Are your BI program’s goals defined by business leaders or IT?
As with almost any technology-based initiative, Business
Intelligence goals can be defined either by the business leaders, the
information technology team or a combination of both.
Generally speaking, technology initiatives should be defined, prioritized and driven by an organization’s leadership, not within the technology group. Mission-driven programs are far less likely to drift from the original objectives. Think of it this way: The group in charge of defining a solution should be the group that is experiencing the pain; how do you efficiently address a problem if you are not intimately familiar with it?
Think of it this way: The group in charge of defining a solution should be the group that is experiencing the pain; how do you efficiently address a problem if you are not intimately familiar with it?
When it comes to Business Intelligence, having business-defined goals is even more critical. Here’s why:
Business Intelligence is about making faster, better informed business decisions.
In BI, technology is an important component, but it is the means to an end. All too often, BI initiatives are defined by technological limits and vendor capabilities—rather than by staying true to the original purpose, which is to make faster, more effective business decisions.
Leading BI and data warehousing implementation methodologies point to the critical linkage and intersection with the business user. This intersection is a dynamic and on-going involvement throughout the development process that starts with the definition of the core business challenges or questions that the BI solution should address.
Having business-driven goals at the project level helps the BI project stay on track throughout the lifecycle.
Coupled with the business challenges are the project goals that the business defines and should serve as an on-going “gut check” through the project to measure its success.
With this information at the start of the project, the implementation team can develop the analytical paths core to system design that will drive the data analysis and structures (i.e., model), reporting objects, and information delivery mechanisms.
The collaborative engagement ensures that the project goals are met and reduces risk within the implementation around:
- Scope creep
- Overlooked requirements
- Schedule delays
- Lack of user buy-in
- Unfulfilled project objectives
- Preventable cost overruns
- Extended testing and rework
Executive Sponsorship Helps
The logic behind this approach is straightforward, but implementation can be challenging. Oftentimes Qlarion recommends that an agency establish an executive sponsor to encourage the appropriate parties to define and stick to the business goals. These business goals will serve as a beacon that both the business and technology teams can follow—helping ensure the ultimate success of the BI initiative.