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The Business Intelligence Scorecard


A Business Intelligence [BI] Scorecard is a tool to aid the evolution along the BI Maturity Lifecycle and increase the strategic business value of the BI Program. A BI Performance Scorecard is used to track an organizations business intelligence and data warehouse deployments map against BI best practise.

Scorecards have long been used by organizations as a means of implementing strategy down through the enterprise and assessing progress against holistic, enterprise-wide performance indicators [KPI's].

A Business Intelligence Scorecard works in exactly the same way. Once BI Opportunties have been defined and BI Roadmap developed, the scorecard provides tracking against both the roadmap and the BI Maturity Lifecycle.

A BI Scorecard acts as a performance reality check on whether your BI projects are on track, and if not, how to get them back on track. It acts as a visual connector between the BI Strategy and the BI Program

Each BI Scorecard is unique for a particular company based on its own set of:

 

Keeping BI Programs on Track

A BI Scorecard helps identify root cause problems in your BI program, clear roadblocks, and regain forward momentum to the next level of BI and data warehouse excellence.

BI Challenges

BI challenges are not insignificant, nor are they insurmountable. Some challenges are corporate wide, whilst others are isolated to the functional area relating to the current BI project iteration.

Typical BI Challenges include:

Enterprise

  • Political - Sharing data among business functions and across BI applications
  • Cultural - Building the BI organization
  • Financial - Determining value received from the BI investment

Functional / Operational

  • Responding to new business requirements
  • Resolving system performance issues
  • Defining repeatable development processes
  • Achieving user adoption and satisfaction

Project

  • Issues - multiple problems perceived, with no clear path to resolution
  • Fulfilling the promise - ensuring all business requirements are realized with each new project iteration.
  • Alignment - bridging the gap between the existing IT infrastructure and strategic objectives.
  • Value perception - ensuring BI systems developed drive value.
  • Scope creep - incorporate new business requirements into the BI development framework


BI Program

  • Funding - justify and obtain new or additional funding
  • Stakeholder confidence - address business stakeholders’ dissatisfaction with existing BI capabilities.
  • Resource - understand and resolve gaps in skill sets and organizational structures.
  • Identifying and Tracking BI Opportunities

 

Key BI Scorecard Guidelines

  1. Performance - Resolve system performance, scalability, or capacity issues
  2. Technology Selection - evaluate proposed technology upgrades or replacements
  3. Extensibility - expand the depth and breadth of current toolsets
  4. Data Integrity - reduce data acquisition and replication across applications and systems, and reuse data across a variety of enterprise functions.
  5. Data Management - establish formal processes around data and metadata management
  6. Governance - implement BI and data governance processes.


Developing A BI Scorecard

A BI Scorecard represents a 'current state' assessment upon which step-by-step improvement tactics are added. It is a living document that is continuoulsy updated.

A typcial BI Scorecard includes seven categories and sub-categories – each with its own metrics, interview questions, and scoring procedures.

Key Scorecard Categories

  1. Organizational Roles and Responsibilities
  2. Requirements Gathering
  3. Data Management
  4. Database Platform and Architecture
  5. ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load)
  6. Production Management and Support
  7. Project Management

A BI Scorecard visually displays these performance categories, along with their scores and rankings. This is appended by a detailed description of the organizations current state for each ranking.

BI Scorecard

 

The Value of BI Performance Scorecard

A BI Scorecard does more than just grade current practices; it also recommends distinct tactical plans to drive improvement in each category. This greatly facilitiates collaboration and understanding of the BI Program within the organization, and motivates it to take the next steps forward.

Apart from being a program management tool, a BI Scorecard acts to facilitate alignment between IT and the business, around BI issues, opportunities, and action plans. This alignment helps build bridges between these two 'entities' which generally have long past histories of disparity.

This can transcend into distinct benefits for the BI Program, such as:

  • Renewed management attention on data warehousing and BI as bona-fide business initiatives.
  • Additional funding for recommended improvements.
  • Willingness to invest in previously questioned projects, such as metadata management.
  • Cost savings from application or platform integration.
  • Revenue growth from new capabilities that support business organizations like marketing and sales.
  • Job roles better aligned to actual work activities.
  • Organizational re-alignment, often in support of the Center of Excellence model.
  • Helps business stakeholders and IT executives with both the issues and opportunities around BI.
  • Provides a platform for making investment decisions for significant improvement; accelerating the organization forward to the next level of BI excellence.

Scorecards creates a holistic picture of your BI and data warehouse environment then zeros in on common problem areas. This allows us to analyze the issues, make connections, draw relationships, and isolate root causes of the real problems.

Next: How BI Solutions Work With ERP Systems

 

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