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Big Data, Business Acumen and Performance Measurement, discussed with Tor Bøe-Lillegraven, of the Copenhagen Business School and Head of CCI Business Consulting


Present at the 2014 PMA Conference, held in Aarhus, Denmark, the PERFORMANCE Magazine  team was able to access valuable insights from some of the most highly skilled and experienced academics and practitioners in the field of Performance Management.

Tor Bøe-Lillegraven from the Copenhagen Business School and head of CCI Business Consulting, gave an interview were he spoke about the essential role of big data, the emerging trends and subsequent challenges within the field of Performance Management.

Providing consulting services to media clients all around the World, Tor Bøe-Lillegraven describes some challenges in Performance Management, from his experience in the media industry:

  • Organizations get set over time, so any change is a challenge;
  • Being able to measure change and performance, as for newspapers it is a novel thing, due to the shift towards the digital age, where people can give instant feedback on published material. The issue here becomes changing and adapting to real time data, for both leadership and individual employees.

Hinting to some key trends in the field of Performance Management for 2014, he isolates the following:

  • Big Data, which is being embraced by more and more firms;
  • Mining Big Data, as a consequence of embracing its use;
  • Integrating Big Data and using it for business decisions.

The challenge, as perceived by Tor Bøe-Lillegraven is positioning themselves in all of these 3 realms, and leaders are the ones that have to navigate through this. In his opinion, every firm will have to address Big Data in some way, as it is a great strategic step.

Asked to provide some examples of industries or enterprises he considers a good example, due to their approach to Performance Management, he suggests looking at:

  • The pharmaceutical industry, which monitors and produces a variety of data that can be used fruitfully;
  • Solar energy systems, where there has been a lot of interest lately. In this context, he believes that Big Data analytics will be highly needed.

Regarding the media industry, Tor Bøe-Lillegraven points out that nowadays, a publisher has unprecedented access to the audience’s media consumption pattern, in real time. In his opinion, this may have a positive impact, nurturing adaptability, but a possible challenge can be the fact that they will ultimately gather too much data.

Sharing 3 pieces of advice on how to implement a performance management system and use it successfully, he shares the following, with reference to his experience within the newspaper industry:

  • Do not use outdated KPIs. Try to be in tune with the market, and use up to date KPIs;
  • Acknowledge the fact that Performance Management is an investment, and will imply money and time spent;
  • Embrace the changes in the field and opt for using better, more sophisticated tools.

Finally, Tor Bøe-Lillegraven addresses the issue of personal performance, stating that it is not for everyone, but should be embraced by the people that are thus inclined. He also warns about the possibility of personal performance measurement being counterproductive.

He elaborates counterproductive, as a compromise, in order to fulfil a metric that deters the quality of an output. He cautions the use of a metric system, without it being corroborated with a company’s value system.

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Sustainability and Performance with Professor Rick Edgeman, of ICOA and the AU-Herning University of Aarhus, Denmark

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