Defining a successful BI strategy is a lot more than gathering requirements and selecting a vendor. While it’s been a subject of many books, I know few of you have time to read them, so here’s a short version.

1. First defining what BI is and what it is not. Is it just reporting, analytics and dashboards? Or does it involve ETL, DW, portal, MDM, etc as well?

2. If former, you then need to define linkages, dependencies, overlaps and integration with all of the latter. If latter, it’s a whole different subject. You then really do need to read a few thick books.

3. Ensure senior business executive commitment and top down mandate. If you cannot get that, do not proceed until you do. Two ways to “sell BI” to them (even though that’s not a good position to be in:

  - Educate them on BI ROI, and
  -  Show them how you compare to your competitors and peers within or across your industries, geographies and markets.

4. Establish BI PMO, BICC, BI governance, etc.

5. Documents the current state of your BI environment.

6. Envision and propose a target state for the BI environment that includes identifying:

  - Requirements for all

  - Dependencies, constraints (standards, other projects, initiatives, etc)
  - Architecture

  • Technical
  • Metadata
  • Data
  • Integration (with other apps, processes, portals, etc) architecture
  • Information delivery (desktop, portal, mobile, disconnected, etc)

  - Operational, training, support requirements
7. Based on the target state requirements, build vendor/technology shortlist, considering potential multiple vendor co-existence scenarios

8. Identify gaps between the current state and the targets state

9. Design a road map to close the gaps and achieve the target state with

  - Priorities and dependencies

  - Strategic vs. Tactical steps (or a mix)

  - Top down vs. bottom up design approaches (or a mix)

  - Plans, such as

  • Change management
  • QA
  • Risk management
  • Scope management
  • Communications

10. Select software vendor(s) and (if necessary) systems integrator
I am sure I missed something, so, comments?

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