategies and new tools to effectively manage the new organizations that are emerging.

Olivia Parr Rud had written a very comprehensive book on 1) the problems executives are facing as the try to manage digital age workers with industrial age processes and 2) the changes executives need to learn and implement to effectively manage now and in the future.

I am not entirely certain who this book was written for. At times it felt like I was reading a post graduate college level course study. In fact I believe that some of the concepts would be much easier to grasp if they were presented in lecture format. The book is not for the casual reader. There are new concepts and some are quite complex. You truly need to read this book with an open mind.

There is a lot of great information in this book. It is well presented but because for most readers this will be new ground, new concepts, it will take some effort on the part of the reader to comprehend the material.

There is one concept discussed in the book called Edgewalkers which is described as business leader who is straddling between the old and the new. The Edgewalker is often described as "ahead of his/her time" because they are embracing new concepts before they become mainstream. In some regards I feel that Olivia Parr Rud is an Edgewalker. She appears to be well ahead of her time with respect to management concepts. I have no doubt that eventually mainstream management must catch up and adapt many of the concepts covered here.

There is an interesting fact presented in the book: "Over half of the 100 largest economies in the world today are corporations." Corporations are doing things governments can never do. They are spanning continents, cultures, languages, religions and different economic models. There is a much greater burden on the corporations to be good world citizens. Combine those great differences with the speed of change taking place today and you get some idea of the challenges facing executives. This book introduces some good tools to deal with the rapid change and the complex business environment.

At the end of the book are some interesting examples of "organizations on purpose" companies whose mission is greater world good rather than bottom line profits.

There are 13 individuals listed as contributing authors. Their individual contributions were seamlessly incorporated into the text.

A very good treatment of a complex subject. A valuable read. It requires some thought and work but worth the effort.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Business Intelligence Success Factors, February 14, 2010
This review is from: Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Hardcover)
This book is about "Positive-Sum game"--- An outcome in which Executives, Managers and Employees within the organization all benefit. In Business Intelligence Success Factors, Olivia Parr-Rud inspires us to believe that the size of the pie can always be enlarged and that spiritual and professional happiness in an organization can be a benefit for all parties. In discussing the essential competencies, Olivia reminds us of the depth and breadth of the competitive nature of the business environment today. The author emphasizes how development and nurture of the core competencies sets the organization well ahead of the competition.
As a Risk Manager, this masterpiece has given me the ability to identify, cultivate and harmonize my personal strengths and challenges. The book has provided me with the tools to achieve tremendous growth in my career. In the discussion of Chaos Theory, my own paradox of chaos and success becomes alive. I now use the book as a practical guide to balancing my internal struggles and potential successes. The ultimate winner in all this has been my professionally cordial relationships with co workers, senior executives and all parties.
Here finally, I see a book that infuses a shared vision among all organizational parties and encourages the dovetailing of relationships in harmony to the benefit of high productivity, organizational success and a high sense of belonging for all parties.
I recommend that this book be read by all professionals across the board. I find this a very enlightening masterpiece!

Brian K. Banda, PhD (Risk Management Consultant, JP Morgan Chase)
Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy (Wiley and SAS Business Series)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Business Intelligence Success Factors: Tools for Aligning Your Business in the Global Economy
$49.95 $39.23
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.