The Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce (CNDC) is responsible for operating all the commercial enterprises to support the Chickasaw people through a diverse range of enterprises, including banks, retail stores, hotels, casinos and radio stations.

“We wanted to show people how they can measure performance in their daily work by giving them access to the right information, thereby transforming the way they make decisions and assess results,” says Patrick Neeley, CFO of the CNDC.

CNDC implemented IBM Cognos BI & Enterprise Planning, but Neeley and his team understood that they needed more than just technology. It takes “everything from a culture, process, technology and automation perspective to help drive continuous improvement,” says Neeley.

They launched an internal competency center for business analytics known as the Performance Solution Center (PSC), which was tasked with building organic expertise around the business analytics solutions, defining best practices, and creating an education program designed to sustain a performance-focused culture throughout the business.

Neeley says that they wanted to be exceptional in their enterprise-wide BI and performance management journey, and the PSC and Steering Committee were essential. “We needed to do to it in such a way that would allow us in the Solutions Center to develop the competencies and the skills, the technical solutions and the processes supported by those solutions to help improve decision-making or forecasting efforts. Our long-range planning efforts ultimately provide insight into what moves the needle of our businesses, and from that we would be able to fulfill our mission of achieving predictable and long range success in our businesses.”

Once CNDC launched the PSC, the payback on BI investment was immediate and tangible with dramatic labor savings across a number of business functions. And as a result of better budget versus actual variance reporting on revenue and expenses, the monthly financial close process was cut in half. The program benefits extend well beyond Finance. For instance, the Marketing Promotion Effectiveness reporting to monitor and manage the ROI of gaming promotions achieved roughly 75 percent process gains.

“Best of all, we have begun to spread the concept of performance management throughout the organization and embed it into the working culture, so we can focus on the things that are most profitable for us.”

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