Analytics Consulting, Training and Business Support

The most comprehensive and advanced selection of business intelligence tools are only as good as the way they’re implemented and used. When you’re looking for business intelligence solutions, it’s vital to ensure that you’re getting a solution tailored specifically to your business’ requirements.

This means finding the software and systems that work best within your own operational procedures, getting customised analytics consulting and solution design, and having ongoing training and analysis.

Service

Staying on top of all the factors at play in a fast-changing business environment is the difference between riding the crest of a wave and being swept under it. It’s been proven time and again that the companies most able to anticipate changing market climates are the ones most likely to succeed.

Cornerstone will make sure you’re not just at the top of your game, but insulated against future issues.

We do this by providing a complete range of flexibly implemented services.

Project Management

Which project management methodology is right for you? The best results are usually the outcome of a tailored blend of approaches, encompassed by a strong, results-focused and practically designed framework.

Improve efficiency, get better outcomes and make sure your business is always on track to achieve its goals with Cornerstone project management solutions.

Customised Training Programs

Having invested in quality information management systems, it is imperative that the correct training strategy and programs are deployed to your users and organisation.

Cornerstone will work alongside you to understand your unique training needs, providing advice gained from past training deployments to get the best possible outcomes. Cornerstone have also developed a number of training programs that can be customised to your specific solution and audience, enabling you to kick-start the process.

In any training program, the effective quality of outcomes is only as good as the trainer’s ability to impart the knowledge. It is here that Cornerstone sets itself apart, ensuring that each training consultant is a specialist in the systems being implemented. Find out more about our customised training courses.

Complete Ongoing Support

Unlock the full range of benefits offered by business intelligence software analytics consulting with the Cornerstone Advise-Support-Maintain (ASM) package.

This offers everything you’ll need to make sure your technological infrastructure and team members grow alongside your business. We understand that staying ahead of the game is an ongoing requirement of success, and therefore offer ongoing support partnerships.

This includes full admission to our experienced help and technical support system, regular health checks, business intelligence tool master classes, a mentoring system to develop key skills within your team and complete project management solutions including access to our extensive library of templates, guides, tips, tricks and more.

Discover the advantages of the Cornerstone support network.

Solution Design

Every organisation has a unique set of business requirements and software toolsets. With such a varied matrix it is imperative that the overall solution design incorporates industry best practice to get the best possible outcome.

Having some of the most experienced specialists in the business intelligence industry, Cornerstone has the expertise and level of knowledge to help guide you in developing the best solution for your requirements.

Health Checks and Licensing

Put your mind at ease with Cornerstone health checks.

Correctly anticipating issues, and planning accordingly, will change everything; and we can make that happen.

Our health checks ensure you’re always abreast of rapidly changing market conditions and technologies, and safeguard against getting blindsided by avoidable issues. This includes ensuring your licensing is up to date and is still meeting your business requirements.

If you’d like the confidence of knowing that your business is at its most robust, learn more about our health checks and licensing services.

Project Management

Take the stress out of delivering your business intelligence project by making sure you’re using the right systems in the right place.

Project Methodologies – Agile or Waterfall?

‘Agile’ and ‘Scrum’ project management techniques are all the rage these days, promising to achieve faster results for projects with constantly changing business requirements, by reducing project bureaucracy, meetings and documentation. These Agile approaches work well in highly experienced project teams, where all members implicitly understand how to deal with issues and risks in an informal way. They don’t work as well with a less experienced team, where the structure of the Waterfall approach (eg PRINCE) helps to provide clear guidance on best practices at each stage of the project life cycle.

So what approach should you use for BI projects? Business requirements tend to be quite high-level at the outset, and evolve during the course of the project.

Services Project Management Waterfall

This suits an Agile approach. However, a BI project is normally a business-led initiative, and as a result the core team is more used to business-as-usual activities rather than running projects.

BI and Business Performance Management Project Management

The ideal approach to managing BI projects is to blend the best elements of both management approaches as follows:

Waterfall Approach – overall governance Agile Approach –solution design
  • Fix the roadmap at the beginning – where do we want to end up?
  • Agree a Project Charter with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Establish a regular, formal, report to the Steering Committee
  • Media articles
  • Use prototyping and multiple feedback cycles to let the solution design evolve
  • Timebox each iteration cycle, rather than agreeing an exact scope upfront
  • Conduct daily scrum meetings to assess how the design has evolved
  • 80% is good enough – know when to stop iterating, and start using, the solution
Waterfall Approach – overall governance
  • Fix the roadmap at the beginning – where do we want to end up?
  • Agree a Project Charter with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • Establish a regular, formal, report to the Steering Committee
  • Media articles
Agile Approach –solution design
  • Use prototyping and multiple feedback cycles to let the solution design evolve
  • Timebox each iteration cycle, rather than agreeing an exact scope upfront
  • Conduct daily scrum meetings to assess how the design has evolved
  • 80% is good enough – know when to stop iterating, and start using, the solution

The Practical Solution Framework (PSF) from Cornerstone

Delivering a business performance management or Business Intelligence solution in a large organisation involves many complimentary disciplines, including finance/accounting, technical architecture, software implementation, project management and communications.

Cornerstone has developed the Practical Solution Framework (PSF) for business performance management implementations, designed to provide:

  • A structured methodology to map your current processes, identify challenges & key business requirements
  • Recommendations to help you structure your delivery program effectively
  • Engagement for all stakeholders in the early stages of the project life cycle
  • A targeted and rapid deployment roadmap

The outcome of the PSF is to create a comprehensive solution program that shows defined links between the following:

  • Your Key Business Requirements
  • Your Data & Technology Challenges
  • Recommendations of Approach
  • Overall Performance Management Strategy

The PSF divides the performance management project into six defined stages, namely:

Project Stage Description Deliverables
Prepare Establishing the project charter and initial fact-finding Project Charter
Analyse A deeper dive into key areas, such as current processes and source systems Current State Analysis Document
Design High-level process and model design, and a roadmap for delivery High-Level Design Document
Build Build and testing of technical components, detailed ‘to-be’ process mapping Process & System Specifications
Deploy System and Acceptance testing, change management and training Operations & Training Manuals
Operate Post-implementation review, partnering for long-term success Post-Implementation Review, Ongoing ‘Health-Check’ Reports

The PSF also identifies five Work Streams as follows:

Work Stream Description Ideal Contacts
Communications & People Management Project & Stakeholder Management Project Sponsor
Scoping & Functionality Process & Model Design Finance & Business Managers, Business Analysts
Hardware & Infrastructure Technology Gap Analysis IT Management
Source Systems & Data Systems Architecture Design Finance Systems Owners
User Adoption Training Needs Analysis, Practical Rollout Planning Finance & Business Managers

Where do I start?

If this sounds like a project approach that appeals to you, you may be interested in some of our ‘self-help’ guides. These are particularly aimed at Finance professionals and accountants who are contemplating their first major technology project: