BI Implementation: Preparing for Phase 2

In my previous post “BI: The Project That Never Ends”  I discussed the ongoing process improvement cycle that should be anticipated after implementing a new business intelligence solution. Once users and analysts are presented with their new data warehouse and BI application tools they will have multiple requests for new data. Some of these requests can be easily implemented as part of the ongoing process improvement cycle, but others should be grouped into a future “Phase 2” implementation.

As an example, an initial BI release may have included the merging of two of the most valuable source systems that allows for a 360° view of your customers. Analysts may quickly realize that there is data in other source systems that will provide even more insight into customer activity. A labor analyst may see the value in bringing in labor data that can be directly compared to levels of customer spending. Bringing in additional source systems is a completely new project that should not be attempted “on the fly”. Requests like these will be grouped into Phase 2 of your BI implementation.

There may be modules that were available add-ons for your business intelligence software, but your company chose not to include them in the Phase 1 portion of your BI solution. Adding new modules and integrating them with your BI solution will also be grouped as a new project and should be included in your Phase 2 portion of your BI implementation.

Other tasks, such as pulling in a table from your current integrated systems can be done relatively quickly. Smaller requests like these should be part of your on-going daily process improvement tasks. As users send in multiple requests it will be beneficial to manage their expectations by informing them if their request falls under the Phase 2 plans, or if they can expect to see the data relatively soon.

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