четверг, 12 февраля 2015 г.

Important factors during implementation of BI solution

The analysis of the mistakes of others, as we know, can help managers avoid them in future. There are a number of factors that are guaranteed to lead to failures BI-projects. Therefore, in order to realize the implementation of successful, you must take into account these factors and to provide them with resistance.

Does Business need BI?
Even before the project is absolutely necessary to determine exactly what kind of benefits will bring business to the introduction of BI. Often the introduction of BI-system is due to increasing competition and the need to respond to the challenges of the market. Sometimes BI implementation is important in the absorption of other companies and significantly increase the scope of business: in this case, BI-tool allows you to ensure its transparency.
BI-project should be initiated and maintained by business users rather than imposed by IT professionals. It should not be one of the standard, the standard steps of the corporate IT infrastructure simply because "so it is accepted", "it is prestigious," etc. In this case, it is likely that the introduction of a substitute for the BI solution completely different tasks, such as business performance management, data integration, providing a better interaction units and users, business process optimization.

Setting goals and objectives of the project
The first and necessary step in the implementation of BI is the study goals and objectives. It is a strict definition of goals and objectives will help you choose the best tools for their decisions and provide insight on the part of end users.
It is also necessary to consider and assess the extent of implementation of BI-solutions in the organization. It happens that the BI-system originally created with the expectation of 10-20 members, and it turns out that the use of its capabilities (at least, in terms of reporting) interested hundreds of employees. In this case, the system can not cope with the flood of requests and will not work properly, it will undermine user confidence in its quality and stability and may cause them to return to the old tools for business analysis (spreadsheets and routine manual work). Thus, all spent on implementation efforts and resources will be wasted.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of BI-systems in the neighboring department, managers may need to implement at the same decision. However, this division of tasks solvable, and the volume and efficiency of the analyzed information can vary greatly. Therefore, the scale should be treated with caution and regard it as a separate stand-alone project.

Support of Business
Both actual and sponsorship of the project by the senior management are perhaps the most important role for the success of the project. It is important that management took personal part in the project and had a clear idea about the specific benefits of the implementation of BI. This is ideal, especially if in the course of the project have any difficulties. On the other hand, when working on a project at the same time several managers, it may result in a situation where each of them is trying to lead the project in a different direction. This situation can be prevented by pre-agreed goals, objectives of the project between them, as well as determine which business units and to what extent will be affected by the project.

Ensuring the quality of data and  data integration
Individual tasks within the BI-project is to address the gathering and processing of the raw data. Need to consider what information will be used for query processing and report generation now, what data may be required in the future, the frequency with which you want to synchronize data, as well as will be detailed elaboration, consolidation, data cleaning.
Currently very few organizations that use BI, carefully think through and provide the necessary data quality. However, it is the correctness of the data is a prerequisite for making the right and timely management decisions, which ultimately is the measure of the quality of the created BI-solutions. Often, it is believed that the problem of data cleaning should by default be solved by means of BI-system.
There is also the opposite approach when the task of ensuring the quality of the data is completely shifted to the shoulders of the units supplying the raw data or using BI. Meanwhile, it is a complex problem. Part BI-platforms are composed of tools for data quality control, but even they are not always enough. Sometimes requires the introduction of individual products for integration and data cleaning, and the solution of this problem results in an independent project.

Choosing a solution
Do not choose a solution that exceeds the needs of the company significantly. If the project involves only 30-40% of the capacity of the system, then missed a real opportunity to achieve ROI less.
Also common mistake made by many companies to introduce new technologies, is the customization of the system. Do not forget that the main goal of all efforts should be to provide accurate and reliable information on the most rational basis. Send reports to a smartphone with embedded images can be set up later.

Management of BI-project
The task of project management is the key to most organizations deploying BI, especially when it comes to IT resources. BI-technology often go beyond an established company in the approach to the implementation of business applications. The fact is that for BI systems need information resources that have different units. In the process of extracting the data and store them in the delivery may be difficult. To avoid them, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Consider the possibility of appointing a particular person with a certain level of responsibility for all BI-initiative, which will receive reports from IT professionals and business sponsors with respect to all activities of the project
  • To establish a special program to support this organizational initiatives
  • Assign a dedicated specialist responsible for analytical reporting, in each functional area, which will monitor compliance with the plan and report their production process. The extent of its competence should be quite high, but can be reduced as "ripening" BI-environment
  • Discuss with senior management prospects of BI system and its support
  • Initialize the collection of analytical information using both vertical and horizontal communication schemes.

Business Users aspect
No matter how good BI-system itself, the success of the project provides the user. To employees to "accept" the new system, they must, first, be involved in the initial stages in the formulation of goals and objectives, evaluation and selection of software and tools implemented, and secondly to train everyone the opportunity to create solutions.
Choosing the right moment for training - a necessary component of successful implementation. If to train too early, long before the system is put into operation, users will not be able to relate their acquired knowledge to address their specific everyday tasks, and in addition will have time to forget all the explanation at the time of system startup. If the conduct training too late, the users will slow down and sabotage the implementation of the incomprehensible and frightening them with the novelty and complexity of software. Optimal point for training, perhaps, is the period immediately before the start or at the beginning of operation of the system.
Problems of adaptation BI-systems are not in the area of literacy data organization and technology, and human resource management and overcoming cultural differences. Any changes are usually initially cause rejection, and it takes time, so that users are accustomed to adapt to new processes. You also need to create and monitor the implementation of a system of rules that do not allow users to return to their former, habitual ways of working to bypass the new system.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the system
Evaluation of return on BI-solutions - a difficult task and has to date generally accepted standard solutions. Argued that calculate the ROI of BI implementations during the initial period of use is practically impossible, since the main advantages will become apparent only in the long term.
To assess the potential success of BI-project experts propose to study similar implementations at other companies and compare their results with their own goals and objectives.