My duties as a business intelligence analyst are to implement a standard reporting process in the company, develop standards for best practices for reporting (using Oracle tools) and market and educate the company on available reporting tools in the company. Due to circumstances, the term "BI" has been tarnished in the company, it also means very little to the business. I am looking for a more suitable job title. Secondly, I need some assistance in creating a company- wide process. We have application analysts that support applications and so naturally the business will approach the analysts directly. Analysts are not known to document or record what has been done, nor do they apply best practices. The aim of the process must be to ensure that the business knows whom to approach when requesting a report. Please help.


Clay Rehm’s Answer: You may wish to adopt a name that was used before data warehouse and business intelligence, which is "decision support." Since you are providing the tools and services for executives to make strategic decisions, this name may be more appropriate. Another thought is to drop the BI title entirely and just go by systems analyst or business systems analyst or something along those lines.

To support best practices, you must hold regular "town hall" meetings with the analysts around your company to remind them of the location of the best practices and to discuss new trends. The sessions should be lively and encourage debate and participation to constantly improve upon your current best practices.

These meetings would provide instructions and examples of how to document, following a standard. Speak to your management about making the attendance of these meetings mandatory.

Is there a Web site or central electronic place that data is shared, especially around best practices and around project status? What management resources believe the same way you do that can help lend some expertise and authority?

Having said all this however, people are lazy. They will not put in any extra effort unless that effort is tied to their pay or a perk of some kind. If you could find a way to tie following best practices to a pay raise, bonus or extra vacation time, then following best practices would be a hit!

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