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Business Analytics for Managers: Taking Business Intelligence beyond Reporting by Jesper Thorlund, Gert H.N. Laursen

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Chapter 8. Assessment and Prioritization of BA Projects

The question of how to prioritize business analytics (BA) projects leads to two more questions: In which order should the BA initiatives be implemented? and Which initiatives should not be implemented at all? In the radio station case study in Chapter 1, we used one simple financial rule of thumb as our business case. That rule decided that the project should be implemented. Assessing BA initiatives in the real world, however, is somewhat more complicated. To answer the above two questions, we'll use a business case. A business case is an analytical tool that can provide support to decisions about whether to implement a BA project.

IS IT A STRATEGIC PROJECT OR NOT?

When prioritizing projects, it's important to decide whether a given project is strategic. If it is, we don't have to assess whether the project should be carried out on the basis of a business case. Rather, we must expect this assessment to have been undertaken already from the strategic side. We do, however, have to ensure that sufficient means have been set aside for the project and, if this is not the case, we must decide which budgets are to cover the costs of the project.

However, if the project is not specified as part of the company's strategy, it means that it is requested based on the expectation that it will render improved business performance. This is called a bottom up–driven initiative because it comes from the operational environment. The opposite is ...

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