Making an Intelligent Investment
Most medium to large sized businesses have or will make investments into developing business intelligence applications. Prior to integrating technology into your business intelligence strategy, spend time developing a vision for the implementation. Technology
is merely a tool that helps organizations achieve their BI objectives.
Business Intelligence Success Factors
There are a number of success factors to consider when defining your BI strategy, including:
- Consultation with Stakeholder - When defining a BI strategy, a critical component often missed by organizations in a hurry to implement a strategy is spending time with their key stakeholders- the end users. There is no better way to understand not only the current environment, but what is needed to enhance it, than spending time listening to those immersed within it. Surveys, focus groups and strategy workshops are among strategies top organizations utilize to gather feedback.
- Leveraging Industry Best Practices - As BI is a maturing discipline and industry, best practices among current practitioners are readily emerging.
- Alignment Between Business Goals and Overall Strategy - Define metrics required to measure progress, establish baseline metrics and measure progress toward achieving these metrics over time.
- Integration of BI Applications into Current Processes and/or Workflows -For optimal functionality, BI systems should seamlessly integrate into the current activities end-users are engaged in. Ultimately, end-users should have access to the information needed, in a useful format, so that they can complete job functions as needed.
Armed with information gathered from stakeholders along with industry best practices, you
can develop a BI strategy that will align with business goals and offer seamless integration into your current workflow processes.
Choosing Technology for your BI Strategy
With a BI strategy developed, it is time to integrate technology into the equation. Consider these factors as you narrow down your BI platform choices:
- Choosing the Right Server - Compare and contrast server options according to the following features: dashboard reporting capabilities, ad hoc analysis options, scheduling and delivering functionality and auditing features.
- The Breakdown Between Server and a Data Repository
- Real Time Data vs. Delayed Data - While real time data is often in demand; the value provided often doesn’t justify an investment to deliver data more frequently than daily, or every few hours.
- Source Data to End-Customer Experience - Reporting capabilities are not enough! Mentioned previously; end users need access to timely, accurate information, in a useful format for effective interpretation.
Top organizations leverage their most strategic assets, information, more effectively than their
competition. Properly leveraging BI can enable organizations to unlock their information assets, propelling them ever closer to achieving and surpassing their established goals and objectives.