BI Success Checklist

It goes without saying that there are many reasons why BI implementations fail or succeed.  However, my experience over the years has taught me that some are more important than others.  My top ten are….

  1. Choose the right tools
  2. Obtain buy-in from stakeholders (business support is paramount)
  3. Agile implementations win
  4. Bring the right competence on-board (the right skill sets make a world of difference)
  5. Set goals, make plans and follow through
  6. Set up routines for data quality (your data is likely worse than you think)
  7. Set up and maintain meta-data (think re-usability)
  8. Do not forget about scale and performance
  9. Ensure organization is mature
  10. Make it last  –> BI is a journey

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

Formulating and Executing a BI Strategy

A good BI Strategy has been and continues to be a hot topic.  How to start?  Where to start? Who and what do we focus on?  These are all valid questions and can go in many directions.  Having worked with many organizations, I’ve found that a good BI Strategy focuses on three primary aspects.

Faster

Today, companies get their financial and performance metrics in a number of ways. More than likely, it involves analysts in the organization combing existing excel spreadsheets and/or reports to aggregate the data to build a performance dashboard which is then circulated and elevated to the executive team. A good BI strategy starts with understanding these existing processes, and works to build solutions that expedite this process and enables ad hoc reporting.

A CFO should be able to open a BI tool, and ask whatever question they might have around their financial performance and get an accurate response within a certain level of detail (state vs city, product vs SKU, etc). If they have to wait a week and worry about accuracy, then it’s a key pain point to focus on during the faster aspect of the strategy.

Smarter

Beyond simply providing faster analysis within an organization, a good BI solution should make people smarter about their company by providing analysis and insights they couldn’t otherwise get on their own. As I mentioned in the previous section, organizations are getting reports today and know roughly how they’re doing (especially if they’re public) but having correlations between different silo’s of data can reveal things that executives may have not noticed before. This is a big reason for big data, but you can have very little data from different groups tied together in a single data warehouse and then leverage BI tools to help pull it together in a report, and get a great deal of value. A good BI strategy will focus not just on existing data, but new insights gained as well, from the BI activity.

Clearer

Getting good analysis, and smarter insights doesn’t guarantee that everyone has a single version of the truth and that they all understand what they’re seeing. Having a plan for how the data will be visualized, and ensuring the right controls are in place to validate the output is essential. Putting checks and balances in, so you can leverage tools like Oracle Business Intelligence to build new types of visualizations can make all the difference on transformation useful data to actionable data.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

 

Exalytics – Speed of Thought Analysis

The question today is no longer whether companies are going to deploy business intelligence analytics and perform ongoing modeling and planning of their businesses but, rather, will the results be timely, accurate and comprehensive to support critical decisions and offer insight needed for strategic, financial and operational excellence.  Oracle addresses this with Exalytics.  The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine is the industry’s first engineered system specifically designed to deliver high performance “speed of thought” analysis. At eVerge Group, we’ve crafted several services to help organizations take advantage of its capabilities quickly (and seen performance improvements up to 50X times faster).

 In spite of all the material covering Oracle Exalytics, many people still wonder about the how, where, when and why companies would be interested in such a server. From a business perspective, there are several valid reasons.  We’ll address those in a future post, but first let’s talk about the speed of change, data volumes, and managing data. 

 Some might see Exalytics as overkill for their needs. When thinking about computing horse-power, think back over the last 10 years. With your desktop PC, a 200MB hard-drive was more than adequate  for storing files. No video capability was required except for graphic intensive PC games. In 2007, Apple introduced iPhones. All of the sudden, you were storing pictures, videos, songs, TV shows, and even movies. Now, we have tablets holding 64GB of data, doing multi-media presentations, and doing everything fast (as we’ve come to expect from technology).

 When viewing things from that perspective, it is easy to see the point that data volumes, data types, and data processing needs are growing at an extreme rate.  If you rely heavily on increasingly complex and data-intensive BI applications, and are not satisfied with the way your current system supports your business intelligence needs, deploying Oracle Exalytics may be an option to explore.

eVerge Group continues to host Exalytics events and workshops throughout the US.  For information about future events, please contact Steve Chamberlin (Steven.Chamberlin@evergegroup.com)

 

 

Formulating a Business Intelligence Assessment

An end-of-the-year business intelligence assessment is a great way to take stock of how things are going, and this assessment can also be used to create a plan for the upcoming year. A BI assessment can help you determine the ROI on the data warehouse you’ve implemented during this past year, as well as discover potential expansion areas. If launching a new business intelligence project with a solution like Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition is in the works for next year, doing an assessment now can help you determine if you even need a BI solution.

business-intelligence

Regardless of what’s on the agenda in the near future, doing an assessment now is a great way to look at how current projects are progressing, and can also be used to direct failing or struggling projects back on track. It can help ensure that your BI solution is able to evolve and adapt as the landscape of technology, organizational structure, business priorities, and marketplace realities change over time.

If you’ve never considered performing a business intelligence assessment, we are ready to help you every step of the way. Here is what you can expect from the process. Our assessments typically begin with a BI workshop that highlights recent developments in BI, looks at best practices, and uncovers the major challenges within your organization. After this, we begin a three-week guided learning session that involves your subject matter experts and IT staff. Together we review your current situation and strategize the best approach for BI development during the upcoming year. This evaluation takes a detailed look at the key elements of your BI strategy, which helps you achieve proper alignment of business and technology objectives, including Business Requirements Analysis, Organizational Analysis, Build vs. Buy Assessment, Infrastructure Software, Hardware and Technology, and Information Architecture.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive BI experience. For more information about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition or our other business solutions, contact us through our website: http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php