Set realistic targets for business intelligence initiatives

Monday 31 December 2012

Social media

One of the most common problems with business intelligence (BI) projects is that companies set targets which are too ambitious.

This is the view of SQL Server Pro's Brian Knight, who said businesses often bite off more than they can chew.

Because BI projects can take six to 12 months to complete, many businesses look at them as an enterprise waterfall project. As such, they spend three months on planning before they set off on their journey," he stated.

"After three months of planning and only a few months of coding, the project fails because the business has not seen any business value yet and there's no political appetite to continue funding that type of project."

Mr Knight suggested that companies should break their BI project into two- or four-week segments and deliver an entire solution in each.

This gives the business leaders control and the opportunity to reprioritise the work prior to the next phase he noted.

The expert suggested that every review meeting should include a 'show and tell' exercise highlighting all the achievements of that iteration, and a discussion of what did and didn't work well.

Participants should consider what has been achieved since the last meeting, and set targets for the next section of the project.

"No matter what methodology you use, every project is going to need course corrections," Mr Knight said.

Posted by Alex Boardman