Business Intelligence for the Business and IT

Okay so as I write I am on the train on my way to discuss a problem that I see all too often in corporate business today.  I am travelling to talk to a group of Business Users who work for a major retail bank here in the UK.  I am trying to identify how they use data, how they connect to their data sources currently and how they use that data to complete analysis to provide useful insight to drive decision-making within the company.

As I have spoken about before on LinkedIn and other web related material one of the major hurdles to a successful Business Intelligence strategy within any company regardless of the area they are based in is the gap between IT and the BI team.   This gap is probably responsible for 90% of the failures we see with corporate BI solutions.  The dichotomy of the standpoints of IT – who want data governance and security above all, and the Business – who want result driven decision-making or Business Intelligence Right Now (BIRN)  is what is responsible for this failure rate.  It is not that the companies IT team does not want to help – or that the Business wants to go and do its own thing – it is just that no one has yet come up with a good solution to let both parties play in the same sandbox without upsetting each other.

My discussions tomorrow are aimed at discovering what the frustrations are that are felt  by the business user in a large multi national organisation and how they are currently solving their problems.  I will then back this up with a follow-up meeting with the IT stakeholders to clarify their point of view.

I believe that only with a greater understanding of how both sides think of the problem and then through a process of mutual understanding and engagement can we identify the needs of both parties and hope to develop tools to satisfy those needs.

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