Mar 03 2014

Creating a Pilot for Business Intelligence Success

Advice for a business intelligence program that works: Start small.

Creating a successful business intelligence pilot program is as much about people as it is about technology. A successful pilot should include a cross-functional team that can work together to identify a strong business need that is well served by BI. Along the way, the team should also determine benchmark metrics that can be used to measure success.

A pilot team can pull valuable insights from the workers who use the BI, helping to ensure that relevant data is captured and actionable intelligence is produced. An executive sponsor with sufficient clout to remove any roadblocks that might arise can be essential to the success of a BI pilot. Most important, the sponsoring executive should be able to understand the value that BI can bring to the organization.

The hallmark of a successful pilot program is to start small with a well-defined project that will produce high-value data. In addition to the cross-functional team, the IT group should seek input from others who will be involved in day- to-day use of the information. This pays a double dividend.

First, it provides real-world insight into how the data will be gathered and the BI used. Also, allowing users to have a hand in crafting the solution promotes buy-in that increases the chances of success. Users who feel empowered in planning the solution are more likely to share lessons learned and seek ways to make improvements as the project matures.

Once the pilot has been successful, stakeholders should work with the IT department on ways to enhance its usability and output.

Want to learn more? Check out CDW’s “Delivering Business Intelligence” white paper.