4 BI Worst Practices

Business Intelligence Worst Practices as listed in the Information Builders white paper, Worst Practices in Business Intelligence | Why BI Applications Succeed Where BI Tools Fail:

  1. Assuming the Average Business User Has the Know-How or Time to Use BI Tools
  2. Allowing Excel to Become the Default BI “Platform”
  3. Assuming a Data Warehouse Will Solve All Information Access and Delivery
    Requirements
  4. Selecting a BI Tool Without a Specific Business Need

According to the white paper author, these are the four top worst practices for business intelligence implementations as seen over years of observing many companies. They have been repeated over and over by some of the smartest enterprises out there. Typically these worst practices are the result of wanting to ride the lastest technology wave without moderating the hype with practical knowledge.

In this post, we’ll list out a couple of points within each of the four worst practices, but you’ll need to read the whitepaper itself for the full details. Use the link at the beginning of this post.

Excel dashboard enthusiasts may need to cover their ears when it comes to worst practice number 2: Allowing Excel to become the default business intelligence platform.

Click on the “read more” link to see the rest of the post:

Business Intelligence Worst Practice Number One:

Assuming the Average Business User Has the Know-How or the Time to Use BI Tools

The end-user market is flooded with hype from the vendors indicating that “Business Intelligence tools are for everyone”. Even though the tools no longer require programming or database knowledge and are based on graphical, drag and drop approaches, they are often still too complex for everyday use by business users. Also, average business users are often not involved with the purchasing decision process and wind up with tools forced upon them by IT and business side power users.

  • Overlooking the True End User
  • Too Much for Too Few
  • It’s a Matter of Time
  • Usability Trumps Capabilities
  • Business Intelligence Go-To Guys and Multiple Versions of the Truth

Business Intelligence Worst Practice Number Two:

Allowing Microsoft Excel to Become the Default Business Intelligence Platform

According to the white paper, Excel “thrives in the absence of true BI applications”. There are many benefits but, the problems include:

  • Manual Error-Prone Processes
  • The Impact of Data Errors
  • The Creation of Spreadmarts

Business Intelligence Worst Practice Number Three:

Assuming that a Data Warehouse Will Solve All Information Access and Delivery Requirements

Data warehouses are a very important part of information technology and, in particular, are a critical component of many analytical systems. So it is not the data warehouse that is the problem. Rather the worst practice arises when a data warehouse is viewed as the solution to all information problems or when it is expected that the availability of the data warehouse will drive business users to information.

The truth is that not all BI applications require a data warehouse. Many BI applications are better served with integration and portal technology that allows data to reside where it currently exists and pulls it on an as-needed basis. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to assess whether or not a data warehouse is the right solution to their challenge before starting down the warehouse path.

The white paper goes on to explore:

  • Failing to Fully Assess the Need for a Data Warehouse
  • Identifying the Best Solution for your Needs
  • Identifying When Data Warehouses Make Sense

Business Intelligence Worst Practice Number Four:

Selecting a BI Tool Without a Specific Business Need

The worst thing to do is to purchase BI software for “general purpose analysis”. The white paper explains that the purchase of business intelligence software for general purpose BI results in the worst ROI and largest expense.

 

Tags: White Paper Business Intelligence Worst Practices

 

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