Establishing a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC)

Below is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of Business Analytics and Competitive Advantage. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, Chief Marketing Officer at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): So now let’s look about how we most quickly enable an effective business intelligence solution. We want to step back into understanding what some of the best practices are for BI strategy. Outside of the fact that we need to have a very well defined and articulated BI strategy, we mentioned before that you need to have a high level executive sponsor. And you need to then use that sponsor to help your organization put an infrastructure in place to enable enterprise wide BI.

The typical approach to really establish that is to look into or to establish a business intelligence competency center. So today we’ll discuss several different models as there is no one model that is right for every organization or single organization. Each organization is different, and they will have to take a slightly different approach or a combination approach to how they establish a BICC or a business intelligence competency center.

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So, one, we can see that there is the BICC as an IT department. It is its own group. It’s staffed with its own people, and it reports up to the CIO. There are advantages and disadvantages depending on your organization to that.

Another one is a virtual BICC. This is where you have a representative within each business unit or in each line of business that is responsible for some business intelligence function that makes up a virtual team within an organization. Or we could have BICC as its own operations group because it tends to go across business operations as well as IT, so sometimes it makes more sense to have it there.

Or the last model is a distributed model with the BICC established within corporate, and then they have distribution throughout each of the divisions. And again, each of these models have their pluses and minuses or positives and negatives. One thing I will say is if you are fairly mature and have a need across the enterprise to establish your BI visibility and sharing of information, the virtual BICCs are sometimes a challenge because you have someone, a resource that is devoting some percentage of their time to this, and it’s difficult to get the focus that you need to really get that push across the enterprise. But again, if you are at a lower maturity level, this might be a perfect thing for you if you don’t have the funding to establish a separate BICC.

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