Considerations when Implementing a Business Intelligence solution
As the type and number of Business Intelligence solutions have grown, considerations relating to the implementation need to be taken into account.
To help you avoid potential costly mistakes, consider the eight common mistakes organisations do make when they purchase a Business Intelligence solution and make the most out of your Business Intelligence software investment
Not properly defining the business problem the BI solution will solve.
Companies will jump in the deep end and purchase software before there is a definable problem that it will resolve. In some cases organisations will purchase simply because they have found that someone else is using it, so they need to as well.
Instead step back and look at your problem statement, what is needed to be able to resolve it, and then look for a BI solution that will give you that result.
Not getting acceptance from the end users of the system
Unless users are going to see a benefit to a BI solution offered and will use it, then the solution is going to fail. Bring in all stakeholders at the beginning of the process to ensure that not only the problem exists, but that everyone agrees that the solution offered will solve the problem.
Not factoring in security
Make sure that the BI solution you plan on purchasing has the ability to ensure that sensitive data remains secure and is not available for just anyone to look at.
Don’t be sold by the “sizzle”, you are buying the “sausage”
A common sales terms is “Sell the sizzle not the sausage”. Go past the bells and whistles and really concentrate on features that will matter at the foundation of BI solutions, data collection and integration between disparate data. Missing the nuts and bolts of what a BI solution should offer could leave you out in the cold when it comes time to grab all that data to present.
Not choosing a scalable solution
You want to be sure when looking at a BI solution that it will adapt and grow with your business. If it is already slow to query your data how will this affect your business two or five years down the road? The same could be said for the size of your data. As your data grows your BI solution will need to keep up with it. If you buy small you could find yourself looking for a better solution sooner than you think!
Not factoring in the mobile workforce.
In some cases a simple KPI displayed on a smartphone is as useful as any report that could be printed to screen or paper. Being able to put information that is easily digested at your employee’s fingertips is becoming more important as the workplace becomes more diverse geographically.
If you take one thing away from this blog, take this one! Rushing implementations is sure to cause problems down the track. Have a clear idea within your organisation about how long each phase is going to take and discuss that with the BI solution partner to ensure that everyone has the same expectations. Double check throughout the buying process that any changes have not changed this expectation as typically there I some scope creep as each party adds in or offers or wants more functionality.
Breaking down the project and prioritising specific outcomes you want to achieve and communicating them is extremely important. Also consider stages within the project and whether milestones will be based on reports being delivered in set time frames.
Insufficient training and consulting
Budget in plenty of training and familiarisation sessions for users of the system. Also factor in how much consulting / programming will be required to complete each project / facet of a project. Look for online training videos to have users get the most out of the training and in some cases replace initial training. Knowing what you are “up for” early in the buying process avoids disappointment later when the true cost is found out. Remember too that although best guesses can be used to judge how long a project or sub project may take, these can blow out based on inadequate information or improper definitions of the business process.
BI solutions can identify opportunities, highlights risks and forecast trends if properly implemented. Foresight into the whole solution process, from identifying the problems the organisations have, the selection of the BI solution and the implementation of that paramount to achieving that result.
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