BPM and BI – a marriage of perfection in a society of divorced transaction and analytical systems, where process is so far removed from BI that one cannot see the line of sight to another

It’s interesting to think about the world through the eyes of the leader who wakes up one day finding he or she finally “gets it” – They have seen through the fog of confusion when learning data warehousing concepts. Even worse, take a theoretical concept like Business Intelligence or Business Process Management, and try to explain that to them, and you will be given the blankest of stares. Taking this to the next level, how does one explain this to others when they are asked the inevitable, party ice breaker, “ what do you do for a living? ”


Take this image. I wanted to illustrate my point which is, in essence, illustrating the subject of my blog post. This dual meaning approach is the lens through which all life is viewed against the landscape of corporate nuances and entendres.

BUT, I digress….And now we’re back to the example…look at the levels, and two columnar labels, and tell me –> do you see the point(s) of integration?

Well 1st, the descriptions: this flow-down chart represents a logical grouping of customers into segments called ‘Value Tiers’ with a conditional statement limiting the ‘set’ to just the leaf level element = “Gold”.  This flow-down ends with a further subset of customers found within the Gold Tier / Segment called ‘Members’,’Joiners’, and/or ‘Leavers’.

Why would this subset stratification be important…? Once you know who your platinum  and/or gold customers are, do you believe you are ‘golden’, i.e. ‘have arrived’ aka can complete the analysis?


Forgive the pun; the answer is unequivocally NO…By following the tree of logic downstream, the analysis grows exponentially in its ability to uncover information of growing importance and relative value to the business.

This example represents a method known as a ‘customer segmentation’ or ‘customer value scoring’ model – Often, it is no more than applying a dimensional model architecture to the levels in the graphic. Other times, you can use more statistical analysis’ like partial least squares to score your customer base into set buckets as determined by your modeler. By understanding your most valuable customers, and subsequently, the least valuable (aka – most costly customers), you, dear reader, can arm yourself with extremely power intelligence to shape your loyalty program.


Now do you see how the segmentation model is a representation of both business process management driven off of cunning business intelligence? This example typically isn’t what is materialized for most people’s ‘example reference library, the place where we all go to when brainstorming in our minds, the metaphorical well we draw from when a client asks us for a best practice solution based on our vast knowledge of the thought space.

Now, take me for example…a thought leader in both BPM and BI, who has a tendency for breaking off from the pack in terms of thought leadership, in order to drive the industry to the next level. Disruptive at times, and often too conceptual for an organically visual society, I represent an enigmatic persona, compounded by my sheer excitement for all things ‘BI’. For me, it is one thing to think about BI and BPM as independent thoughts; it is an all together another universe of thought leadership to weave them seamlessly together into a marriage of process and data driven decision making, where the proof is in the returned, not perceived benefits.

If you are one of those ROI jockey’s who would rather see a triple digit ROI % than see realistic figures , who is wooed by the most dramatic or compelling ‘stories’, then you will appreciate the rewards that the marriage of BI and BPM will afford to you in not just theory…but also in practice. Segmentation, when stratified along the correct lines, with the correct balance of stick vs. carrot, a company can reap massive rewards in terms of loyalty which drives retention and repeat purchase likelihood which drives the financial bottom line.


yields    =  



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