Spend a little time doing a Web search on the return on investment of a business intelligence project. If you have done your own ROI projections before, you’ll see the usual approaches: spreadsheets that help you capture and categorize costs and benefits. Fill in the spreadsheets with your own information and voilà, you have a very detailed and specific ROI for your project. And of course, we all know that the return on BI projects is huge! We see success stories everywhere where the ROI on someone else’s BI project was 100, 200, 300 percent or more.

Here’s a small reminder in case you’re a little rusty: The ROI of a project compares the cost of doing the project to the financial benefits that will be achieved by the solution produced by the project. The measurable quantities will be 1) the additional net income (i.e., profit) that can be generated and/or the reduction in costs that will be achieved and 2) the costs of the project. If presenting to a CFO, he or she will ask how much more money will go into the checking account, and how much less money will come out of the checking account (and over what time period). The actual ROI formula is:

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