STRATEGY OF everyday
BI routine
By alex barakov
November, 2021
STRATEGY OF everyday
BI routine
By alex barakov
November, 2021
Conference hangover
It’s a little bit annoying when our beloved vendors draw up white papers, generalizing how aerospace dashboards prowl the analytics, how wonderful is the world changed by argued analytics, how self-service perfectly solves all the existing problems. We have a whale of a time at conferences, listen to speakers carefully, get inspired, come to our companies and face a mismatch - reality contains entirely different mundane purpose and objectives.

The problems of companies and the vendors’ sales deck are on different planes and probably should not coincide, but it doesn't make much difference. In fact, the BI Managers have a wide range of problems which no one but themselves and their team can solve. Such project deadlocks include:

  • SS bi is required for business on paper, but the tide of enthusiasm often wanes after training and users end up in familiar shadow excels;
  • It seems that there are convincing reports which the BI team has been putting efforts into for months on end, and the traffic, bluntly speaking, is low. More times than not, a business simply does not want analytics, rejects it, both advanced and basic, especially if its core work does not satisfy it.
  • Poor data quality under reports and changeable processes prevent "complex" projects from being implemented;
  • 90% of BI reports are stored for several months and eventually expire forgotten by customers and not even being clicked on;
  • The main BI Team gradually burns out, doing the same actions, not getting regular positive reward from the business and going around the mulberry bush in large stagnant projects.
  • This sequence can be continued for long, depending on various subtle aspects.

Apart from these issues there are also development problems:
  • What is the best possible analytics aproaches for this company?
  • What exactly does digitalization and data driven culture mean for a company?
  • What are the achievable and unattainable goals for a BI project?
  • What analytical services and products should be developed and for whom?
  • The way in which new features from the BI vendor should be implemented, and which ones are fiction that ought to be ignored
  • ... this list can be continued even longer
BI Strategy - WTF ?
BI Strategy - pretty bubbles in the air. A guide on a strategy and tactical plan development for a corporate BI project.
Consultants and integrators have little interest in solving these problems, as they often don’t have enough experience in designing and implementing BI processes and organizing structures, building trust, providing high quality and …. These issues are difficult to interpret for a particular project scope without concern over its limits and the risk of going into the red. Besides, it's quite tricky. So, no claims, it is quite a natural thing.

Although life forces us to address these issues, if one builds a long-term project, the slogans go out of date while the everyday routine remains. You can't ignore the lack of clarity in focus areas for a long time.

Unfortunately, if this occurs, many of us give up and follow the crowd, i.e., do not channel their passion and projects towards into certain areas, but continue doing their everyday routine, replacing people who are leaving and responding to current business demands. Anyway, everyone does this once in a while, active project management requires a lot of resources, primarily volitional and emotional ones. It still lacks a structured systematic approach, as well as will and drive, making it difficult to do anything from third parties. Yet it’s not at all an unlikely scenario to offer a systematic approach and bring together all the working techniques. Putting my soul and some ginger into this problem matter, which is worthy of a better cause, I began to systematize all the trendy practices and my views on how a BI project should look like in a company, I tried to describe an approach to developing a BI Strategy that would be easy-to-understand and useful both to me and my team.
Finally, over the years of nerdy team brainstorms, we’ve drafted a guide – which is like a mix of theory, best practices and common sense.
The course "BI strategy development", which we launched in the summer of 2021 in collaboration with the guys from Laba, forced us to finally assemble and pack everything. Regardless of the course, the guide itself, I guess, can help others to save time on structuring information, so now its public version is available here.

How to read it?
  1. The board contains 10 sections in the center - topics for consistent interpretation.
  2. Each topic contains "bubbles" with slides (on the top) that slightly reveal the problems of the exercise and hands-on exercises (at the bottom) that, in my opinion, should be included in the final strategic plan of your BI project
  3. The proposed sequence of topics allows you to move from general to specific by collecting an analysis of the current situation and the target image of the result for each topic
  4. Starting with the exercise "1.1. Vision" do it in accordance with your current understanding. When you make it all the way, go back to it and redo it based on all the other results
  5. Use the built-in slides and show mode for better section navigation.

How to use it?
  • You can start just with watching, reading, taking notes, and putting it on a back burner.
  • You can put your own resources into it - study, draft solutions to exercises, conduct a series of team workshops, discuss everything in depth and record the ultimate results, reach the goals and action plans in all sections.
  • It is possible to involve consultants, but, in my opinion, this is meant to be only expert facilitation. The BI team will enthusiastically implement only development plans made by own efforts.

That would be great if this tool could help you to get hyped up and update your BI with clear ideas, processes, tools, services and role structure in compliance with business interests.

Use the service and leave comments.
I wish you derive odd perfectionist pleasure from the process)

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Delft, Netherlands
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Delft, Netherlands