Tag Archives: Murali Moturi

Self-Service BI & adapting Line of Business (LoB) Executives

19 Apr

Today, BI has sprouted more than just a technology as organization across the globe demand over more relevant and faster information to support decisions. Eventually data volumes are conservatively increasing 30% a year and enterprises find it difficult to handle these enhancing data sources that enrich their analytical systems. Best-in-Class companies are able to identify these needs and allocate appropriate IT resources to manage these back end data warehouse leaving only the functionality reports to be created by the Line of Business executives. However LoB executives are struggling to find a way to capture the appropriate insights from the information that are streamlined in and out of the organization.

Line-of-Business executives are entitled to make more agile decisions with the efficiently streamlined information. LoB Decision makers has no longer have an option to wait for the IT executives to generate their reports, they need to be abreast of the market sheers and quickly respond to the threats and opportunities they face. Hence they require self-service access to their analytical solutions to take right decision without the interference of the IT. Top performing companies have started implementing a comprehensive road map to develop their technically imperfect LoB executives into analytically inclined decision makers, spread Business Intelligence (BI) capability to more organizational functions, and drive significant internal and external business efficiencies as a result.

The self-service delivery model to BI is being adopted by many enterprises in order to create significant efficiencies for organizations and meet the growing need for business visibility and decision. The self-service approach allow

  • LoB executives to increase the curiosity towards their analytical thinking to learn more on the BI tool
  • Companies to extinguish IT intervention into the deployment and support of the BI tool
  • To create more analytical friendly environment wherein reports and dashboards can be created, applied to the data and distributed to the executives within the organization
  • LoB executives have the complete freedom to create their desired customized data that induce them to make more confident and perfect decisions that significantly leads to improved business performance.
  • LoB executives to drive value form traditionally untapped organizational data.

While speaking about the companies adapting to the self-service delivery model there are two main factors that are driving companies to generate a self-service environment for BI.

  1. Most enterprises are experiencing a growing need to create business visibility between top management and specific departmental levels i.e. In a business the view of a top management executive will be only at a strategic level and he/she might not be strong enough to understand the functional area similarly the LoB managers of an organization have a good understanding of what drives the business but strategically weak to take decisions. In order to improve the business visibility, companies therefore leverage the self-service environments.
  2. Most departments in an organization find themselves submerged with raw data about their business. While efforts have been made at the IT level to capture and manage this data, many have yet to leverage those efforts to deliver actionable insight to the department level.

These two factors are top of mind for companies looking to achieve self-service BI at the functional level.  Companies are looking for precise fact-based decision-making rather than decision via gut-feel. BI is generally designed to enable more fact-based decisions and most LoB executives share the overall desire to extenuate doubtfulness in how they run their business. Additionally, the need for self-service BI has shown to be born out of economic necessity. Many organizations have been forced to cut IT spending and therefore transfer not just the technical burden of BI to LoB executives themselves, but the financial obligation as well. Many of these cash-strapped companies are looking for creative new ways of delivering analytical capability, and a new direction being considered is outsourced BI model delivered via web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) interface.

For a more detailed discussion of BI deployment methods contact shaughnk@zsl.com

Advertisements

Business Intelligence implementation – How to guarantee your Success

16 Apr

Organizations often start their sophisticated Business Intelligence implementation with aspirational and competitive goals in an attempt to meet their business needs. However, they are ending up or restricted with department-levels due to the substantial business dimension that clutches around it.

The intention of organizations to implement a Business Intelligence solution is a mighty step, but how will you avoid these implementations getting restricted at department levels.

Mistakes during implementations

Organizations are most familiar with the mistakes that they do however they don’t realize them.

On time project delivery

Generally, Business intelligence and data warehousing implementations are large and complex, if enterprises don’t eventually define the scope of the work then the implementation becomes more complex, time consuming and cross the budget than predicted. Most companies fail to create the scope of the work and don’t realize the consequences out of this negligent behavior.

It is well interpreted that building an implementation plan would provide enterprises utilize the BI tools sooner and faster, make quicker decision making in terms of new functionality, gaining traction with smaller groups.

Strategic initiatives and Unavailability of depth reports

This interconnected factor to on time delivery is a tough balance to strike. Organizations need to approach with a strategy that would first measure the impact on the business and then technical foundation of new projects required to support the business within the subject area to deliver depth and rich reports. These strategic business initiatives on the basis of high business value that have low technical complexity to implement would help them to drive expected business value. When enterprises fail to approach these type of strategy and focus only on delivering subject areas and reports that can span across the organization they end up with departmental levels.

Troubling Support and Training

Business initiative must be followed by support and training activity as a part of the deliverable of the architecture phase. But most of the organization makes a mistake by forgetting to include the support and training cost as the part of BI initiative budget. Significantly an organization must provide technical training and support for a single user or a small group of users so that they can help the other users in knowledge transfers on how to design and build a BI repository or an ETL process, how to use the tool, how to manage the tool etc. These trained users become the nucleus of the design and developer skills in house for the data warehouse platform and BI toolset and first line of support for other users. This is one of the simplest of the initiatives that can be fixed, but after the initial project delivery this activity is being forgotten by the BI services implementer or the BI service vendor.

Lack of Internal communication

Another factor that affects the enterprise wide project is lack of internal communication within the organization. Business intelligence systems are contrasted to more of information gathering by their inter-departmental focus and their general overview towards business performance. They are also unique in their use of advanced technology and techniques to mine for data and to crunch that data in the most optimal manner. While a group in charge of market analysis might have a strong understanding of the particular sector of the market in which a business operates, their lack of the same detailed understanding about specific competitors and the inner management of the company make their information less useful. In a business intelligence model, all these various forms of business improvement should be tied together so that communication is quick and easy, and each segment should help to inform the other segments so their insights are even more valuable than they would be on their own.

Strategies that organizations must follow to avoid these mistakes

  • Ensure to begin your strategy with an insight towards Enterprise Data Warehouse that leads to high-level BI architecture
  • Understand various business process workflows of each department and gather the data required to support the high-level BI architecture.
  • Originate an implementation strategy that is important to deliver high business value and derive incremental deliverables to build your BI architecture
  • Develop strong working relationships with key business sponsors.
  • Educate a group of users with key technical knowledge and business and data analytics
  • Develop a strong communication barrier within the organization in order to gather information from different departments.
  • Take a release level approach to the incremental delivery of new (ETL and BI) functionality. Use strong (ETL and BI) tools and adopt common development standards; the ETL admin and the BI admin will be the central point for development standards. Pay attention to data profiling and data cleansing, and informally start to build master data. Don’t underestimate legacy data challenges, and don’t underestimate the challenges of unstructured data. Don’t underestimate training and support requirements, including the initial technical training, the initial business-user training, and ongoing training.