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Getting the results you want from your business intelligence project

Like businesses worldwide, companies in the Nordics have been investing in projects to capture and analyse the large volumes of complex data generated by their business activities. For most, the aim has been to create a centralised and transparent reporting model that delivers better intelligence for business decisions. Typically, companies are investing between five and 50 million Danish krone in these projects.

Yet in a survey by PA Consulting Group among executives responsible for business intelligence in 100 top Danish companies, 36% said their business intelligence projects had failed to deliver as much value for the business as they had expected. Over 60% were disappointed in the results their business intelligence projects delivered.

It’s clear from the investment companies have made that they recognise better business intelligence can add value. But what must they do differently to realise the full potential of business intelligence?

Recognising that developing good business intelligence cannot be achieved in a single project is a useful starting point. Instead, setting out on a business intelligence ‘journey’ is more likely to take companies to where they want to be.

Re-adjust expectations

Developing good business intelligence is not like other IT projects, where the starting point is to define a comprehensive solution and then work to implement it. It’s more likely to be a series of smaller projects that gradually build up to accommodate an evolving collection of business needs. The overwhelming advice from guests at a recent PA event focused on business intelligence was not to try to achieve everything at once. Think big, start small. 

Make the business the focus of your project

Because business intelligence is digital it’s easy to assume that your business intelligence project is an IT project. It’s not. Business intelligence is all about the business and delivering the intelligence it needs to make better decisions. So start by thinking about who will be using business intelligence and what their requirements are. Make sure the people who deliver business intelligence and analytics have the skills needed to engage effectively with those who will be using it.

Acknowledge the change management challenge

Much of the challenge in delivering a business intelligence project successfully lies in managing change. Following key principles can make a big difference to the outcome of your business intelligence project: be clear about who owns the project, establish a formal service level agreement with the business unit that will benefit, encourage participation at a local level and manage expectations carefully. 

Exploit new tools and technologies

Business intelligence is an evolving discipline – as technology develops constantly. new tools to exploit business intelligence are also becoming available. Find the right tool and you’ll discover that it takes much less effort to get the results you want from your business intelligence project. 

To talk to one of our experts about how to get the results you want from your business intelligence project, contact us now.

Tom McEwan
IT consulting
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