BI Program IT Mistake 2 - Using ERP for BI
Expecting to get a BI Solution from your standard application
vendor is a major misconception of IT Managers, when facing sourcing
a business intelligence solution.
BI capability can NOT be delivered by ERP systems.
IT has been battling integration issues for many years, leading
to a widely established practice of sourcing the most significant
enterprise applications such as ERP and SCM from a single application
vendor. If ERP solution vendors thought they were experts in BI
they would not have all gone out and acquired top of the line BI
- SAP - Business Objects
- Oracle - Hyperion
- IBM - Cognos
- Microsoft - Proclarity
Each ERP vendor has indicated that they will maintain a separate
division for their BI acquisitions, and work at integrating the
BI and ERP solutions to a deeper level than previously provided
by standard API toolsets.
However, there are other considerations when approaching your standard
ERP solution provider for a BI solution. In particular, the BI solution
they have acquired may not be the best solution for your business.
Accepting that the ERP vendor knows your business best short cuts
the extensive due diligence normally required on new application
providers and solutions. Your vendor selection process for the best
BI solution should be approached in the same manner.
- Promote an understanding of BI functions not delivered by ERP
systems by comparing the functions included in the enterprise
application’s BI tools with tools offered by the leading
vendors in the BI market.
- Avoid adopting the BI solution offered by your ERP vendor without
- Undertake a standard vendor selection process including all
short listed BI solutions
- Don't let short term gains proferred by IT cloud gaining the
best BI solution for the business
- Understand that the business does not fully understand the performance
issues around BI capability and accept the advice of IT as to
the necessity to up the current enterprise infrastructure to support
- Accept that BI is a business function, not an IT function.
That means that the business owns the requirements for the BI
solution, and these must stand ahead of IT requirements
- Understand the difference between Enterprise applications with
BI capabilities and true BI solutions. ERP BI is generally hard-wired
to the vendor’s proprietary data format which is unsuited
for BI purposes and interfaces are commonly complex, making deployments
limited to a few power users. ERP BI capability for other business
users is limited to narrow range of canned reports providing inflexible
views of business performance.
- Focus on providing access to data where query processing will
not undermine performance of operational applications
NEXT: BI Program
IT Mistake 3 - Thinking A BI Solution Is A One Time Project
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