Written by the guy who helped lead the data support behind FedEx. "Hyper" is the guide for the business owner who is swimming in business data and needs a framework to help their business sail smoothly. The book offers a unique model for helping businesses consume, digest, and respond in a way faster than you ever thought possible.
Business owners are given a lot (and I mean a lot!) of advice about how to prepare for the globally-connected, ultra-competitive market of the future. They are told to make use of an ever-increasing amount of stuff, from Big Data to their Twitter follower count.
If you, as a business owner, have ever wondered how to put all of this stuff into a usable framework, “Hyper: Changing the Way You Think About, Plan, and Execute Business Intelligence for Real Results, Real Fast!” may be your next read.
About the Author
Gregory P. Steffine (@GregSteffine) is a solutions delivery manager, business intelligence expert, and author who helped lead the data intelligence initiative for a company that would one day become Fed-Ex Ground.
What “Hyper” is About
“Hyper” is a potential answer for business owners who recognize the need for their business to be responsive, forward-thinking, and open-minded about the future. It tries to break down all of the jargon into a workable framework that marries good old-school business advice with new-school business tactics based on speed and agility.
The basis of “Hyper” is Steffine’s belief that a business in these times needs to have three characteristics:
In short, he says that a business should be organized to quickly respond to an unpredictable world. This is the new world that business advice gurus have warned us about, where customers can leave your company with one click. And your competitor might create that one product feature that leaves you out in the cold.
The book’s path to becoming the flexible, agile and responsible (or “hyper”) business begins with the BI Value Chain, Steffine’s framework for business intelligence. Using the BI Value Chain, Steffine hopes readers will be able to consume and use business information at a much faster rate than ever before.
The overall goal is to help businesses do what they have always done, create value. The problem is that businesses often lose sight in this data-filled world. Business owners have access to an incredible amount of data about customers, more so than at any point in history.
For some businesses, this means falling head over heels in love with Big Data to the point that they’re bloated with it. For others, it means scrambling to catch up with each new gadget or app years after it can serve as a competitive edge. Creating value begins when a business can balance business strategy with its use of technology.
What’s Best About “Hyper”
“Hyper” does an excellent job of breaking down complex business concepts into digestible bites. Steffine does this by dividing these concepts into short chapters (charts and graphics often included) that allow readers to follow point-by-point through his overall strategy, the BI Value Chain.
The book also deserves credit for attempting to solve a business dilemma — more data available to small business users than ever before and yet less time to use it.
The advantage of “Hyper” is its ability to craft a usable mental and logistical framework for helping with that problem. This is best demonstrated in the book’s first two sections.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
The last section of the book, which attempts to help readers get even faster results from their business data, loses some of the simplicity that was a defining feature of the first two sections of the book. The graphs become more complicated and the concepts more nuanced. More attention on simplifying this section might help readers who make it to the third half of the book use the book’s knowledge a little better.
Why Read “Hyper”
“Hyper” presents a potential solution to business owners and executives who need to recognize their need to use their business data more efficiently. Like a doctor, Steffine diagnoses the four typical issues that businesses have with data and creates a usable framework for addressing them.
The book can also help business owners who feel they are using their business intelligence well but want to be more competitive. The last section of the book, while a bit more complicated, provides a useful model for accelerating the use of business data.