Today I had the privilege of speaking to Certified Public Accountants at the Annual Conference of ICPAK in Mombasa. The topic that I was asked to speak on was Business Intelligence as a driver for business growth. The presentation I made can be downloaded here.
Having started with my usual “housekeeping” questions at such functions, I was a little horrified to discover that less than 10% of the room had twitter – actually 6 hands went up in a room of about 100. Only about 30% of the room were on Facebook.Only two people were on Google Plus. I didnt bother to ask about Instagram, Pinterest or any of the others. So I set up a twitter hashtag for the conference – #icpak and told them to sign up onto twitter and use it.
I found then that my talk was to then be an introductory talk on Business Intelligence and I therefore structured my discussion in a way that hopefully will whet their appetite to go further and research on how to implement business intelligence. I made some key points here that beg repeating on this site:
- Business Intelligence is not (despite popular articulation of it) rocket science.In fact, in response to a question by Grace from Central Bank, I urged the participants not to be wowed or overwhelmed by Business Intelligence apps and technology. As she was thinking about small business people, I told her that business intelligence tool could be as sophisticated as paper and pen. With these, or a basic excel sheet, on could get valable insight that will move their strategy to the next level.
- If our businesses are going to grow to a level that drives Kenya into our Vision 2030 dreams, then we have no choice but to plan based on Data that we collect analyse and act on.
- In the conversation on a question asked by Prof. Micheni of Kenya Methodist University, I was quick to make the point that if conventional businesses are going to compete with the “alternative businesses” – and there are many of these that are fast catching up, then they will have to review how they communicate with Kenyans at a very intrinsic level – and this requires business intelligence.
- The realisation I had is that the likes of SAP, Microsoft and other providers of business intelligence apps have a problem reaching more than 2% of African businesses is because many of even the most established businesses are so intimidated by technology that understanding how they could use such apps is an evolution away. These businesses would have to start at Twitter.