The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Business Intelligence

Susan Andre News, Articles

In modern business language, Business Intelligence is something of a misnomer. Does having access to more data or using the best technologies really make a business more intelligent?

Also, we always hear bigger is better. Although it’s true that greater volumes of data and modern technologies do provide scope for richer analyt­ics, it is not the only ingredients for a successful BI project.

Spending big on acquiring the latest technolo­gies might contribute to a superior environment well suited to dealing with large volumes of data. However, more data means more chal­lenges in serving correct information to relevant business audiences.

Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good: there are masses of data and incredible software solutions available.  Magnificent possibilities for taking advantage of the digital era exist. Impressive new technologies compete for recognition in the Business Intelligence race.

The Bad:  Data quality, security and data governance re­mains a huge concern and while technocrats will have us believe that the latest piece of technol­ogy will cure all information related pains, the reality is that no one size will fit all.

The emerging trend of avoiding data modelling and disregarding trusted design principles are already proving disastrous.  Circumventing worthy BI guidelines, result in wasted time and mega financial losses.

The Ugly: When Business Users struggle to obtain accurate information in the format they desire within the required timeframes, it is probably due to either ill-defined Business Requirements, poorly modelled DW schema or simply a lack of planning and knowledge.

Root causes such as forsaken upfront planning and/or trading business requirements against technological advances are seldom admitted. Instead easiest scape goats are targeted; usually Information Services, technology and vendors.

It is evident during reviews of botched projects that the primary causes of failure are the difficulty inherent in integrating information with existing business processes and applications, lack of skills, management resistance, and internal politics coupled with security and governance challenges.

The Solution?  Bite-sized BI Implementation

Whether it’s a brand new project or time to up­grade an existing data warehouse environment, it is best to take small steps towards achieving the big goal of becoming a data driven organiza­tion. Take caution against being hoodwinked by Cloud solutions, SaaS or other Big Data trends.

The biggest contributing factor come from the business users being upfront and clear when defining their information requirements in con­junction with a skilled team and data warehouse project manager, who will orchestrate and scope delivera­bles based on business requirements — addressing the objection of “no time to plan” efficiently.

Alicornio Africa offers courses on how to complement and extend the lifespan of the existing Data Warehouse by positioning the role of each component including the Data Lake.  Guidelines for crafting a BI Information Strategy are provided.  It gives a comprehensive overview of all aspects pertaining to BI / DW, covers all the related areas and is technology independent.

Alicornio Africa’s Concepts, Design and Modelling for Extended Data Warehousing   course teaches sound principles to be applied no matter what technology is used. Register HERE