Tuesday, 21 February 2012

BI Think Tank Summary, February 7, 2012

With a vision of Continuous Improvement in how CORADIX tries to positively influence the Business Intelligence (BI) situation in the Federal Government, we asked some of our top BI consultants to a brainstorming think tank on the issues of identifying obstacles to success.
With over 200 years of experience in the room (we are not that old, but there was quite a few people present), this is a summary of what we came up with in no particular order.
  • The method of procurement used requires you to understand the problem, before you actually do, in many cases.
  • There is a religious belief that the dominant ERP’s have all the answers.
  • BI programs don’t really exist – they just call them that?
  • Systems are not designed to report.
  • BI is not considered an influencer.
  • Business is very separate from IT departments, and they do not communicate very well with each other.
  • Managers are not trained to think of the whole systems development life cycle.
  • Boundaries are a big problem.
  • Definition of metadata is a huge problem.
  • Clients don’t give requirements; they give their version of a solution.
  • Clients don’t know how to express themselves/their requirements.
  • There is a need for better client sponsorship of BI programs.
We discussed the emergence of Agile BI from products such as Endeca, QlikTech, Tableau, and how these tools provide quick win solutions, and are succeeding in response to conventional BI programs that are failing. But, we mostly agreed that we could take advantage of this technology to enhance conventional systems. By empowering the user, we help to promote the importance of good quality data amongst the business users, and allow them to become better educated on their real requirements.

There was also a unanimous agreement on the need for the famous “purple people” coined in Wayne Eckerson’s presentation at theTDWI chapter meeting, describing the mix of a business savvy IT people, or IT savvy business people to cross the communication chasm between IT and business.

We identified the realities of dealing with federal government organizations – like getting executive sponsorship on long term projects from executives that are frequently on the move from one Department to another.

Please let us know if these are touching some of your buttons or if you have other ones we have overlooked.

2 comments to “BI Think Tank Summary, February 7, 2012”

  • 22 February 2012 at 16:46
    Peter Beck says:

    Wayne Eckerson on "purple people":


  • 24 February 2012 at 09:31
    David Garson says:

    Bullet #4: "Systems are not designed to report". Based on my experience, I believe the issue is that in most database application development projects, including most ERP projects, reporting might be considered, but usually as an afterthought (too late in the cycle), and almost always only in the context of the specific database application. Enterprise-wide reporting, data warehousing, and business intelligence are treated separately, if at all. Perhaps reword this bullet to "Enterprise database application development projects rarely include planning and design for enterprise reporting, data warehousing and business intelligence". David Garson / david.garson@gmail.com


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