The Unglamorous, Dull, but Necessary Side of Business Intelligence

Posted by Christian Franklin

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11/5/13 9:30 AM

When it comes to business intelligence the world of visualizations and dashboards are all the rage. Insight to data via the multitudes of visualization tools and solutions are numerous and exciting. This part of the solution is a vital piece for all business intelligence components and success. But behind the scenes is the real“secret sauce” in any successful business intelligence solution… core business requirements gathering and data quality assurance. While they aren’t nearly as glamorous or exciting to talk about these are the steps that turn data into an actionable decision support asset. 

Taking a deep dive into the raw business requirements, the core business process is necessary to ensure the right data models, schemas, ETL dependencies and complexities, and data warehouse architecture provide clean, quality, and actionable data. Without this hard work the information provided to a business intelligence or visualization platform would be useless and could create additional pain in the organization.The need for detailed requirements gathering, data quality and cleansing work is paramount in launching any business intelligence project. In order to realize value from your business strategy and data you have to know what the data is and what it represents. Going from conceptual modeling to visualization can be filled with landmines if the proper work and discovery is not completed. There is no short cut to the finish line, no API's to answer requirements vetting, and certainly no easy path for success.

When embarking on a business intelligence path core business requirements cannot be sidestepped. The stakeholders, organizational leaders and end user must all be on the same page for the required solution. Requirements will spell out the what, when, and next steps. The identification of the functional requirements to the identification of the end-results is crucial. Various methods and paths can be taken to accomplish requirements gathering. These methods may range from an agile to a structured approach that utilizes many characteristics of the event. However, the commitment must be made across the organization to ensure the result is an accurate and actionable solution that will drive value to the business. No short cuts, glamour, or exciting days ahead for those who embark on true business intelligence. The necessities of the actions may not be negotiable for success, it will however, result in true value for those who embrace the journey.

Topics: Business Intelligence