Monday, August 25, 2008

BICC Steps

Doug Henschen, the editor-in-chief of TechWeb's IntelligenceEnterprise, just did a nice article on the steps for successfully implementing a BI Competency Center. Doug's steps could be applied to any strategic initiative. They are:

1. Start with a strategic mission
2. Get C-level support
3. Structure and fund appropriately
4. Prepare for ongoing support
5. Establish authority and make tough choices
6. Communicate goals and successes
7. Be responsive

I have seen companies not move forward with a BICC group because of Doug's Step #4 calling for preparation for ongoing support. People get frightened by this commitment for future work. They say things like, "If we put together a team like this, we will get flooded with requests for BI services!"

Yes, hopefully that is true.

The other day while checking out at a home goods store, my wife told the young lady at the register that she had forgotten the special "frequent shopper's coupon" that had come in the mail. Her comment only got an uninterested shrug from the cashier. Turning away from my investigation of the different gourmet chocolates for sale, I commented that Borders sends me coupons in an e-mail and I only have to tell the nice person at the register who will then give me the discount without a paper copy. The home goods store employee raised an eyebrow and said, "Gee, I can't do that because everybody would come in here wanting to buy something with a coupon."

Yeah, that's the point.

Put together a program where customers can easily engage you for a valuable service at a fair price. Unfortunately, there are too many people who think, "Why would I do that? That would mean too much work!"

Without the C-level strategic direction and promise of support, a BICC will not get started. The individuals who would do the BI work would otherwise see that nobody is telling them that this is important and, if they did it on their own and got extremely busy because of it, nobody is likely to provide them with the additional resources they need to keep being successful.

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.