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BI Program IT Mistake 3 - One Time BI Project Thinking

Business intelligence capability is an ongoing program of incrementally adding functionality to meet developing user BI demands and changing business environments.

In the past, BI has been successfully deployed to provide a specific capability at the departmental level. Such deployments were built in isolated environments to provide a fast ROI. However, many of the older applications supporting BI solutions are incapable of meeting the growing number of users and the complexity of IT infrastructures to support collaboration across business functions.

Maintaining isolated BI applications built on older architectures are costly in terms of meeting future integration requirements. As business needs evolve, demanding more complex IT environments, the short term cost savings of isolated BI deployments and applications are rapidly erased by long term costs of maintenance and the cost of integrating a collection of BI applications from multiple vendors.

Fragmented information from disparate BI applications leads to duplicate efforts and poor decisions.


Business Solution

  1. Don't start anything to do with BI until a BI Competency Center has been established. A BICC develops and enforces a consistent set of BI strategies, tools, standards, and approaches across an entire organization. This is a business lead group, not an IT lead competency.
  2. Map out a long-term BI strategy aligned with and supporting strategic goals
  3. Register all current BI implementations and projects with the BICC
  4. Work with IT to identify and decommission redundant BI tools and stop the implementation of new tools before BICC policies are agreed and deployed
  5. Define a review/feedback process for ensuring that the BI strategy, investments and skills stay aligned with the overall vision and architecture, as well as business needs.


IT Solution

  1. Identify key IT staff that are strategically savvy to assist with the development of the BI Competency Center, or BICC.
  2. Identify all current BI technologies, data states that support BI capability
  3. Identify the current state of data quality, as required for BI purposes
  4. Identify the impact on the infrastructure performance that integrating BI applications will have
  5. Develop an IT BI strategy that aligns with the BI Capability Roadmap to ensure that the performance capability of the corporate IT infrastructure is strong enough to support BI project deployments

Plan a BI rollout path for the entire organization to meet both current and long-term needs. Align the BI deployment with the increasing needs of BI users as more adopt BI principles and get more efficient in the use of BI tools, demanding more sophisticated requirements.

  • Managers may start with reports, but tomorrow need a scorecard.
  • Executives may start with a static dashboard, then require a dynamic dashboard and alerts.
  • Power users may start with data from one area of the business or one location, then need access to data from other functions and locations for comparative analysis.

BI environments must keep pace with the increasing needs of the business users.

NEXT: BI Program I T Mistake 4 - A BI Solution Is Better Outsourced

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