11 Best Practices for Business Intelligence

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 02-02-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    11 Best Practices for Business Intelligence
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    11 Best Practices for Business Intelligence

    Business intelligence best practices are a must, and these 11 tips are sure to put your organization on the right path to using data strategically and smartly.
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    Bigger Isn't Always Better
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    Bigger Isn't Always Better

    Solutions must do more than gather and process tons of data: trustworthiness and immediacy are key.
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    Deliverable Value Over TCO
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    Deliverable Value Over TCO

    If your BI implementation strategy will deliver on specific ROI objectives, you'll gain greater buy-in regardless of the initial TCO (total cost of ownership).
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    Take Stock of Current Resources
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    Take Stock of Current Resources

    Look within the organization to leverage the IT you already own to support BI—your CFO and other purchase decision-makers are more likely to support additional investments.
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    File-Formatting Resources
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    File-Formatting Resources

    BI draws from more than 300 file formats, such as HTML, Word, Excel, PDF, images and multimedia, to make use of unstructured data. Be sure you’re ready for these various sources.
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    Create BI Policies for Deployment
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    Create BI Policies for Deployment

    Policies should cover how data is best captured, stored and processed to maintain a high level of integrity, relevance and accessibility.
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    Go Team: Involve Business Leaders From the Outset
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    Go Team: Involve Business Leaders From the Outset

    BI is all about supporting business needs, so you'll need constant input from these leaders to keep IT on the right track.
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    The Only Constant? Change
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    The Only Constant? Change

    Disruptive market changes and evolving business requirements will test the agility of your BI deployment.
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    Limit Initial User Participation
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    Limit Initial User Participation

    If BI is unleashed upon the masses all at once, confusion, effort duplication, errors and user abandonment are likely to tarnish BI’s effectiveness.
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    Define the Project’s Scope
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    Define the Project’s Scope

    Implementing a BI undertaking in stages is essential, but you should understand ultimately how many users and functions will need to be supported over time.
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    Training Day
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    Training Day

    To give the BI project the greatest chance of success, appoint IT members as your BI gurus and proactively enlist them to train employees.
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    Support Self Service
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    Support Self Service

    The ultimate goal of BI is to hand off the project to the appropriate business unit. To accomplish this, proceed with solution acquisitions and training plans with this objective in the forefront of all decisions.
 

Interest in business intelligence (BI) is surging, as big data is expected to explode into a $50 billion market in 2015—nearly doubling its current size. Why not, when BI supports so many business-critical functions, such as analytics, business performance management, text mining and predictive analytics. And while BI presents virtually limitless potential with regard to transforming immense volumes of data into organization-benefiting intelligence, there are many ways for these projects to fail. To help prevent this, we're presenting the following 11 best practices for BI. They were adopted from a number of online resources, primarily those posted at—appropriately enough—Business Intelligence Best Practices, an online collaborative and interactive forum for the BI and data warehousing community. The resulting takeaways cover everything from BI project funding to solution performance to user acceptance. What's key, experts say, is to form an ongoing partnership with business, so the resulting BI solutions are embraced as easy-to-use and strategically relevant. For more about Business Intelligence Best Practices, click here

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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