BI Best Practices Benchmark Report, Part 3: Value Drivers

Date: 04-08-2011
Author: Bit Software

According to the „BI Best Practices Benchmark Report”, „investments in BI pay off the most for organizations that are serious about doing it right. They take the time needed to fight the political and technical battles needed to ensure the information they analyze is complete. They root out errors to make sure the analysis the tools produce is trustworthy. And most of all, they create custom views of the data for key constituencies, so that leaders from the CEO and CFO on down have immediate access to information on the trends, opportunities, and threats they must address for better performance”.

Replies of the 273 study participants drafted the following list of „Value Drivers”:
1. Customized user interface / dashboards for specific roles.

- the CEO, the director of human resources and a call center manager should have different, at-a-glance summaries and graphs of the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most relevant to their responsibilities.

2. Integrate data across departments and applications.

- in large organizations, it’s common to have several different BI tools used by different departments.

- in such cases, to expect absolute homogeneity may be unrealistic.

3. Foster a culture of data-driven decision making.

- the CEO and other top executives must be firmly committed to managing according to the KPIs tracked by the BI system

- as a result, anyone who wants to get a raise or a promotion will have every incentive to consult the BI system, too.

4. Implement process for continuous data quality improvement.

- data quality will never be perfect, but it can always be better.

- create a systematic process for identifying and eliminating the majority of errors

- improve validation at the data entry stage or cross-checking reference data such as customer addresses against public databases.

5. Demonstrate improved planning, operations and other outcomes.

- the best way to justify investments and improvements in a BI system is to demonstrate its impact with clear business improvements

- look for areas of inefficiency and show how the company can improve planning, budgets, and boost productivity and profits.

6. Implement a formal KPI methodology
- for better results, adopt a proven methodology for setting and tracking performance metrics

7. Deploy alerts / notifications.

- giving managers the ability to retrieve data is not enough, particularly if they are being tasked to respond quickly to threats and opportunities.

- a notification system, who provide an alert when a threshold is exceeded (e.g. a spike in supplier prices or demand for a given product), can be mapped to existing roles within the company.

8. Implement employee training.

- while BI tools uniformly promise to be easy to use, some employees will require training.

9. Improve analytics capabilities.
- improve the interpretation of the results by developing staff with the requisite knowledge and experience.


I'm curious. What is your list?