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Five Essential Business Intelligence Requirements for Users

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 14 June 2012, 07:40 Hrs
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Bangalore: Delivering the correct data to the right people with accurate frequency and details is the only way to ensure the BI implementation. This will effectively aid and support fact-based operational and tactical decision-making.  

It is very necessary to find answers for five essential related user groups:

1. How frequently each defined user group need to access Business Intelligence content in order to efficiently support role-based decision-making?

Establishing the right frequency with which different defined user groups need access to Business Intelligence content will affect:

* The type of reports received / delivered
* The timeliness of the data required

Users majorly fall into one of three categories in relation to the timeliness of data required:

Report broadcasts and scheduling: For many users – Business Intelligence won’t need real time data access.
For Example: The marketing departments of BigBrands Co. might depend on the weekly sales reports to measure the efficiency of brand strategies and specific marketing over a certain period of time. The strong point of BI in this moment is in its ability to trail and recognizing the trends over a period of time, at the same time allowing users to connect moves in the data to real-life events i.e., marketing campaigns to support strategy development.

Alerts: In some cases, few user groups won’t need to actively monitor business activities; it is just the ability to be prepared to abnormal or unacceptable situations - when key metrics fall outside predefined parameters.

On-demand data access: Some user may need the ability to directly access and look for real – time, operational data and reports, and also perform ad-hoc queries.

2. Where will BI users try to access reports?

Continually traveling senior level executives and field service employees may need access to BI content via laptops, mobiles etc. Very often, they will also be faced with time constriction; facility to access and assess KPIs quickly sometimes is of the upmost importance. The device which they use and other ecological factors that Business Intelligence content is accessed in and this will also dictate partly the most apposite report types and data required.

3. What are the technical competencies of each defined user group?

The majority of the spectators and hence most of the BI users and the user groups are from business or non-technical background and workers try to consume reports to improvise the performance and to make good decisions. Around 5-10% of users are technically or to be more specific are BI savvy. Of those, few people will have the time to analyze – as opposed to consume – data. Fewer again will try to analyze the data as part of their job function. For this reason, most users may need easily consumable information, rather than the ability to analyze and perform ad-hoc queries on very high complex datasets. User group and individual users should gain familiarity with other enterprise software like ERP, BPM solutions and advanced excel usage.

4. What specific job function does each user and user group perform?

Understanding the precise job function of each user group will allow one to understand how BI can support their organizational roles and further helping to decide which BI content is applicable and will be useful.

5. How much time can defined BI user groups spend searching for and analyzing data?

Most of them will be data consumers, not information developers. They usually try to enhance the performance and to take right decisions. In order to do this most users may need easily accessible information, rather than the ability to analyze and perform ad-hoc queries on very high complex datasets.

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