The way to build a business intelligence (BI) team that is successful
Maximizing the value that a business can reap from its BI technology begins by setting up the proper Business Intelligence team in the right place.
BI was born out of a desire to look deeper into data previously available only in management or operational reports. Standard reports present business information in a predetermined format that reflects what a developer or IT team has determined to be crucial.
An example is that an organization could have weekly sales reports by categories and regions. But, if the sales figures are dropping, reports aren’t able to help an organization figure out the reason, since they don’t allow an analysis of the information.
Reports are a single theory of what’s important and the best way to tackle it. Business intelligence allows an organization to test its own theories and discover new solutions to questions that are new.
There are some organizations that do this in one way or another. Therefore, the first question to consider is whether an organization requires a particular Business Intelligence team.
The BI team as well as the enterprise
The most obvious answer could be that there aren’t any skills currently in an organization, and thus they’re not performing anything in the form of formal intelligence for business. The majority of organizations have reports for management and operational reports.
Many organizations have some sort of analytics with spreadsheets, which is a basic tool. It’s not uncommon to see businesses with no formal analytics tool. This is a great reason to create an enterprise intelligence team.
But, it’s probably more frequent today that these roles that include creating reports or dashboards, as well as analytics, are present within an organization, but aren’t well-defined and possess certain roles that are informal.
In the age of self-service BI tools and tools, it’s not uncommon to see users who found a tool for data visualization on the internet and have adopted the tool for their own usage. A department may visit another and find that they’ve adopted a different software since they came across it in a different way.
Although software companies love to talk about their land-and-expand strategies, the reality is that the majority of times they land-land-land various departments that are using software separately. This may be a tactically efficient strategy for every department, but it rarely results in good strategies. Leaves a lot to chance like playing in casinos.
If you’re creating a BI team from scratch or acknowledging an existing virtual or loosely coupled capability, it is best to establish the right relationship of the team to all other departments within the company right from the beginning. The more complicated and frequent scenario is when BI roles already exist more or less formally throughout the organization and require consolidation.
Find out if members of the team are virtual, with members from different departments, or whether it will be a brand new formal entity, but before you do consider that, you should consider the team’s structure. Four roles are crucial for the success of business intelligence teams.
Essential roles within the BI team
A good team of business intelligence includes the following four functions in some manner. It’s even normal for one person to wear multiple different hats. This is fine as you don’t feel strained or unsupported.
The subject expert
In the first place, one must have an in-depth understanding of business processes and how it relates to the current IT processes and software. Also, it’s one who knows the business processes well and is also comfortable with the structure of data and the technology infrastructure.
The company could find the person in two ways The business professional who has formally learned about the structure and structure of data; and an IT specialist, likely employed in the field of data management, and has been in the job for long enough to fully comprehend the business.
The job can be stressed by demands therefore it is essential to disseminate knowledge of methods of data management and business practices extensively in an overall BI strategy.
Another job can be an analyst who is able to create efficient visualizations, models, and diagrams for businesses using the database or BI tools of your choice. The model identifies the connections to data as well as calculations that are specialized and structure of data according to the location as well as tax jurisdictions and the region of sales, product categories, and more. The models could already be present inside your IT infrastructure, particularly in the case of the database.
Even so, business intelligence teams frequently require models in ad-hoc fashion for specific reasons, like an experiment in advertising or a specific project for senior executives. This model is likely to not exist in a warehouse that is designed to give an authentic long-term record of the company. The team, therefore, requires someone who can connect data from different sources, establishing the proper connections and establishing the correct terms and calculations.
An analyst could create some decent dashboards and visuals. They might not be the most visually pleasing, but they can prove to be very useful.
However, that’s not enough anymore. As the information literacy of business users grows and the executives get used to using newer and more powerful technology in their daily lives, they are creating greater demands for stunning designs, not only functional reports. When an exercise bike can provide better analytics than an organization’s analysis department, it will require an expert in design.
But, the role of visualization isn’t limited to pleasant charts. Visualizations that are well-designed make it more understandable and allow for better communication. This results in more engagement, better decision-making and, generally speaking, more interest from executives in their work.
The data steward
Once work has begun with data and information to share, companies need to take into consideration the management of the governance as well as compliance. This is the responsibility of the data steward.
The data steward is responsible for the implementation of policies regarding corporate governance ethics, privacy, and security, as they move from an IT department to the BI group, then from the BI team to the business users. It is a challenging job however, in the beginning, it’s not a full-time position. Business analysts and database architects are able to both perform the job because, as the subject matter expert this job may begin as a technical job that has acquired business expertise or as a professional position that also relies on technical skills. It may even be a shared task.
Most often, a data steward will require assistance by legal counsel in order to comprehend the laws and HR’s review of privacy concerns of employees and IT managers to determine the way in which policies and authorizations can be implemented.
Retention and maintaining the BI team
If you are establishing an intelligence team for business as an entirely new company or an online commitment from prior jobs, the team needs to be supported and developed continuously.
For instance, if your team operates as virtual in the future it could be required to move certain members to full-time work due to the amount of work and the importance of it to the company growth. When it comes to both virtual and organizational teams, a company may require the addition of new members with special skills, for example, machine learning.
Analytics expertise is highly sought-after today, and companies should think about how to motivate and retain their analysts in the business. In the case of many analysts, their primary reward is not financial, it is that they can leave quickly if they require it — however, they consider themselves to be a significant advisor to the company.
The recognition of the importance of analytics in strategic, tactical, and operational decisions can greatly enhance the motivational sense in the BI team. The most important measure for success — such as increased sales, decreased costs, and more could have a variety of complex elements that are behind them.
No matter if an organization is contemplating setting up a BI department today or has already begun to invest in the architecture as well as tools and personnel the future of analytics will depend on the recognition and reward of the substantial contribution it could provide.