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Friday, 17 January 2014

LifeSaver: Business Intelligence Projects - Success and Failures

When we talk about business intelligence, we talk about how a certain project was hugely successful while some did not even walk on its feet. We analysed the situation and found few known-unknown combination of things.

Commonly, companies and CIO offices complain about many stuff during and for a BI implementation. We think the top 3 are:

  1. Data - less or more data, accessible or not-so-accessible data
  2. reports and dashboard that are slow in response and probably not suited for the need
  3. IT specific analytics tools which needs training at technical level
Even with these complaints, BI has been a top implementation priority for many years now. Organizations do recognize the value of data and analytics for decisions and outcomes.
So, there is a big need that the BI initiative does not stop and be a part of failed projects. Question is - how can you ensure this?
Answers is not specific to BI — it is same as any other project. For BI, it is even more difficult because the projects are more difficult to kick off and leap. Plus there are many examples on the list of failed BI projects. So, ensuring BI project's success is not just necessary for companies but also of immediate importance.

I always believed that the business have to drive the initiative for BI projects as they are the best judge of its usage. IT, needless to say, plays big part too. So, it ends up being a balance between the two.

We can come up with some major points as necessity for success of BI project
  1. Start from business and keep business in business intelligence
  2. Independence from IT - self service by business a priority
  3. Data as Good foundation
  4. Tools suitable for organization and people
  5. Train the users and prepare them for independence and change
Along with these, some things needs to be avoided too like AVOID
  1. IT-led - which seems easy but often ends in failure due to lack of business inputs
  2. Too strict or no process
  3. Using governance in everything
  4. Shedding responsibilities if external partners are brought to help
  5. Too much focus on development using tools
  6. Ignoring user training.
Hope this helps to achieve success in BI implementations.