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Organizations Spend Less Than 30 Percent of Their Resources on Business Intelligence


CHICAGO - Many organizations lack a cohesive strategy for business intelligence implementations. As a result, by 2010, most organizations will spend over 70 percent of the time, energy and money that they invest in BI in resolving people, process and governance issues, rather than supporting the technology, according to Gartner, Inc.

Gartner analysts discussed BI organizational structures at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, which is taking place through March 14.

“Due to a lack of a cohesive strategy, many organizations have created multiple, uncoordinated and tactical BI implementations, which has resulted in silos of technology, skills, processes and people,” said Betsy Burton, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “This organizational ceiling limits business and management from achieving business goals and leaves IT people and architects wary of supporting BI efforts. It is not only important to understand why these disconnections happen and the negative impact they can have on realizing the value and benefit of BI, but that they can also increase the total cost of ownership of BI for the whole organization.”

Defining a balanced, empowered BI organizational structure is critical to the success of delivering BI. Gartner analysts recommend forming a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) to improve the development and focus of the resources needed to be successful with BI. The center develops the overall strategic plan and priorities for BI, defines the requirements (including data quality and governance) and helps the organization to interpret and apply the insight to business decisions.

Gartner recommends following 10 best practices when building a BICC:

Plan for a Dynamic BICC –- As business strategies, processes, people, services and technology change and develop, BICC members (who come from IT and business units) need to monitor the changes that may affect the work of the BICC, and adjust the representing members, the number of members, and their roles and responsibilities, accordingly.
Define and Evolve a Sponsor –- It is vital to have a C-level sponsor for the BICC who is actively involved in the process by providing guidance, direction, requirements and management. Finding and engaging a senior executive sponsor is crucial for success, but it is also vital that the sponsorship change as BI and performance strategies change.
Ensure Members Are Cross Organizational and Change Members –- A BICC should encompass a range of members including business users, analysts and technology-skilled resources. Organizations that define a BICC based on membership from just one department will only achieve 10 percent to 20 percent of the potential business value from their investments.
Develop the BICC’s Mix of Business, People, Process & Technology –- As business strategy evolves, as different users become involved and as the initiative matures, the BICC will focus on different aspects of support for BI and performance management. It is crucial to understand how the mix of tasks should develop to support different phases of the BI initiative.
Build on Incentives, Rather Than Punishment –- Membership and support of a BICC should not be enforced, but should be supported by management incentives in the shape of bonuses, rewards or recognition. By building the BICC on incentives, the benefits of BI are being promoted within the organization and people are motivated to get involved.
Create a Business-Driven Priority List –- It is essential to define a priority list of projects, metrics and people according to how much they impact business objectives. With a defined list of priorities, the BICC can respond more positively and proactively to tactical and strategic requests.
Be Able to Lead and Follow –- In most organizations, the BICC is the catalyst for bringing to light and helping resolve issues with broader business-driven visions. If IT leaders don’t help their organizations understand their vision, they will risk failing in their BI efforts.
Work With Other Competency Centers –- Look for opportunities to work with other competency centers within the organization to leverage skills, competencies, best practices and learning
Create Avenues for Input and Responses –- Create ways for business users, IT personnel, analysts and managers to provide feedback to the BICC about any issues they have with BI and performance management efforts. This may be in the form of specific e-mail addresses, informal sessions to discuss best practices or regular open-door meetings.
Measure and Promote Successes –- Measuring the business impact and value from investments in BI is not just an ROI calculation, but rather an impact analysis driven from the strategic goals of the organization.


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