Blog | Apr 10, 2013

BI Best Practices Series (Part 5 of 6):  Think Big, Start Small ...

Kevin ORourke -TriCore Solutions LLCKevin ORourke

Best Practices in BI: Think Big, Start Small.  Ensuring a Successful BI / Big Data Project

Part 5 of 6: BI Strategy Roadmap - Bringing It All Together

Think Big, Start Small really applies here.  There is no single organizational endeavor which warrants preparation more than Business Intelligence.   

At a high level, the Organizational Requirements Definition Phase is an integral part of a BI Implementation Strategic Roadmap.  Emphasis on the Organizational Requirements Definition Phase is considered a best practice when introducing new BI solutions to an organization.  Alternatively, this phase is used to realign organizational BI programs that are falling short of ROI benefits that must result from investment in BI platforms. 

Major planning activities performed during the Organizational Requirements Definition Phase are listed as follows:


  1. Organizational Requirements Collection and Consolidation.  All business intelligence platforms must be performance driven.  Key Performance Indicators must be role-based, available, reliable, analyzable (for root-cause), comparable to known benchmarks and across clearly defined organizational subject areas (dimensions);  This pre-step includes understanding clearly defined organizational drivers by organizational role;

  2. Business Justification.  Understanding the quantifiable and strategic benefit when prioritizing projects is critical to the process of prioritizing and selecting projects;  From a governance perspective, there must be processes in place to assess, define and monitor success when determining cost savings or ROI realized from projects;

  3. Technical Feasibility Assessment.  Known requirements must be evaluated against business systems for availability, completeness, reliability and quality.  This task allows us to understand in more detail the level of effort and difficulty in fulfilling known requirements;

  4. Implementation Planning (Roadmap).  Implementation and delivery goals are reassessed by the project team based on items 1, 2 and 3 above.  Project planning is further defined and communicated to the leadership team, business functional area leaders and project sponsors.  Once a general agreement to the plan has been reached, project mobilization can begin;

  5. Infrastructure Planning.  As critical to information management definition and flow is to supporting strategic and tactical organizational objectives, so is the infrastructure to support usage.  Infrastructure planning includes capacity planning, identifying infrastructure integration 3rd party components, service level planning and BI component distribution.


BI Strategic Roadmap Approach. 

Business Intelligence programs are fundamentally predicated on a solid understanding of business drivers for the BI program itself.  Such drivers only come from business consumers and beneficiaries of a BI Program.  Facilitated sessions are used to understand potential value, ultimately which demonstrate a likelihood of achieving significant cost savings or Return on Investment (ROI).

Once business requirements and subsequent benefits are well understood, Technical Feasibility is conducted to ultimately determine gaps which may exist in organizational readiness, governing processes and technology.  Candidate projects are further evaluated based for opportunity and risk / risk mitigation.

The diagram below depicts a summary of activities during the data collection and analysis portion of the BI Strategy Roadmap.

 Review Business Areas   Kevin%27s Blog Part 5


The diagram below represents expected results from analysis performed with data collected from the facilitated sessions.

 IDCO BI Strategy & Roadmap   Kevin%27s Blog Part 5

The BI Strategy Roadmap is considered a foundation and Best Practice for several areas within BI.  Methods used within the BI Strategy Roadmap are designed to address critical areas of BI, and is considered a BI Toolbox for assessment, alignment and standardization. 

For example TriCore uses the methodologies for new project scoping, New Entrant client strategies and client realignment strategies.

Thank you for reading Part 2 of our BI Best Practices Series Think Big, Start Small.  Please refer to the links below for other Parts in the series:


We hope you enjoy other topics in the series as follows:

Part 1 of 6: Introduction

Part 2 of 6: Business Intelligence Fundamentals

Part 3 of 6: Common Data Architectures Used Within BI Platforms

Part 4 of 6: Organizational Readiness

Part 5 of 6: BI Strategy Roadmaps

Part 6 of 6: Emerging Technologies