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Business Intelligence Best Practices 2



Go to Phase One

Successful BI Programs Require a Solid BI Strategy: SAP Can Help

A solid BI strategy is critical to pull together all BI assets and efforts across any company. Major barriers to building a successful BI strategy include lack of alignment between IT and the business and the tendency to jump to technology decisions or architecture diagrams without considering what business problems the organization is trying to solve. With our market leadership in BI, we have developed a workshop that will help customers to create a successful BI strategy foundation. This framework will help customers not only build a solid BI strategy foundation, but also provide an approach on how to move forward and what the right next steps should be.

How does a BI strategy help IT?

  • Help align with business partners, formalize business needs
  • Create prioritized roadmap for the enterprise of short, medium and long term projects aligned with strategic business goals delivering measurable results
  • Creating business justification for an enterprise scope and end-to-end BI including data management

How does a BI strategy benefit the Line of Business?

  • Have departmental spend go further and contribute to enterprise investments required
  • A departmental BI need often involves needing data from other groups. Solve the departmental pain points by removing limits of a departmental focus through an enterprise-wide strategy
  • An enterprise BI approach provides a unified approach by all departments allowing everyone to "speak the same language"

A Four-Step Approach to Develop a Solid BI Strategy Foundation

This methodology starts by understanding the current business pains by line of business (LOB) and what is the impact to solve them as well as what and how much of a BI strategy currently exists for the organization. From there, a simple gap analysis is done to identify areas to address by priority. High-priority items are then addressed by a BI strategy foundation recommendation which addresses an enterprise-wide view provided more than one LOB is engaged.

This approach will help uncover and address specific, common BI needs in a logical sequence, and lead to the identification of poten¬tial opportunities in any organization. And it reduces the complexity of creating an enterprise-wide BI strategy.

Current BI Needs Baseline Analysis (Playbook 1)

Business needs vary from department to department. It is important to understand business pains, before getting into a BI solution (e.g.: reports, dashboards). The Playbook 1 helps to identify and rate business pains at an LOB (line of business) level, and also rate the impact of addressing those pains. A set of commonly occurring BI pains is provided for each LOB.

Business Intelligence Strategy and Execution Baseline (Playbook 2)

The current state of the BI Strategy and its execution level has a substantial impact on how the needs that exist are defined (as identified in Playbook 1). A well developed strate¬gy is more likely to have identified needs, and documentation on how to effectively execute against them. Over time, the basic needs of accessing, analyzing and reporting informa¬tion will become less prevalent, and more specialized needs will emerge.

This playbook provides the scope and components of a BI strategy, helps asses the current state of a BI strategy and how well it is being executed.

Gap Analysis (Playbook 3)

The Gap Analysis prioritizes the needs identified by Playbook 1 and Playbook 2, giving a clear understanding of where to focus on BI efforts. It also provides the business impact of addressing those unmet business needs, which is a crucial input to the future investment decisions.

It helps answers questions like

  • Which gaps will drive the biggest benefit for our enterprise?
  • What BI needs are causing the most disruption and the biggest pain for decision makers?
  • What positive outcomes will we experience by addressing these issues?

BI Strategy Foundation (Playbook 4)

Based on the gaps identified in Playbook 3, this playbook will help provide a cross-department and enterprise-level solutions. In addition, it provides a BI Strategy recommendation which will address the enterprise need holistically.

It helps answers questions such as

  • What kind of business solution and capabilities are required to close each gap?
  • How do these solutions help close the gaps?
  • What capabilities are required to make information available and useful? What are the dependencies?
  • What areas should we focus to develop a solid BI strategy?
  • What is our vision for information accessibility and usage?
  • What toolsets should we use to fulfill our BI vision?
  • What kind of best practices should we implement that fits our organization?
  • What kind of governance model do we need to support BI initiatives?

What are the benefits of using this kind of framework?

  • Easy to use process for collecting inputs from the LOB
  • Impactful visualizations of LOB priorities that paint the picture for the entire organization
  • Immediately actionable recommendations for that show the right next steps to move forward

To begin developing a solid BI strategy foundation, contact your local SAP affiliate.

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