While trying to catch-up on what’s happening in the BI space, I ran into this wonderful article on zdnet.com. It featured Martin Draper, technology director at a luxury retailer, he had listed his “Best 5 tips for a successful BI initiative”.
Let me start with a quote which appeared in the end, “Great BI is about understanding what you and your colleagues are going to do differently tomorrow because of the insight you have today”, this probably summed up the entire article.
For those who are still there, here are the 5 tips, pretty condensed, you can read the entire article by clicking here.
BI needs to be seen as an organization-wide cultural approach.
How much ever you might invest in BI technology year-on-year, you need to build an organizational culture which can consume it and develop actionable insight, if not, he suggests, don’t start it. See Tip 5. for reinforcement.
Ensure the “big guy” in your organization is standing behind your BI initiative.
A simple reason for this being, it can be costly and may take some time to get the BI initiative right. The single most important output of a BI initiative is the single version of truth on which the company can take decisions, you wouldn’t want a skeptic doubting the output which chips away the credibility of the entire initiative.
Get outside help to win early.
While your own team may require some time to deliver big wins, an external BI expert can help you win early, this is critical to ensure the organization stays the course in the long term.
Keep checking back with business on what you are building.
BI means different things for different stakeholders, while some think it is key to making quality decisions faster, some might want a neat reporting, for some, it might be just process automation. Hence, keep checking back with business, not doing so would leave a lot of the stakeholders unhappy.
This is probably the best and the most relevant.
Ensure your people know what to do with the insights.
Investing a whole lot of time, effort and money, building some real good dashboards come to a naught if the team is unable to take the insights generated and take some action based on that. It is like building a great space program without knowing where it is going and what’s supposed to do.