Putting It Together
Ignoring BI project risks is reckless and naive. You can't avoid risks entirely, but you can integrate risk-analysis techniques, such as RBAs and POCs, into the project itself. Together, these techniques give you a clear understanding of problems that lie ahead so you can consider alternatives or revise your strategy to ensure success. RBAs and POCs are not only effective, they're cheap when compared to full-scale production implementations.
No-cost and Low-Cost Resources
Reducing risk does not have to be expensive. My company, HandsOn-BI (www.handson-bi.com), has developed its own Business Rules Engine (BRE) tool using Visual Basic and Excel. This homegrown tool is designed to run on a laptop, and it lets you conduct effective rules-based audits on sample data without worrying about technology compatibility.
Michael L. Gonzales is president of The Focus Group Ltd. His books include Ibm Data Warehousing (Wiley, 2003). Write him at [email protected].