Firm allies with Giuliani Group

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"Know your data"

Cognos Inc., a Canada-based technology company, has formed an alliance with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's consulting firm to provide business intelligence and performance management software.

Under the agreement, the Giuliani Group LLC, subject matter experts in performance management, will implement Cognos technology as part of the programs it offers public and private clients, said David Donovan, area vice president for the public sector at Cognos.

"It is very, very exciting," he said referring to the alliance. He said that Cognos' public-sector group grew by about 75 percent last year and that business intelligence is a "hot market right now."

Many governments and organizations, stung by the dampened economy and declining revenues, he said, are shifting their focus to ensure their processes and people are aligned with their core missions.

The federal government also is aligning its business strategy with accountability, Donovan said, with the Office of Management and Budget measuring performance before allocating dollars. He said the public and private sectors seem to be moving in parallel with each other on this issue.

"This is what I see right now. There aren't a lot of agencies going out and buying the early adopter technology — the gee-whiz bang technology solving all their problems," Donovan said. "They're asking, 'What is our mission? What do we need to do accomplish our mission?' "

In New York City, Mayor Giuliani developed credibility on the issue because he asked city agencies what their core missions were, how they measured success and what were the key performance indicators and metrics, Donovan explained.

"You have to have the people all the way aligned with what that mission is," he said. "It's really a cultural shift that has been brought in by visionaries and by Rudy Giuliani."

Cognos can provide software tools to help organizations or agencies keep a score card of how they're performing, he said. Other tools would help groups plan, budget and forecast or collect, store and analyze data into usable information to help people make better decisions.

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