The Value of BI

Craig is based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and has worked with ProjectManagement.com for the last six years developing the various HEADWAY processes (Project, Change and Portfolio). He has hosted a series of webinars and is a business intelligence subject matter expert.

Business Intelligence has been around for about two decades. That isn’t a lot of time in the overall scheme of things, particularly in the realm of management disciplines that have been with us for far longer. However, in that short period of time, the discipline has come a long way. We have learned a lot about what BI can offer us, and we recognize that there are many gaps.

We need to learn and understand more about the potential of BI. One of these gaps is being able to understand and communicate the value that it brings to organizations. Like many of the other management disciplines, that value is often difficult to quantify in any real terms. As a result, the lifespan of any given BI function is shorter or more limited than it should be.

Far too many BI groups tend to look for the enormous value they can bring to the organization. They look for the big technology investment and the resulting big win. This is not unlike many other disciplines that focus on the “Go big or go home approach” (see your organization’s latest attempt at establishing a Project Management Office for a good example of the lack of success with this approach). It often seems like those with the most complex solution are the ones that receive the greatest attention from senior management because the solutions seem to be most complete. While some of these solutions are …

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