Dashboarding Ourselves

Enough self-serving reports: It's time for honest self-assessment about why projects are falling short of their objectives.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

May 11, 2004

2 Min Read

Training, and to a larger extent, the mentality of the organization toward learning, is a key indicator of potential DW/BI success. Equally important is the need to deliver tools — in an atmosphere of learning and cooperation — that have a high degree of relevance to the work people do, something that is often trivialized by IT. There's a lot of work to do, but one thing I've learned from this research is that stepping back a little from DW/BI technology reveals a very complicated landscape strewn with hazards. Our industry — encompassing vendors, analysts, journalists, and practitioners — is ill-equipped for dealing with the challenges of making data warehousing and business intelligence successful. We need to strengthen our practice portfolios and partner with our clients in order to implement programs that encompass technology as well as organizational development.

And it wouldn't hurt to beef up the usefulness of metadata, either.

Neil Raden is the founder of Hired Brains, a consulting, systems integration, and implementation services firm that also provides market research and advisory services. He is also a consultant, author, and speaker on BI, data warehousing, and IT strategy.

IN THE SHADOWSWhile spreadsheets often get a bad rap, the real problems lie below the surface

The spreadsheet interface isn't the problem. In fact, many BI tools have incorporated it. Gathering, downloading, and keying data, building standalone models, managing files, and the time spent learning the tool make a significant contribution to so-called "shadow IT," time spent by non-IT professionals in IT-related work. Although shadow IT has been talked about for a while, for a current look at its meaning and implications, see "Shining the Light on Shadow Staff: Booz Allen Hamilton," CIO, Jan. 2, 2004, http://www2.cio.com/consultant/report2085.html.

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