Nine Choices on the Road to BI Solution Centers

Forrester Research says BI Solution Centers offer a business-governed, solutions-focused edge over BI competency centers. Here are nine key considerations you'll face when building your BISC.
Consideration 8: Performance Measurement Approach?

BISC stakeholders require transparent measurements of the success of the BISC program in order to support ongoing momentum and funding. BISC leaders must establish a clear set of BISC performance metrics and clearly communicate them on a periodic basis. Some BISC performance metrics are obvious and easy to calculate. Examples include number of BI applications delivered and maintained by BISC, number of BI users, number of reports in production and the usage patterns of these reports, reduced BI support staff, and reduced BI software and maintenance costs. Other metrics could be trickier to calculate and monitor such as improved information accuracy and turnaround time on BI requests.

Most leading BI products come with pre-built applications to monitor and analyze at least some of these metrics. If such out-of-the-box applications are not available from your preferred BI vendor, or if you are using multiple BI platforms, a centralized BI metrics management solution can be architected by using products from vendors such as Appfluent Technology and Teleran Technologies.

Consideration 9: Isolated or Aligned With Other Solution Centers?

No BI environment is an island from the rest of the data management infrastructure. Just as BI applications touch, depend on, and overlap with many related processes and technologies, BISCs cannot exist in isolation from other competency centers, solutions centers, or centers of excellence. Federation between the BISC and other data management competency centers is a best practice. Many such competency centers have existed in organizations for years, though they may not be recognized as distinct disciplines or organizations. Essentially, any group that defines, approves, and/or enforces standard practices for new projects or initiatives in any of these areas is a competency center.

To realize the full return on investment from BI, your organization's BISC should engage with all or most of the interdependent competency centers.

To succeed in your specific organizational environment, your BISC must have clear lines of demarcation, cooperation, and integration with all these other relevant initiatives. Failing to define a clear charter with appropriate collaboration, communication, and change management processes between complementary efforts can be a fatal pitfall in your BISC initiative.

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This article is based on the Forrester Report "Implementing Your Business Intelligence Solutions Center." The 16-page report includes charts, diagrams and seven recommendations not included in this article. Click here to download the free report.

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