BI Strategy: How to define a BI Strategy
Defining a BI Strategy is not a simple things to do. However, a structured approach can simply lead to great results, becoming an essential and inspiring reference to drive Business Intelligence operations.
Objectives of a BI Strategy
- Assess the current BI situation
- Propose a BI Strategy in terms of Vision, Organization, Processes, Solutions and Architecture
- Suggest a roadmap based on priority and feasibility
Define a BI Strategy: 5 pillars in 4 steps
The key element is to split the strategy into clear subjects: pillars & steps.
First, split the BI Strategy into 5 pillars:
- Vision: What do we want to achieve?
- Organization: Which organization to put in place to govern, define and run the BI Strategy?
- Processes: Which processes to put in place to: Define the Strategy? Govern Data as a key asset of the organization? Deliver value through Business Intelligence? Support user community?
- Solutions: Which Business Intelligence solutions do we want to deliver? Which dashboards? Which domains? Which purposes? Which added-value? Which impact on business?
- Architecture: Which components to support the BI Strategy? Selection? Deployment? Support?
We propose to define the BI Strategy in 4 consecutive steps:
- Baseline: Where do we stand today?
- Envision: Where do we want to go?
- Recommend: How to go there? Gap & Impact analysis
- Plan: When to go there? Priorize, Budget & Propose a roadmap
This approach proposes a comprehensive framework to define your BI strategy in a very structured way, covering each topic.
STEP #1: Baseline
For each of the 5 pillars, define where you stand now:
- Interview all actors of the current Business Intelligence eco-system: Business Stakeholders, users, BI team, partners…
- Build a SWOT analysis
1a – Baseline – Vision
- Lack of vision?
- Technology oriented?
- Misalignment with IT and/or organization strategy?
1b – Baseline – Organization
- Who are the actual players?
- Are there some overlaps in people functions?
- Do we have coordinated approach?
- Do we face loss of productivity?
1c – Baseline – Processes
- How does BI is governed?
- How do we handle Data Governance?
- How do we deliver BI projects?
- How do we support our users?
- How do we evolve to stay aligned with business changes?
1d – Baseline – Solutions
- Which BI solutions are currently deployed?
- Are they used? Why?
- Which ones are bringing real value?
- What types of users are concerned by Business Intelligence today?
1e – Baseline – Architecture
- Which tools are today supporting our strategy?
- Are we maximizing the impact of those technologies?
- Is the architecture in line with business constraints and company strategy?
- Is the current licensing model adapted to our needs? What about the hosting model?
STEP #2: Envision
2a – Envision – Vision
- Maximize data as a key asset of the organization
- Transform data into information
- Transform information into actions
- Transform actions into business impacts
- Align BI Strategy to IT and organization Strategy
- Deliver BI solutions for multiple purposes
- Consider Business Intelligence trends
- Self-service Business Intelligence
- Cloud BI
- BI mobility
- Big Data
- Social BI
2b – Envision – Organization
- Do we want to create a BICC – Business Intelligence Competency Center?
- To who the BICC should report to? IT? Business? CEO?
- Do we want to put in place a BI champion in each business department?
- What is our sourcing strategy?
- How do we want to organize BI delivery? BI support? BI Management?
2c – Envision – Processes
- What will be the most efficient way in our organization to deliver Business Intelligence solutions?
- Which processes do we want to put in place to support those solutions?
- How do we want to settle efficient data governance processes?
- How do we want to structure the periodic reviews of the BI strategy?
2d – Envision – Solutions
- What kind of solutions must we provide?
- Which operational processes and departments could be the most impacted by BI solutions?
- Do we want to equip all our staff with Self-Service Dashboarding Solutions?
- Do we want to leverage BI mobility?
- Can we imagine other usages of Business solutions to support our organization growth?
2e – Envision – Architecture
- Can we leverage innovative BI technologies to better support business growth?
- Is there an opportunity with Big Data?
- Shall we move to cloud?
- Should we put in place a Disaster Recovery Plan?
STEP #3: Recommend
- Define the required transformations which will be needed to move from the As-Is state to the To-Be state
- Structure those transformations into clearly-defined initiatives
- For each initiative:
- Identify the foreseen impacts on your business
- Define the related investments and potential risks
- Score the value of each initiative based on the ratio
- Prioritize each initiative based on its impact on business and its balance vs costs & investments
- Consider the right mix between tactical early-value deliveries and strategic long-term initiatives
STEP #4: Plan
- Define dependencies between initiatives
- Estimate the schedule of each initiative considering dependencies and business constraints
- Build a roadmap
- Define the immediate next steps
→ More information on how Lintao can help you defining your Data Strategy using its existing framework.