Business Intelligence Strategy

A business intelligence strategy is obviously a key part of a successful initial BI implementation, and maintaining the right focus going forward into the future.

Considering this topic is important because of a myriad of reasons. Looking short-sided at your solutions may mean you just put a “band-aid” on issues. With a proper strategy, you can make business intelligence a bigger part of solving issues throughout an organization, wherever data is used. The scope of a project should be a constantly evolving process, there isn’t really an “end” state. BI needs to evolve, grow, and change along with a business, so it’s direction should be changed as soon as a organizational strategy changes.

A roadmap is a good way to envision the future of the strategy. It allows the business to clearly show the steps in the process, and what new functionality and scope will be covered.

One common issue that can affect the overall direction is the project sponsor. Because BI can be quite technical in nature, it’s natural that an executive in IT or even the CIO will take responsibility for the project. Obviously it’s absolutely imperative to get buy-in and support from the technology team, otherwise things won’t get off the ground. The issue with have a tech executive sponsor is that the solution may be become too “tech” focused, and less “business” focused. Have a CFO, COO, or other executive can drive the implementation and vision from a business standpoint, which will pull the technology team along with it.

Some other things to consider include the database and the current reporting structure. It's important to inventory the current enterprise reports, software, and systems to see what is being used and when.

A business intelligence competency center is a concept that may fit into an organization. You may also see this called a center of excellence.

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