Important Steps when Considering and Implementing a BI Solution

When considering BI solutions, the following questions should be asked to prospective vendors and within your organization:

What will the business intelligence solutions provider to the enterprise? This seems like an obvious factor, but I am always surprised that during initial kick-off sessions with new clients it becomes very clear that they do not know what they want their solution to provide them with.

More often than not, I find that customers know what they don't want not what they want. Make sure your organization has a clear understanding of what it wants from the solution, it will save time and money.

Choose a user-friendly system. The BI solution is much different than an accounting software or and ERP system in that a significant number of people use every day. While you may look at the results or information that a BI solution is providing in the form of a dashboard, the analytical side of the program is usually not used on a daily basis by everyone, as you would for an accounting program. The easier the program is to use the better, if people forget how to use software – they just will not use it.


Business Intelligence solutions can typically be attached to a number of databases or ERP systems, once the vendor understands where the data exists. In order to save time and money, find out upfront if your vendor has the mapping for your system and is familiar with the data location of your existing accounting or ERP system. The more familiar they are with the architecture of your existing system, the less it should cost you in consulting or implementation fees.

Who will use the Business Intelligence solution?

Senior management must be fully on board in implementing a business intelligence solution. If senior managers are not using the analytical tools provided, mid and lower managers will follow suit. Including one individual from each department will also ensure that the organization gains the greatest benefit from the solution.

You may also like