John Calvin Todman
University of Phoenix
FourSceen is a niche market company which managed to successfully merge an apparel industry product and an electronics industry product into marketable attire. The company manufactures biometric footwear. The company is very small with less than 100 employees. It was founded by two friends who successfully built previous companies in the apparel and electronics industries. The partners decided when they originally established the company that they would concentrate on their core competencies and outsource all other functions. The company has only two core competencies—apparel and electronics. The CEO of the company chose the apparel product line because of his experience and former affiliation with the industry. The CIO by default chose the electronics industry product line for the same reason. Because of their prior business experiences the partners realized that for them to concentrate on their core strengths they would have to outsource most of the essential non-core functions. Towards this end the CEO and the CIO decided that before they could select the right outside partners they would have to do some general research. The CIO was assigned the task of gathering information that would help the fledgling company make the wisest strategic decision and establish the most productive relationships. The Plan
The CIO formulated that by establishing successful business strategies and relationships based upon the theoretical strategies the company could develop a viable decision making process and implement a series of productive relationships. The strategies would have to be sound and backed up by fundamental research if they were to have any chance of working. The success of relationships forged from those strategies would be critically dependent on the interpretation of the data input into the strategic decision making process. Correct interpretation would hinge on the availability of viable business intelligence (BI). Such BI could come from many different tenets. However, time permitted the use of only a fraction of those tenets. The CIO believed that market tenets such as economics, politics, anthropology, and sociology would provide justification for establishing business relationships. Business strategies and relationships would not then be left up to chance. It was important to note that the No matter how valid and reliable the BI might be it would still be possible to make the wrong decisions. As implied earlier interpretation was a very important part of the strategizing and relationship building process. When deciding on a strategy BI could only carry an organization so far because BI was only raw data. That raw data would have to be interpreted wisely if successful relationships were to be established. When valid strategies are developed the relationships that evolve from those strategies are be just as valid. Conversely, bad strategies would also carry over into the relationship building process. The CIO knew that when selecting a relationship, the strategy supporting that relationship would have to be sound. Any strategy would have to take into account the consequences of an erroneous relationship choice. Throughout the remainder of this paper the COI outlined the technologies and methodologies which would be used to make the strategic development process easier and ensure that the relationship selection process would be strategically sound. To aid in his quest, the CIO knew that data warehousing (DW) could offer access to reliable information which could be used in the development of strategic plans (Phillips, 1997). The economic, social, anthropological, and political data alluded to earlier could be stored in these data repositories which could then be extrapolate by data mining (DM) tools (Phillips, 1997). Not only could the DW store data be used in developing predictive strategies it...