BI turns data into actionable information which support business in strategic decision making. Business Intelligence (BI) project assumes to be integrated with Data Warehouse (DWH) or other reporting solution like data repository or reporting from legacy systems. Therefore BI should be considered as DWH/BI project. So what is business intelligence, and how should your company get started with it? From the vendors’ perspective, business intelligence means software and services that they can sell to you to help you get more information from your existing data. But from Business perspective, business intelligence is more than just software; it is a strategy with specific supporting management processes. Prior to implementing a business intelligence initiative, organizations need to have an understanding of the following five elements.
1) Understand the Need of Business Intelligence :-
It is important to have a fundamental understanding of business intelligence (BI) & how to adopt it to become useful for business. In short need to define the organization’s BI Philosophy with their strategic goals & Translate Strategy into Action. The communication of strategic goals and data collection is critical to successful BI. The organization needs to have answer of the question: ”What will accomplish with this initiative". Business units can cut significant costs while creating additional value through better coordination, integration, and quality of data and analytical functionality. Strategy for implementing BI projects can greatly upswing returns. Starting small (POC/section) is a good way to understand BI benefits.
2) Analyze Internal Requirements :-
It is critical that you carefully analyze your current business methods and practices to determine specific objectives for BI implementation. The user requirements drive decisions about the data to incorporate in the data warehouse, how to organize (dimension) the data and how often to refresh the data. “Garbage in, garbage out” requirement should be precisely defined to align with the business needs. BI analysts often focus on the technical questions associated with the analysis. However, a more business-oriented approach could yield better results.
3) Key Stakeholder Involvement :-
Top Management, Business User, Operations etc. is the key stakeholders. The sooner you involve them the better you know about your requirements. Most BI projects considered to be the internal project which should meet the company’s internal requirements. However it should reflect the needs of customers and deal with external issues like market situation or customer’s behavior. BI project is organization-wide project, it should involve members from each department especially from Marketing and Sales departments who appear to be the end-users of knowledge bound BI system. One should not consider internal requirements, but the market and customer requirements as well. Stakeholder involvement ensures full knowledge and understanding of the benefits, impacts and risks associated with BI Implementation. Effective stakeholder engagement is a key ingredient in the success of BI Implementation Project.
4) Key Data Accessibility for Analysis and Presentation :-
We know that an organization's data is a major asset, and we are well aware of the importance of data quality. Develop & implement a data strategy in such a way that it should not frustrate users. Formulate an overall data strategy by asking, "What data do we need to run/analyze/present. How long, integrating with sources, Level of Detail, data privacy and security etc. BI typically involves the analysis, presentation and delivery of information to Business users via accessing repositories where data is brought together from many different systems across the organization. Business intelligence software promises better decision making and insight into company data, but both are possible with unbridled access to the information stored in a database. If you want to increase competitiveness, need to improve access to data across all levels of the company.
5) Choose Right Technology Partner :-
The most important part is to make sure your BI initiative success is being evaluated and you have chosen the right Technology Partner. BI initiatives are vastly different from many past IT initiatives in which outside services have been retained. So it’s important to consider proven capability, reputation and track record of success more than just cost and/or staff augmentation abilities, while evaluating a partner. The partner should be able to understand and align with your strategy, take a business-driven approach and support the execution of specific initiatives to meet your business vision. Business should understand what to be aware of and how to select the best software while sifting through the marketing buzz of BI trends. POC, is a formal initiative to prove the viability of the technology as well as partner capability to meet a business defined requirement. Be aware of technology lock-in and know the cost of "getting out".