Did you know that only 24% of companies surveyed by BI Scorecard in 2012 consider their BI projects "very successful?" That is pretty sad. And yet Gartner says global BI spending will rise this year to $13.8B and $17.1B by 2016. Companies are still willing to invest massive amounts of money in business intelligence without being able to call these projects successful most of the time.
As a BI vendor, we'd be very concerned if our customers weren't thinking of their arcplan projects as successful. So we dug through our customers' most impactful BI projects and identified 5 key factors for long-term BI project success. These factors go beyond the solution-deployment advice you typically see from vendors – steps like "define what success is," "find an executive sponsor," and "go with an incremental approach." While these are critical as well, the factors laid out below embrace 5 different segments of the project: the IT infrastructure, the data, the BI solution itself, the users, and corporate governance.
1. Link your various (clean) source systems
It's normal for companies to have many information systems in place, from inventory management and ordering programs to ERP and CRM solutions, which may all run on different hardware platforms. The result is a heterogeneous and fragmented IT landscape, and it is often unavoidable. If you cannot reduce the number of systems in place, then ensure that all primary data sources have accurate data whose definition has been agreed upon organization-wide. In addition, be sure your business intelligence solution can serve as an umbrella over all of the systems that need to be linked. BI applications that connect to numerous systems are crucial to the success of projects in heterogeneous environments.
2. Choose your data wisely and compile it intelligently