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Business Intelligence tool improves revenues, reduces costs, improves operational efficiencies, improves customer satisfaction, and many such benefits. Business Intelligence adoption is increasing, organizations find it difficult to implement and run an effective Business Intelligence solution.
During Business Intelligence implementation, it is important to understand the common mistakes organizations do in implementing a Business Intelligence solution:
Organizations often do not select the right Business Intelligence tool available in the market. While this is probably a very important step, many organizations think this is probably the only thing that is needed to guarantee success.
After organizations painstakingly select the right BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE tool and a technology partner, the following are a few of the critical issues they face:
- Requirements are not completely fleshed out in advance leading to excessive scope changes.
- A big gap exists between what the functional user in the organization is looking for in the Business Intelligence and what the technology partner has understood as the requirement.
- The bandwidth of the team involved is invariably underestimated operational priorities always get the preference and BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE implementation goes on a slow track.
- Even post Business Intelligence implementation, the operational teams still do excessive manual data crunching thus creating a level of frustration and doubts about the success of Business Intelligence among the operational users.
- The never-ending change requests post-implementation need constant scoping, prioritizing, and change management.
- Organizations find that the Business Intelligence tools’ “DIY (do-it-yourself) features” are limited and in most cases, it needs an external hand to implement a tailor-made requirement
The 5 Key Resources
Business Intelligence is an entire project and creating an effective framework goes a long way in the success as it lays a strong foundation. Hence, organizations need the following resources for implementing and running an Effective Business Intelligence solution:
- Business Analysts – Business analysts are functional experts who will analyze the Business Intelligence needs of the organization in terms of
- KPIs/ metrics to be tracked based on key business drivers
- Decisions that are taken for which supporting insights need to be provided
- Gaps in data that need to be plugged to arrive at the right insights and track KPIs
An effective “Business Analyst” will thus lay the foundation stone by properly laying down the project scope with priorities, the challenges that need to be considered, create an implementation roadmap including data sources to be integrated with expected timelines
- Business Intelligence Designers –Business Intelligence designers are experts who understand the power of visualization and create a user experience helping them navigate complex data without creating a data overload. This role is generally played by members who have had good experience handling data and converting them to intelligent insights while not overdoing it. Many business analysts double up as Business Intelligence designers based on their past experiences.
- Technology team – A successful Business Intelligence implementation needs a team of IT experts for the following tasks:
- Integration of data sources with the BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE tool and automation of data extraction as required by Business Analysts
- Data automation from simple to complex needs, write algorithms based on functional logic described by the Business Analysts
- Create dashboards and visualization exactly addressing the requirement of the BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE designers
- Optimize system performance especially where the data and complexity involved is high. This is very important else a slow performance on the BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE side can be frustrating for the users
- Project Managers – Project Managers are the team that pulls the entire project through and ensure successful and timely implementation
- Creating and running a project plan – detailing all activities, tasks, assignments to team members and a clear timeline with dependencies called out
- Work with all stakeholders – functional users, IT team, BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE designers, Business Analysts, and most importantly with the management to ensure all are working together towards the common goal
- Conduct periodical governance meetings to take stock of the situation, discuss roadblocks, and brainstorm solutions
- Escalate issues and red flag potential failure modes and ensure it is followed up for closure
- Overall achieve timeline targets for the implementation
- Service team – Business Intelligence implementation is a very dynamic task where user needs evolve over a period of time. It is important to address all user needs in a time-bound manner but considering its dynamic nature it is difficult to scope every change. This is addressed through the service team model which combines the business analysts team and the IT team who will perform the following tasks:
- Work with the users to understand their change requests (CRs), prioritize, and deliver within the timelines agreed.
- Besides change requests (CRs), it is also common that users encounter bugs in the systems in the initial few months. The service team addresses the bugs on priority and minimizes downtime during critical periods.
- The service team also looks continuously at the entire BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE framework and looks at new ways to improve insights and user experience. This ensures that the BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE solution stays up-to-date and relevant for all concerned
Organizations should ensure that the right team is formed either with its internal resources or through service providers who are experienced in Business Intelligence projects.
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