Top five rules for CIOs to minimise risk on BI projects

Successful BI strategies should include implementation, project management and delivery

Business Intelligence (BI) can have a profound effect on business decision making, but an increasingly complex environment teamed with heightened expectations from across the business often opens BI implementations up to a multitude of problems, risks and potential failings.

Conrad Bates and Cameron Wall*, managing partners of C3 Business Solutions, map out the best approach for CIOs to ensure their BI investment becomes a powerful corporate asset.

Growth, regulatory compliance mandates, mergers and acquisitions, and changing business models mean that designing business intelligence and information management solutions has never been so complex for CIOs.

This complexity has led to an unprecedented demand for scalable and flexible architectures as business users are requesting new levels of information integration, integrity, performance and usability.

Increased complexity and heightened expectations from across the business opens up a multitude of pressures and potential risks when implementing a BI project.

To ensure the greatest impact from BI, every aspect of the business needs to be considered from strategy through to implementation, project management and delivery.

A well designed and executed BI strategy must be aligned to business goals and take into account technology and data together with the people involved, the processes required, organisational issues, infrastructure limitations and concerns, governance requirements and of course, internal project buy-in and sponsorship.

Outlined below are the top five rules for CIOs to follow in order to minimise risk on BI projects and ensure successful delivery and outcomes.

  1. Start with the right strategy: Start with a comprehensively researched and finely detailed strategy and roadmap, based on the business outcomes your organisation is hoping to achieve.

    Develop good data modelling architecture upfront as this will form the basis for all other system design, including reports and integration.

  2. Invest in experience: To implement large and extremely complex BI and data migration programs, a unique combination of project management, technical knowledge and business change management skills are required. It is imperative that the team responsible for project management has extensive experience and a successful track record in delivering multifarious business intelligence projects.

    Ensure you have BI experienced and capable people in key roles; BI project managers, BI data architects and BI team leaders should have practical skills and knowledge of the technology.

    Don’t be afraid to enlist help from those who can complement your internal skill set by seeking external assistance where required.

  3. Understand your BI maturity: Understanding where your organisation sits in terms of BI maturity will give you the right perspective on where your BI project currently stands, where it needs to go, and how it will get there.

    The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) has a simple, six-stage that can be used as a point of reference as you plan and progress through the project.

    While it may be tempting to complete a project quickly by cutting a few corners, it is important to deliver your project in consecutive steps of maturity according to the standard model.

  4. Start small; deliver incrementally: Make your project milestones achievable and realistic. Trying to achieve too much too soon not only puts your project in jeopardy long term, but loses you credibility in the short term.

    Set and then deliver on project goals to show the integrity and capability of the project team; people will start to trust you early in the cycle if you give them tools they can trust and use.

  5. Deliver to the business: Ensure you deliver what the business needs rather than focussing on the technology itself by keeping this goal in mind throughout the project and routinely measuring progress. Prototype continually in all stages of your BI project to ensure your business users are going to get the results they seek.

    The desired outcome is to deliver a useful, functioning project to specification, on time and to budget. If this isn’t possible, communicate changes as early as possible so there are no surprises; stakeholder communication during project delivery, and ultimately their buy-in once the solution is operational, sets a successful BI solution apart.

A well-designed and executed strategy is the cornerstone of any successful business intelligence project. By using a pragmatic approach that is aligned to organisational goals and incorporates all elements of the business, CIOs can reduce project delivery timeframes and risk to any BI project, no matter how complex.

*Conrad Bates and Cameron Wall are the co-founders and directors of C3 Business Solutions. C3 Business Solutions is an award winning Australian Business Intelligence and Information Management company that delivers measurable business improvements for its clients.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business intelligence (BI)business intelligence

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Conrad Bates and Cameron Wall

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts