There are four must-follow Business Intelligence best practices to take into account when buying and then implementing a Self-Service Cloud BI Solution. These best practices cover activities before you buy as well as activities after you have bought.
1.Identify your business needs
First of all, before you start a BI project you must identify and consider your business needs. IT Business Edge advises you to “Start your next project by identifying how timely information delivered in the right context, can accelerate a process, reduce costs, or improve productivity in a particular area. Do not start the project for a general purpose!” Starting a project for a general purpose will not yield you great results, you will soon be left feeling disillusioned about the BI software you are using.
2.Multiple measures of success
The second of our Business Intelligence best practices involves measuring the success of the Business Intelligence project in a number of ways. The success of the project should not be put down purely to financial performance after the software implementation – things are not always so black and white.
Cindi Howson advocates, “Using objectives measures when available and recognizing the importance of benefits that cannot be readily quantified.” (Cindi Howson, 2008)
3.Choose appropriate tools
Choosing the appropriate tools is key to the success of your Business Intelligence system. Choose the wrong tool and the whole project will be worthless. The users’ opinions are one factor to consider when choosing a tool (see number 4). Other factors include price, and speed of implementation. If the preferred BI Solution is too expensive then the project will not have a good return on investment and may lose money. After all, if the solution costs more than the profits it will bring then it is a non-starter. Speed of implementation must also be considered. If quick results are needed in terms of business performance then a solution that is going to take six to nine months to implement is out of the question.
4.Make sure the user is involved in the selection process
This is another factor to consider before you buy the software. If you do not consult the end users then the Business Intelligence project may fall flat on its face. If they do not like the software that is picked then they simply will not use it, meaning resources – both in the form of time and money – will have been wasted and the users will not have the reporting tool that they need and want.
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