So sometimes it's hard to develop BI applications when you don’t really know what’s possible, and rapid prototyping is one way for the business to visualize the dashboards or reports and to give feedback on whether or not the solution is on target.
What are some more best practices for people who are just getting started with BI? So even if you are just getting started, make sure that you have a big vision of where you want to take BI in your company. But absolutely, start small to learn about the different facets of business intelligence, to understand the challenges not only from a technical point of view. But also from an organizational and political point of view, and take that one application that could be a big win in terms of the value add to the department or to the company or perhaps solving a current pain.
And beyond that, then again, make sure that your project is jointly staffed by IT and business experts, and make sure you get that executive-level sponsorship. So maybe for one prototype or one initial application, you won't have executive-level sponsorship. But when you have success with that first application, make sure, then, that you engage that executive of that business unit or that department to become your champion to engage other business units.
What if you already have a BI application in place but are facing adoption or deployment challenges? What are some tips for how you should try to optimize the application? In terms of optimizing the application or deployment, follow some of the same best practices as if you were starting out from the beginning. But in order to understand where your challenges are; do a SWOT Analysis. So, look at your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities, and threats, and understand why BI has not been the wild success in your company that you want it to be.
Some of those weaknesses might be data quality related. It might be the business-IT partnership. It might be the ease of use of the BI tools, or whatever. So understand what those weaknesses are, but also recognize your strengths. And then, the other thing is, is don’t forget, you can never just stand still. So having success with one application or one business unit, you need to make sure that BI is touching all parts of the organization. And to do that, you need to promote your successes internally.