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13 January  2008 ~

bi-roadmap.jpgThe more things change, the more things stay the same!  A year ago, there were three main independent vendors in the Business Intelligence space.  A year later they have all been swallowed up.  Oracle purchased Hyperion, IBM purchased Cognos and SAP plans to acquire Business Objects.  So with all this M&A activity, has what’s important to you changed? 

The goal is to rapidly convert your raw data into simple to use, strategic business knowledge. Regardless of how the CPM industry consolidates, what’s important to you as a CFO, still hasn’t changed.

Establish the value proposition – Establish a clear understanding of how business your performance can be improved by investing in a BI program and define the scope of the BI initiative.

Align business intelligence strategy with business strategy – Clearly, organizations would never develop business processes such as order to cash or procure to pay without knowing the purpose of the processes and how they contribute to achieving business results. Use the same business mind set when developing out your BI initiatives. 

Address the pleasure and pain principle – having a good BI app with solid training is not enough to ensure the process will be used.  In one case I worked on, it took well over a year to get a major international business unit to adopt a very powerful and beneficial BI program mainly because they had other “fires to fight” and were reluctant to go through the “pain” of this implementation. Identify potential issues like these up front and “market” the vision internally to obtain organization support.  Get key business stakeholders actively involved in defining and linking the BI strategy and to their business strategy  Lastly, here are some additional thoughts to consider: 

·        Always identify a strong business sponsor.  In today’s fluid environment, also identify a backup business sponsor.

·        Make sure to identify the stakeholders with whom you communicate regularly with.

·        Identify the team members

·        Once a Project Manager is assigned, determine if it is full time or if they are splitting it with other administrative responsibilities.

·        Determine how much time each business representative is committing to this project.  Is it part time, full time or on request only?

·        Perform a cost-benefit analysis.

·        Determine whether you can implement the requested scope given the schedule and the available resources

·        Address the skills level needed for your team members to perform the responsibilities of their assigned roles.  If they need training, make sure they get it.

Unfortunately, too few organizations think about these concepts before jumping in.  Maximize your benefit, stop and think about how you are addressing these tips and build out a road map to follow for your BI project.  

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1 Comment »

  1. Very Nice Site! Thanks!

    Comment by Ron February 12, 2008 @ 8:19 am

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