In order for a business to succeed with its business intelligence projects, stakeholder engagement from start to finish is key. By engaging in continuous communication with a variety of staff at different levels, you can help ensure the project lives up to every stakeholder’s requirement.

NB: This is an excerpt from our latest white paper: ''Eight keys to achieving business intelligence success in 2017". To download the full white paper, click here.

A new Business Intelligence initiative or project requires considerable effort to plan and implement successfully. One of the keys to success is ensuring that stakeholders across the business are involved from start to finish.

In a 2013 study, Forrester Research called this putting the “business back into BI.” Forrester found that some BI projects failed in the early stages while others were signed off and completed before someone in the company realized that the projects did not meet expectation.

Success requires the involvement of all team members from the executive sponsor responsible for the strategic direction and ongoing integration to the sales representative that will benefit from better access into quality customer data.   

Among the most common reasons for BI project failure is a lack of communication with a range of stakeholders.

In the Forrester study, BI initiatives failed because company executives and non-managerial subject-matter experts were not engaged during the entire process. Business intelligence benefits the entire organization. Data is an important business asset and better data will lead to better decision-making. This concept is not exclusive to the executive team or even business managers. Empowering all stakeholders with access to data and the ability to use the data to help them with their business roles will prove beneficial across the enterprise.

It’s important to demonstrate how analytics can benefit decision-making by providing a clear and comprehensive picture of key performance indicators. Everyone from the top down should be able to access the information and reporting capabilities they need to be successful.  

Now, not everyone will be easily convinced that another enterprise-level software deployment is a good initiative.

These internal skeptics may even be part of the IT staff or executive team who are critical decision makers and cultural influencers. It’s important to identify who the naysayers are and then communicate to them early and often the clear business objectives and value of advanced analytics to the company. Having their support could have a dramatic influence on others within the organization who may share their concerns. When it comes to BI, stakeholders want to know what’s in it for them, as well as the organization. Gartner Analyst Alan D. Duncan wrote in a 2015 whitepaper

The first element in any analytics business case is to focus on describing a positive vision that connects both emotionally and rationally to the stakeholder’s aspirations, ideally developed collaboratively by business and technology stakeholders. This means that BI and analytics leaders must present positive outcomes that benefit both individual stakeholders and the organization as a whole.

A successful BI deployment begins by identifying and engaging all stakeholders. They hold the knowledge for their particular areas of the business. They need to be engaged at some level in the planning and deployment and given the opportunity to identify their objectives. While not every departmental, divisional or regional objective will make it in the final project scope, its critical to stakeholder engagement in the final solution that their voices are heard and ideas considered.

This has been a preview of our new executive/IT white paper on eight keys to business intelligence success in 2017.

To download the complete white paper, click the image below:


Tags: Job Role - IT, Strategy, Management and Performance, Job Role - Executive

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