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Business Intelligence Program Planning

Business Intelligence is not a one time project with a definable end. BI is a lifetime process. As the business evolves or changes, so too do the BI requirements.

Therefore, the best approach to any BI program is to start by 'chunking' up BI delivery into tactical projects and align them back to business benefits.


Business Intelligence Portfolio

A BI Portfolio outlines the capability to incrementally deploy business value through business intelligence in an incremental and sustainable manner.

The Portfolio approach consists of:

  • Business Discovery – of the value BI can drive into the business
  • Source Data Analysis –

BI Rollout Portfolio chunks work into projects and programs of groups of projects.

Financial BI Solution

For instance, if one of the greatest needs or pain areas is finance – the BI focus may be financial and analytic outcomes to meet universal business requirements around reporting and analytics. The output may be more robust financial reporting. This outcome meets a specifi need of the business.

In general, look for the biggest needs first, and hit those first. These provide good wins to further champion the BI program.

Financials and markets serve as identifiers of threats and opportunities for the business.
Take each of these stages and align them with overlying business capabilities – becomes the touchstone for the IT team to talk to the business.

Business Interest

Overall, businesses are more concerned with overall capability of the system rather than the functional aspects of any one application. So in terms of staging BI delivery, this helps in both planning it also serves as a great communication tool as to what the intent and vision of BI is, and what it can deliver.



Staging BI in a business driven way is achieved by taking the BI Plan and deconstructing it into the applications and the data. The applications and data are mapped to the area of business impact.

There is a lot of talk around Agile BI – aiming for a nimble quick hit approach to delivering BI. However, BI suits a more structured rollout, with project steps incrementally building the BI capability by chunks of data and functionality.

This more structured approach has more benefits for the business than an agile approach. Business users and managers get better value and know what is coming next.

This value includes both incremental evolution of BI as well as of the data associated with the application. a BI program also evolves the data infrastructure. Summing the end benefits of data and applications, the whole is greater than sum of parts.

Make BI planning deliberate and communicate it in a way that the business can understand and connect to. Get closer to the business and partner with it on the BI Process.

Next: BI Program Requirements

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