28 Aug business intelligence program manager
THE BEST BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE STRATEGIES
What is a good Business Intelligence Strategy?
For every company, organization or team there is a crucial need for good BI strategy. Why? Because having good BI strategy will lead to successful business itself.
Business Intelligence strategies are actually ways of establishing your own vision for your own business, which involves proper combination of technology use and many other factors, which we will try to discuss and describe each of them below.
Appropriate C-level sponsor for BI strategy
BI straegy implementations should not be sponsored by anyone in IT, according to Boris Evelson, who is a Forrester Research analyst. Instead of that, BI should be sponsored entirely by an executive who has bottom-line responsibility and someone who also has a broad picture of the enterprise objectives, its strategy and goals and knows how to translate the company’s goal into key performance indicators, which will support that mission.
You should create common definitions
Why creating common definitions? Because without them BI strategy implementations cannot and will not succeed. Furthermore, lack of agreement is considered to be widespread problem in, more or less, every company today. Beside this, you should start small and choose ten to twenty key performance indicators and with them in mind, create and manage.
In BI strategy Always assess the current situation
You need to analyze the current BI stack and processes, as well as organizational structures, which are surrounding current BI implementations and while doing this, both IT and business should be involved. However, even here Evelson warns that this phase is often underestimated.
In BI strategy always create a plan for data storage
Beginning with isolated data mart means that you will save your money, because it is cheaper and faster but if you thoroughly consider this tactic, you can come to the conclusion that it means that additional silos should be created, because as data storage increases, thus it requires more space.
One more thing to consider it in BI straegy that can help you is to build and maintain a physical data warehouse or to go with virtual (‘’semantic’’) layers in order to link operational systems.
When doing BI strategy, always try to understand user needs
Tactical, strategic and operational classes of BI strategy are considered to be broad classes. Why are they important for maintaining proper business intelligence strategies?
Strategic users will make few decision, tactical users will make more decisions and while doing this, will use both aggregate and detail-level information. Operational users (so-called ‘front-line employers’) need data within their own set of applications in order to successfully execute great numbers of transactions. Understanding who does what is crucial for efficient BI strategy.
Make a decision on whether to buy or to build the analytical data model
How can making of decision on whether to buy or to build the analytical data model be important as a part of successful business intelligence strategy?
I can and it is important, because one size does not fit everything.
What does that mean?
It means that your company many benefit from out-of-the-box, industry specific data model if you have more homogenous IT environment – such as one ERP and one CRM system. But always watch for extensibility and hierarchy flexibility, because more complex enterprises may benefit from customization and although you maybe still want to consider beginning with an industry-standard model as a template or set of guides (examples- typical facts, dimensions, etc.).
To be able to develop a successful BI strategy you need to consider all BI strategy components
That means that you need to consider components that will affect success of BI strategy implementations, which will include metadata, data integration, data quality, modeling, analytics, centralized metrics management, presentations (reports and dashboards), portals, collaborations, knowledge management and also master data management. You also need to be sure that you defined the architecture for all layers of the BI strategy stack, because even though they do not necessarily need to be part of BI strategy, they will surely affect the success of implementation.
Make sure that you have chosen system integrator for BI strategy
Successful BI strategy implementation will require certain guidance from a partner who has vast experience and knowledge about BI strategy. Evelson says that one should be prepared to spend five to seven dollars for every one dollar on the software and he also warns that one should not outsource the fine-tuning of business intelligence. This process of BI strategy will require high degree of collaboration among those users that are considered to be end users, analysts and developers.
When doing BI strategy always think through action and always take ‘’baby steps’’
Choose an end user, business analyst and developer in order to create a first proof of concept of BI strategy. This will usually take only a few days in order for it to be completed. After that, choose several key performance indicators and according to them make several reports. After that, you can add new releases for every several weeks.
When starting BI strategy, choose ‘low-hanging fruit’ to start with
It is recommended that it is the best to choose high-value components, which are simple to begin with when doing BI strategy. For example, sales analytics data mart may also present targets that are of high value and targets, which also have plenty of already existing models and thus best practices.
What about owning an Online Backup Service? Is this good BI strategy?
It is well known that, in order to create good BI strategy, many companies spend huge amounts of money (thousands to even millions of dollars) in order to gather different types of data, regarding their products, customers and their employees. Many of this ‘raw’ information can also be mined in order to produce analytics that can be usable in order to support and to enhance business decisions. This is why securing this type of data is vital.
But it is important to note that it is not such a good idea to save together all general and confidential business records on one single server, because one simple mistake, one accident or crash of server can wipe out all this data. These cases are, unfortunately not so rare and when something like this happens it is very difficult to retrieve all of the lost information.
Thus, if the company does not have any kind of data storage backup, business of that company will collapse. That is why there is a perfect Business Intelligence strategy for this and it includes an online backup system in order to secure all of the company’s files and records.
Such type of online storage is cloud.
Cloud storage is relatively old concept but it is improved by the new technologies.
How does it work?
It functions the way that it runs applications and at the same time, it stores files and data through a third-party provider, while sharing all of the resources in order to maximize the efficiency of the entire network.
What does this means for a company?
It means security, because that way the company does not have to worry about losing all of the important data due to some unfortunate events.
Cloud can also keep information and all data safe just by doing regular and automatic backups, which simplifies the entire process of backing up the entire data components.
It is also beneficial for users because by using an online backup services will allow its users to change everything they wish to change, update, backup and/or adapt.
Mondy Holten, SAP BI Consultant
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