How to Build an Amazing BI Team

The Creative Genius

The value of creativity cannot be overlooked in any field, especially business intelligence.  For many of us BI folks our days consist of continual problem solving. As we’re eating our morning Cherrios we are often contemplating that one silly problem that just hasn’t been solved yet… and suddenly all of those O’s spell Eureka! Solutions often come in ways that our current knowledge doesn’t support. It takes a creative brain to think diagonally and find solutions that don’t yet exist in textbooks, manuals, or blogs.

The Eternal Optimist

When times get tough and there are no solutions in sight you need that person who recognizes that there is ALWAYS a solution, you just haven’t found it yet. A positive thought process allows for creative solutions. There is nothing more stifling than to hear someone say “It can’t be done” or “I don’t think this is possible”. An intelligent optimist will recognize that to every logical problem there is a logical solution. This type of person doesn’t need the proof of specific past solutions, he is willing to take a chance and find an entirely new solution.

The Technical genius (AKA Nerd)

Wishful hoping and wishful thinking never accomplished anything until they met the technical genius that could bring visions into reality. Think of the relationship between an interior designer and an architect here. The decorator has no idea HOW that pool is going to get on the third floor balcony that overlooks the city she just knows it is an amazing idea and that it can be done. The architect will then build all of the required support systems to make the roof hold and he will even go one step farther to design a methodology to migrate all of those heavy building materials onto the balcony. Your technical genius will build the foundation for your BI system and will make sure that your silly creative people use construction materials that are extensible and durable.

The Organizer
Are we on track? Those artsy folks might not care and those nerds might not be aware. For this task you need that A type personality that sets and respects deadlines. A promise is meaningless if you don’t keep your word. When you promise other departments that you will have that new set of reporting capabilities ready by the end of the month your organizer will help you to earn a solid reputation by keeping your team on track.

The Politician

Oh how I wish this wasn’t the case (but I’m just a creative artsy nerd) but yes, you need someone to represent the greatness of your BI team to the masses. This person will know how to present himself to the public and field those not so friendly questions in a politically sensitive way. Your technical staff may inadvertently throw the public into the deep end and your artsy staff may appear too aloof, but your BI politician will exert the confidence and high level thinking that your board members can relate to.

The Communicator

Ah yes, the rare IT communicator. If you get your hands on someone who is efficient in this area I suggest you not let go! This person will translate your geek-speak into understandable English for your business users. She will also be a great resource to gather requirements for your technical staff. Your communicator will be a great lead for informal meetings as she can help to generate excitement and ensure that your staff clearly understands your business users.

Jack of all Some Trades

Many people on your BI team will possess several of these qualities. This is great! A collaborative organization requires that people be flexible and versatile. You shouldn’t attempt to hire one person for each role and place that person in a mold. Let your team experiment and find out their strengths while also engaging and offering development opportunities where they may be lacking. With that being said, it is also important to recognize if your team is missing one of these key strengths and to make an effort to fill the empty hole.

Good luck and happy developing!






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