>BI Strategy Planning Tips – Part 1

>Planning a BI strategy for your organisation can be challenging; you need decent industry/vendor awareness, an appreciation of organisational data and ideally; a handle on budgeting. In no particular order, here are some practicable tips to get started with yours. More will be forthcoming.

1) Start with your Supply Chain. Reduction of energy use in data centres is a key IT issue. This is generally driven by either a cost saving drive or a Green IT focus (shouldn’t they really be the same thing though?). However, most organizations budget between 2-5% of revenue for IT budgets, yet spend roughly 50% of revenue on all aspects of supply chain management. Basically, there are significantly more savings to be made in the supply chain than in data centres. Large volumes of raw data are generated and stored by each process of the supply chain (plan, source, make, deliver and return) by automated enterprise applications being used at most large, global manufacturers. BI can help determine what information is necessary to drive improvements and efficiencies at each process in the supply chain and turn the raw data into meaningful metrics and KPIs.
2) Forget the BI-Search “evolution”. Just the training costs for commercial BI systems are expensive. Organisations want single (easy and simple) interfaces wherever possible and a search-based interface appears to be the key to engaging the masses. There has been heavy speculation over the last couple years (ongoing) that BI and Search technologies will somehow merge. This approach however only really surfaces existing BI reports for more detailed interrogation e.g. “July Sales Peaks”. A search string is not a rich enough interface to support ad-hoc queries. Think about it? You need either a devoted language e.g. MDX or a rich data visualisation package to traverse dimensional data. A search box will never explore correlation between marketing budget and operating income.
3) Forget “BI for the masses” (for now). BI has been actively used in the enterprise since the early nineties. The expectation of “BI for the masses” (basically – the SMB market) hasn’t exactly happened. Why is this? It’s because people want to collaborate and jointly come up with ideas, solutions, figures and approaches. They need this for personal, political and commercial reasons. It will change when enterprise SOA is in place and it might change when there is a change in the way consumer impacts enterprise networking. It will not change in the short-term.

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