RSM's Rapid Assessment Model to Improve Organizations' Business Intelligence Optimization

Chris Murphy, Technology and Management Consulting Director for RSM US LLP in southwest Ohio

Photo provided by RSM US LLP


As technology solutions quickly evolve, the lines of what exactly constitutes “business intelligence” are getting blurred. Increasingly, as companies create a reliable “data lake,” that reservoir can turn into many rivers of actionable information. It means that an optimized business intelligence system also leads to new products and revenue streams.


That’s the take on the state of the business intelligence consulting field from Chris Murphy, the Technology and Management Consulting Director for RSM US LLP in southwest Ohio. In that role, he is the leader for business intelligence consulting in the Great Lakes region that includes Ohio and five other states.

Murphy has come to see his consulting mission as integrating the management needs of analytics and business intelligence data into custom applications.

“Business intelligence is more than creating reports,” Murphy says. “It now comes down to creating new data products that include things we would traditionally consider custom or application development.”

RSM is best known as the largest audit, tax and consulting firm dedicated to the middle market in the U.S. But it also has a robust technology management consulting division focusing on middle market companies in a number of data driven fields such as retail, food & beverage, health care, education and financial services.

“Within the Business Intelligence (BI) group, we do everything from advisory to implementation,” Murphy says. “Our infrastructure team can implement a cloud-based system, pull the data into a data warehouse, design the reports and pull them, and test the results.”

Murphy works with many mid-market companies who have a ton of data and don’t always know what to do with it. He takes pride in the RSM Rapid Assessment® model that quickly identifies and appraises several issues: Where is the data? What does it look like? Do decision makers have the data they really need to make day to day and operational decisions?

Murphy believes the rapid assessment approach sets the firm apart when it comes to BI consulting. “We have a pretty defined process from rapid assessment to implementation. The smaller companies may be good at doing this, but they don’t have the organization and the regimen to do it consistently. We very quickly appraise what you can do – short-term, mid- term, long-term – while identifying who your customers really are and assessing their possible attrition risks.”

Optimizing BI can often lead to new ways of doing business with traditional customers, according to Murphy. He notes his BI work with an insurance agency led to a makeover of how the agency interacts
with customers.

“They had a lot of data around claim types. We did a traditional BI report to upgrade their system, but ultimately it was to drive the products they were providing to the customer. It helped them see what their insurance risk profile looked like, how it was performing and allowed them to interact with data on the web in a very visual way with custom portals. That was largely driven by a BI solution, but it was a data product.”

And that’s why Murphy believes the lines are blurring in what has traditionally been known as BI.

“Ultimately when you are doing BI, you are creating some sort of repository in the cloud. How to secure BI data, as well as preserve and use the tools to manage it is a big paradigm switch for a lot of companies. But the cost effectiveness is now a no-brainer.”


RSM US LLP is located at 255 E 5th Street, Suite 2200, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For more information, call 513.619.2899 or visit