We’ve all seen it before. An enormous amount of money, time, and human capital spent on harvesting data across the organization in hopes of gaining valuable data-driven insights to improve one or more pieces of a business. Then, as if the isolated and awkward middle school dance reinvented itself for the modern work environment, departments across the organization stop talking to each other, the data becomes stale, and collaboration seizes to a halt. In order to remain competitive with an ever-changing digital landscape implementing a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) is the answer. To do so you must learn from both unsuccessful as well as successful BICC implementations across industries prior to embarking on your own journey to company wide information nirvana. Follow our quick and simple ‘Guide to BICC Success’, below, and help your own organization reach its potential for business intelligence standardization.
1. Assessment, Vision, and Roadmap
- Provide a current state view of the business intelligence capabilities that are present within the organization
- Work with key stakeholders to discover their biggest data challenges
- Design a vision and roadmap of where the organization would LIKE to be, in regards to data visualization and discovery, within the next 1-3 year
2. Establish BICC Roles
- Identify which key stakeholders (typically upper management) will contribute to the overall direction and success of the BICC
- Each stakeholder MUST have a clearly defined role and dedicated responsibilities that are expected out of them
- Introduce each role that stakeholders will play to other members of the BICC team in order to ensure accountability
3. Prioritize, prioritize and then prioritize some more
- Once you begin a systematic intake of business intelligence requests from different departments, it will feel like navigating the Sahara Desert with no end in sight
- Work alongside your IT or technical leadership in order to estimate how long each request will take to accomplish
- Which business solutions will provide the most return on investment (ROI) for the greatest number of business end users, while taking the least amount of time to develop
4. Create Interim Solutions that are truly temporary
- In order to gain end user trust and adoptability, create interim solutions within your business intelligence tool of choice (IBM, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, etc.) that allow the business to get their hands on something tangible in a short development period
- Don’t get caught up in short and simple ‘wins’ with the business and allow half finished prototypes to become the norm when delivering dashboards or data visualizations to end users
- Most tested and proven solutions take time, typically more than what the business is willing to accept
5. Communication is KEY
- Your business end users want to know the truth, if a solution is taking more time than expected, or will not be developed until several weeks later (due to prioritization) let them know. It is better to be upfront and honest than to kill the anticipation of a business solution with unfulfilled promises
- Utilize your BICC leadership to effectively communicate progress and end dates with each department manager. Project status statements coming from executive management tend to carry a more meaningful impact than those from a developer or analyst status
- Establish a bi-weekly or monthly call with all members of the BICC in order to engage stakeholders and identify opportunities for improvement
Establishing an effective BICC will take a lot of careful planning and dedicated attention to detail, however, the returns of having a successful data-driven approach across your entire organization is unparalleled. We trust the lessons learned from our prior experiences with helping to establish effective BICC’s will, in turn, be of great use to your team.
Analytics should accelerate your business not slow it down. To get started on your business intelligence enhancement journey, contact us today.