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“Edwin, your Uber has arrived.”

This common notification appeared on my phone as I quickly headed outside of my hotel in Sydney, Australia. Hopping into the car with Lynn, the CEO of Motio, we were visiting customers and prospects to present our new software solution product, Theia, and we were in a deep discussion when suddenly, we stopped. We were both surprised that we reached our destination within 5 minutes. We apologized to our Uber driver for driving such a short distance and he replied, “No worries mates, happy to bring you safe.” This pleasant Uber experience contrasted a terrible experience I had with a taxi in Amsterdam. My taxi driver refused to drive me a short distance, which forced me to walk through the pouring rain.

During our meeting,  the VP of Business Intelligence explained that she has a great team of BI professionals, architects, and administrators. Her team enjoys all the fancy dashboards and reports with the use of two different tools: IBM Cognos BA and Microsoft PowerBI. But her business users have voiced their displeasure with these software products. She understands that people will always have complaints, such as, “BI is too expensive” and, “The delivery does not always meet the expectations.” Even arguing about how, “DOMO has been introduced at some places, while other groups use a bit of Qlik,” she continued to explain “Well, they all want to try every new shiny tool that is being introduced.” She stressed, “We need to do a better job.” We would all like to be better organized, but where to start?

After a full day of meetings, we decided to grab a beer at The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel and talk about the conversations we had and the issues we heard. We discussed how nice it was for our Uber driver to take us on a trip that was less than a Kilometre. I began to tell Lynn about my taxi experience in Amsterdam. We both laughed, but we began to ask ourselves, why did the Uber driver take us whereas the taxi driver refused to take me? The answer was simple. For the taxi driver, I was a one-off deal. Even if I were to file a complaint with the taxi company, would he ever hear about it? But for Uber drivers, it’s different. Every ride counts and high ratings are crucial for their success.

This feedback system that we see in Uber is sorely missing in BI. When BI professionals develop reports and dashboards, they may receive feedback when it’s presented to a few key end users. However, when the dashboard is live and used by hundreds of end users, BI professionals might not even be aware of any issues all these users have. System thinking, feedback loops, and applying the concepts of cybernetics are essential parts of every organization. But we also need to remember that the post-customer experience plays an important part of the delivery process that is widely applied in the consumer world. Whether it’s Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, or Airbnb, customers tend to provide feedback. It’s this feedback that drives excellence.

The next day, we had another meeting with the VP of Business Intelligence. We discussed our idea of implementing a rating system for BI. “Why don’t we let your end users rank the reports that your team builds? With a simple click, end users can rank the reports they use and provide feedback. This will help your team to become better. They will be like Uber drivers who strive to deliver great service, unlike ordinary taxi drivers. It’s also more fun!”

The VP responded, “I don’t know. It sounds nice, but most of my BI tools don’t offer this.” We replied, “But that is the beauty of creating one entry point for all of your BI tools. It’s presented in one experience and one navigation structure. It doesn’t matter what the overall tool offers, this one entry point contains it all. This one entry point is called Theia.”

Later that night, we ended up at The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel again, this time celebrating a successful sale. We were determined to introduce Theia as one entry point for all our customer’s BI tools, including the newest trend of BI customer experience.

When we finished our beer, we decided to head back to the hotel to get some more rest in preparation for tomorrow’s customer meetings. As we walked outside, we quickly realized that it was raining heavily outside. “Should we call for an Uber? Well, no, let’s walk, the Airbnb is only two blocks away”.

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