Chapter 3. Meeting the BI Challenge

Just about everybody agrees that having timely, accurate, high-value, and actionable insights available before making critical business decisions would be extremely helpful. What marketing executive wouldn't want a report that clearly shows the optimum mix of products to send to the marketplace as a package? What V.P. of Sales wouldn't like reliable figures on which territories and accounts are the most profitable? But wanting something doesn't make it a reality.

While good business intelligence is within virtually any company's grasp, many obstacles can get in the way. There are technology landmines, project hurdles, and even political challenges. As you prepare for a BI implementation, you need to be ready to answer some tough questions about how your company operates. You have to make some decisions about what exactly you want out of your BI solution. And you should brush up on your diplomatic skills to lay the groundwork for unifying your team behind a common goal.

This chapter is about identifying all the things that can go wrong with BI. If you know in advance which problems lie in wait for you, they're much easier to solve (or avoid altogether). If you charge ahead without considering what can go wrong, you'll join the ranks of companies whose BI implementations either never got off the ground or foundered once they were launched.

What's Your Problem?

A typical business intelligence solution has many moving parts—including an array of software ...

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