More and more companies are learning the hard way that business requirements for business intelligence (BI) are not something to be taken lightly. After paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees for generic BI requirements, or after spending months generating traditional report requirements and functional specifications, major companies in many different industries have discovered that these approaches suffer from three primary deficiencies:

The use of inappropriate and expensive BI business requirements methods leads to failed BI investments and discrediting of BI as a profit improvement tool. This happens just at the time when more sophisticated competitors using business-driven requirements methods are reaping the strategic and financial benefits of BI done correctly. To avoid dissatisfied business users and unhappy senior executives, it is critical to understand what it means to get BI business requirements right. You must know how to use true BI business requirements to drive definition and prioritization of the BI portfolio as the foundation for a compelling business case, and you must be able to use business requirements to drive development of the BI databases, BI applications and enhanced business processes that create business value. Considering examples from my consulting experience that illustrate incomplete or insufficient BI requirements will set the stage for discussing what it means to get BI business requirements right.

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