For many large organizations, success with business intelligence (BI) and information applications such as enterprise reporting requires a coordinated effort across the dimensions of people, processes, technology and, of course, data. The complexity of real-world BI continues to grow with the increasing demand for information at all levels of business, new data formats and presentation requirements, and expertise to develop and maintain these new wide-scale BI applications. Fortunately, best practices and techniques have been developed to achieve the mission of BI while overcoming these key implementation challenges. This article examines some of these methods and the state of BI from the implementation perspective, introducing the BI center of excellence (CoE) delivery approach that not only offers a model for addressing key BI deployment, integration and adoption challenges, but also can be used to drive self-service initiatives. Given their potential scope, we also propose a new framework for building a business case for a CoE and other enterprise-level BI projects, and then provide a case study that illustrates real-world BI concepts and a CoE in action.
The field of BI has seen dramatic success in recent years, despite the challenges of the post-dot-com bubble era and growing scrutiny around new enterprise software investments. We believe this success stems from the fact that these technologies provide tangible business value across a number of functional and industry segments. BI or information applications and services are also increasingly in demand from business users as they adapt to the demands of the real-time enterprise and decision making in this new age of accountability.
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