I’ve found that organisations often overestimate the ease of rolling out a successful Business Intelligence program. Recognising the breadth of impact it will have on their organisation can sometimes be overlooked. There is often a lot of time spent determining the right BI technology, but once deployed, many believe the rest will take care of itself. In truth, the technology itself is often the easiest decision. Without due consideration for your people, processes and organisational culture, you might not achieve the outcomes you hoped for – or pitched to your company directors to get the budget approved!
Whilst there are a number of factors to ensure a successful BI program, one of the first things you need to do is set a BI strategy.
I’ve seen many businesses begin their analytical initiatives with grassroots efforts – and sometimes it may not be the lack of strategy but rather too many silos of strategy that create the initial difficulty in managing the overall program. A cohesive strategy is needed to increase collaboration and decision making, reduce costs and ensure corporate alignment. Without attention to these, expected outcomes may only be tactical or incremental gains instead of higher value, business-wide success that should otherwise be possible.
Here are my 8 tips to ensure you have the right strategies in place for BI program success:
- Align to your business priorities – ensure your BI program is well aligned with your business priorities and make sure you have a method to identify and manage any changing priorities
- Collaborate – ensure key stakeholders from business, IT and finance functions are all well connected and collaborating
- Know your outcome – have a clear vision and understanding of how analytics will improve outcomes in your organisation
- Assess skills – identify business areas that are advanced in analytic capability and skill and those that require improvement
- Assess your existing technologies – look at technologies already in place that can be leveraged, extended, or integrated
- Prioritise BI initiatives – build a roadmap, look for some early high-value quick wins to gain acceptance
- Look for sweet spots – identify sweet spots of information that reflect the priorities and key objectives of your organisation
- Manage change – make sure your BI program is able to adjust to business priorities as they change