Guiding your business intelligence project to a successful completion requires the project to have clearly defined goals and success criteria. It may be easier to first create a simplified list of what you wish to accomplish with your business intelligence solution. List questions that you might ask after the project completion. You can then expand on these questions to create a check list type format that will put you on the road to completing a successful business intelligence implementation. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:
Are the users empowered? / Are the users happy?
These two questions generally go hand-in-hand. When the users feel empowered, they will be happy. Hopefully you have involved the users throughout the BI project to ensure that you are including the data that they will need to excel at their jobs. Towards the end of the project the users should be trained in the areas of the BI software that they will need to use. After the project goes live, be sure to offer plenty of user support. Their first impressions of the BI tools will be lasting, and a good impression increases the chances of user adoption throughout the organization.
Is our data cleaner and easier to analyze?
If your business intelligence project did not involve migrating new data or merging multiple sources, the least you should expect is to see cleaner data that is easier to accurately query. Reports that were previously bulky and convoluted should now appear clean and easy to dissect.
Are the executives able to see value in the new BI software?
In most cases, the value that the executives perceive will be based on the dash boards that are designed for them. This is where they will see the “bottom-line” and where they will infer how much money the BI solution will save the company. In fact, the ROI produced by your business intelligence solution may be the single question that executives ask when determining if the project was a success, so it should definitely be included in your list of success criteria.
Can we better understand our customers?
In a previous post I discussed the 360 customer view. Once your data warehouse is complete your business analysts should be able to mine the data to answer behavioral questions about your customers that they could not previously answer. This especially true if your data warehouse design integrated several source systems that had not been combined in the past.
These are only a few questions that could be asked to determine the success of your business intelligence implementation. List as many as you can and then rank them in order of importance. It will be highly beneficial to consider not only what you consider a success, but the criteria that others in your organization will use when evaluating the success of your project.