Thursday, July 25, 2013

What’s IT Role in Managing Business Analytics/Intelligence Projects?

Business Analytics/Intelligence project is at any forward-looking organizations’ top priority agenda a couple years in a row, although it’s cross-functional, collaborative effort, IT plays critical role in managing the full information life cycle and building sustainable enterprise information management architecture. More specifically, what should be accountability of IT when it comes to business analytics/business intelligence?

  1. The IT/CIO is accountable for understanding the strategic business objectives and determining the technological direction to meet the business needs. Once given the resources, for Business Intelligence, identifying and communicating the cost and value to the organization. Establishing and maintaining the control environment and communicating about those controls and what their objectives are and how they meet the business needs. 
  2. The CIO's accountability for BI extends to three areas: data collection and storage; distribution and analysis; rapid adjustment to feedback. Flexibility is critical to BI. Any rigid implementation will most likely fail. Due to its nature, BI requires adjustments at every stage without notice. That's where many BA/BI projects fail. Accountability extends in to building quality, IT continuity, and governance from the beginning and throughout the process. It means developing the IT Strategic and tactical plans including critical dependencies and assessing current performance as well as defining the information architecture. 
  1. The accountability of the CIO to be flexible also depends on the stage in the building of the entire BI lifecycle. In the initial stages, the CIO has to constantly balance the dynamic nature of introducing BI into the business along with building a sustainable Enterprise Information Management (EIM) architecture that support the information needs throughout the company. This EIM architecture covers information throughout the company (both operational and BI) and includes all governance, storage, delivery, integration and infrastructure services that support the enterprise. 

  1. The CIO is accountable for assessing operational benefits of solutions, acquisition, and once acquired, develop the strategy to bring the solution into operation, the actual implementation plan and test strategy. Once in operation developing the process for changes and communicating relevant information about the changes. The CIO is also accountable for the creation of the IT service catalog.  
  1. Simple - leading. The business may not be experienced enough to understand the possibilities, especially from an integration perspective; they certainly will not understand the needs from an architectural point of view. It's also likely that the data will funnel up to Corporate Leaders (CEO, CFO, etc) in a "dashboard" type of tool, so the CIO will need to ensure data clarity, consistency and simplicity, especially at the point of delivery. IT also needs to ensure that for core analyses of the enterprise, such as Financial, KPIs, there is "one version of the truth". 
  1. The prime responsibility of the CIO when it comes to BI is to have enabled a flexible data architecture that captures the necessary data, it is extensible, flexible, scalable and the appropriate support processes and tools are in place. Knowledge of business needs is important but many demands for data will not be known by IT or the business at any particular point in time. Those needs will change and IT must have built a data infrastructure that can adapt to those changing needs, also ensure there’re tools available for user communities to easily access, manipulate, and analyze the data.  
  1. In order to do all of this, the CIO needs their own business intelligence to monitor and evaluate IT performance and internal controls and ensure compliance with any external requirements. Then back to the beginning the planning process for review of performance and capacity of the IT resources including identifying and allocating costs in a method that is accountable of effective information lifecycle management. 


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