- Date: 22/11/2023
Investing in Intelligence: our Business Intelligence journey at Honeycomb Group
Business intelligence is a vital part of how we operate here at Honeycomb Group – and here’s an insight into our journey so far.
When Business Intelligence Manager Garry Abbott joined the Group nine years ago, we didn’t have the BI offering that we have today.
In less than a decade, BI has grown to a specialist team of three that is involved in different projects across the Group.
Garry explains more about his role and the data journey that we’re on as a Group:
“Previously there was no business intelligence role. Traditionally, the BI role is seen as the ‘spreadsheet’ guy, which is probably because many organisations have lots of complicated spreadsheets.
Garry Abbott, Business Intelligence Manager
“When I came onboard, I adopted about 1,500 reports which I really had to cut down. Half weren’t being used at all and it was debatable whether the other half were being used properly either. I was really keen to implement a more structured, sophisticated type of data management, and rebrand my role into a business intelligence one.
“I joined the organisation at a really good time. I had a background in business support, focusing on processes and training staff. This enabled me to see the potential that we had when it came to our data and I was really keen to implement a more structured, sophisticated type of data management.
“I started attending sector conferences and data was becoming a big trend in the housing industry - organisations were really starting to think about what they could do to be more efficient and make the most of their data.
“People were also starting to understand how much business intelligence and data insight could help, but I still needed to share my expertise. I learned about the notion of data maturity – a way of assessing how your organisation and how well you utilise your data. A ‘data mature’ organisation uses well structured, secure data to get insight and intelligence, to look ahead and plan for what is coming up.
“I presented my research back to all levels of management, which gave them an idea of where we were and where we could head in the future. From there, as my role changed towards a business intelligence one, I was able to make changes.”
As he made recommendations and shaped a new approach to data for the Group, Garry also formed Honeycomb Group’s business intelligence team. This new service had its own distinct function, with Garry becoming part of the Group’s leadership team as Business Intelligence Manager.
“The Group definitely sees the value of data and realises the importance of it. The proof of that is in my team and its growth - they saw our value and invested in us. We’re now involved in helping shape the corporate strategy – I’ve shared my insight and championed the importance of data being a real focal point in there, underpinning everything.
“Ultimately our data serves our customers – by managing it in an effective way, we can save costs and deliver targeted work to the right people at the right time. It allows us to be proactive, rather than simply reacting to the masses of spreadsheets we previously used.
“We want to be in a place where we understand our data and it tell us what we are doing and how that contributes to our mission from top to bottom, from board to staff member. That’s what a fully data mature organisation looks like and it’s where we want to be.”