How to Conduct a Comprehensive Due Diligence Before Embarking on a BI project

Thinking of initiating a Business Intelligence program in your business?

Although there are a myriad of consultancies standing by to get your contract, we recommend that you don’t rush into it without doing substantial due diligence. This is to avoid being one of the 60% of 2017 BI projects that will fail to go further than the piloting and experimentation stage, and will be ultimately be abandoned, according to the industry-leader Gartner.

There are many reasons for this potential failure, but we would like to focus on one in this blog: the failure to start off with a proof of value program. By this we mean a comprehensive foundational assessment by an independent company of the following:

  • What data your company currently has
  • What level of maturity the data is at
  • How the data is currently being managed
  • Where are the touch points for interacting with the variousdata
  • What skills the people in your organization have to deal with the data
  • A comprehensive forecast of costs involved in the program, including the creation and staffing of BI divisions, user training and education across the organization to ensure buy-in and competence, as well as all the technical costs
  • If the current organizational culture will support the objectives.

In other words, you need a big picture view of the business case for a business intelligence strategy. Devising a program based on short-term goals alone increases the threat of failing.

Once you have this detailed view, you can proceed to design and development of the project.

Ideally, a company should start small, identifying steps that can be implemented incrementally, over time, as part of a bigger plan. Companies can start anywhere: for example, with reporting. Later you can add analysis or another pain point. This method allows for the project to grow apace with the budget, the people and the processes.

In addition, the benefits will be felt early and tangibly, which means that companies will be able to see the value, and will continue to buy in. The start small approach also means that companies can respond to change more quickly. It is easier to modify or adjust something small, than it is to start from scratch.

You can only start small however, if you already have a big picture view of the business case for a business intelligence strategy.We work with our clients closely to perform this overview. Give us a call.

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