Companies that try to launch a new business intelligence (BI) initiative with the sole goal of quick wins and fixes forget one of the most important steps in the process: You must align the needs and expectations of the BI professionals, business executives, and what the organization aims to achieve.
BI professionals should take just a day or two before plunging into schemas, graphs, and KPI dashboards, to gather their users and pinpoint the most relevant KPIs for the project at hand. Remember: The metrics need to fit the organization, and not the other way around.
So keep in mind that the goal of BI should always start with the business and serve the business, and all metrics have to be flexible enough to accommodate the BI solution that the business actually needs, rather than the one that’s easiest for an analyst to create.
Written specifications are important, but don’t proceed to the next step until you’ve had meetings with all relevant executives, managers, and business users who will look at the data and dashboards on a daily basis. This will allow BI professionals to hear from the horse’s mouth exactly what it is their users expect to measure.
Remember, people can only improve what they measure, so if an executive plans on improving sales by quarter, but doesn’t have that metric set as a KPI, there will be a disconnect at the end of your BI project.