This is the fourth post in my series on changing our approach to BI development. In order to break the BI backlog, move towards more pervasive BI and increase the BI business ROI, an enterprise needs to make fundamental changes to their BI efforts. These changes are interrelated and necessary for success.
For an enterprise to truly experience a BI breakout, here are four of the things we should do differently:
- Business people need to be given BI tools that enable self-service BI (see previous post on this)
- Triage business requests for new BI deliverables such as dashboards, reports, cubes (see previous post on this)
- Establish hybrid BI development methodology (see previous post on this)
- IT needs to concentrate on creating an information backbone (explained below)
IT needs to concentrate on creating an information backbone
No matter what the BI request, the right business information needs to be available. That does not mean that all you need to do is to grant a business person access to a database. Comprehensive, consistent, conformed, clean and current data does not happen without Enterprise Information management (EIM).
Once the information is in order, then business people can plug into the information backbone through many BI tools such as data discovery, data visualization, ad-hoc query, dashboards, scorecards, OLAP analysis, predictive analytics, reports and spreadsheets (sorry Excel haters, but you can if you practice EIM.) An enterprise data demands are ever expanding and evolving – meaning that the information backbone is likewise expanding. This often requires data integration, data cleansing, data profiling and, most importantly, data governance.
Conclusion of the series
A BI tool is only as good as the business information it can access and analyze. Although business people can get really excited by many of the terrific BI tools in the marketplace, once they settle into using a tool they will not care how slick it is if the numbers are not right.