Business Intelligence Best Practices -

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    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2007
    I have a contact center that based on Noretl CTI and MPS500 IVR. Where do I start can i get any suggestions for a data warehouse methodology?

    Fenig Natan
    • CommentAuthorbigdogfire
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2007
    That is great question. First I would get rid of the word "Data Warehouse" around the business community as CEO's and others often equate these iniatives as high risk with little return based on the "Old School" approach to BI with "Data Warehouses" that took forever to build and were to complex for business users to get value from. An "Agile" approach to BI has been one that works very well and provides quick wins to the business for ROI. Below is an outline that may help:
    1. Get sponorship by CEO, CFO, VP's etc.
    2. Ask what there definition of BI or "Data Warehousing" is. This will help clear up any misconceptions.
    3. Technology enables business intelligence (Don't let technology drive the BI solution), but at its core it’s an organizational capability.
    4. Go for a phased in approach. Start small! Often times the Technology is there, but the business is not mature enough in the BI arena. So small low tech approaches often make a big impact initially.
    5. Define a business problem or organizational capability that would be of value to the business stakeholders (CEO, CFO, Managers, etc.)
    6. Follow this cycle :DATA –> INFORMATION –> KNOWLEDGE –> ACTION –> OUTCOME –> VALUE
    7. Allows look to the "Value" then work your way back.
    8. BI is not a solution, but rather a process of the stakeholders having insight into their business. And just like Business is always changing what information they need to make decisions also is changing. Make sure your solutions are Agile and can change with the Business.

    Hope this helps.

    - Mike
    • CommentAuthorben
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2007
    I agree with the points Mike made above. And I think his #1 is by far the hardest to get. Does anyone have insight into the best ways to get the "Cxo" types to pay attention to these technology initiatives?

    Sarbanes and orange jumpsuits have been one motivating factor but I am curious about ROI scenarios or other persuasive techniques in making executives get on board.

    • CommentAuthorJT Puhl
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2007
    Ben start low and slow, call a company called WhereScape and ask how they using an 'agile approach' or as they call it Pragmatic Prototyping can deliver value (the key) to the business users in days. This keeps the CXO's invloved and interested. It works. Have fun!
    • CommentAuthorCurmudgeon
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2007
    I just finished an intense week with WhereScape to build a OLAP
    store that has meellions of records. As an old DB2 advocate, I believe
    the new Cube methodology holds the ability to quickly deliver results.

    To see dollars by date and division and just about any slice you want is
    truly revolutionary.

    The one thing that became instantly viewable is just how lousy our
    datastores are. Any Ideas on how to enable better data stewardship in
    an organization?
    Yes, #1 - "Get sponsorship by CEO, CFO, VP's etc." is the hardest part. As BI people, we can see the needs and benefits of having a viable DW/BI program, but the CO, if he isn't already a convert, is going to be the hardest to convince. Business leaders tend to see this type of program as a financial black hole, sucking up huge amounts of money, but producing little results.

    To be fair, an ill-planned and poorly executed BI project _is_ a waste of money. The need has to be clearly demonstrated and key decision makers have to be in agreement that a BI/BPM project is not just another time waster. Change comes slowly in some organizations. Trying to get others to be proactive in that kind of environment will be a long process.

    Where there is currently no leadership on BI, you have to be an unapologetic advocate and visionary, speaking about the technology and its benefits constantly and with positive enthusiasm. Eventually, your research, demonstrations, and vigilance will catch someone's ears or eyes, particularly when quarterly or annual reports are due.

    When planning a BI project with a reluctant executive, you have to start small where little successes can have a big impact. A retired web server, some public domain software, and lots of overtime or intern involvement, can create some spectacular results.

    Just don't give up. As others start to see that your simple BI projects work, you are changing attitudes and the business decision-making paradigm. Prepare to give your two-minute speech about how your little project has benefited accounting or sales. You never know when you'll be riding the elevator with the CEO.
    Yes, CEOs, CFOs etc. are your main stack holders who must agree to your BI implementation plan.

    Start small, smart and strategically and you will get success. In this particular case, you can start with one department and upon the measurement of your success in ROI, to get the full advantage of the tool in better operation and decision making you can later integrate through out the organisation.