Blog | Aug 2, 2012

Steps for Tackling BI or Big Data Projects

Chris BarbantiSo you want to embark on a BI or Big Data project…but you don’t know how to approach it?  Adopting appropriate methodology from the beginning is critical to BI and Big Data engagements. 

Here are some of the key steps to ensure that you move successfully from inception through successful delivery.

  1. Organizational Requirements Collection and Consolidation.  All business intelligence and big data platforms must be performance driven.  Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 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.  When prioritizing and selecting projects, it is critical that you understand the quantifiable and strategic benefits.  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 you to understand in more detail the level of effort and difficulty in fulfilling known requirements.
  4. Implementation Planning (Roadmap).  The project team must reassess Implementation and delivery goals based on items 1, 2 and 3 above.  Further define and communicate project planning 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.
  6. Post Managed BI/DW Support:  The support and maintenance of the delivered BI/ DW system needs to closely monitored and tracked.  So is it more cost-effective to use a managed support partner or a mix of in-house staff?  A successful BI project does not end with the Go-Live Launch; metrics on user adoption and maintenance must be carefully analyzed to continue to build on the initial project success.