7 Steps to a Successful Business Intelligence Strategy

by December 21, 2017

In this big data age, developing a successful business intelligence (BI) strategy is imperative to stay in the business. With the amount of data collection increasing exponentially and a wide variety of BI platforms to choose from, selecting and implementing a successful BI strategy is not easy. So, definite objectives and proper planning are required to obtain the perfect BI strategy for a company. The following seven steps can be followed by businesses to formulate a successful BI strategy.


1. A Proper BI Roadmap is Essential

A BI Strategy should chalk out a roadmap enabling businesses to measure their performance and seek out competitive advantages. Before jumping on to selecting BI tools and making strategies, the executive, technical and management teams of the company need to decide the business objectives and other important functionalities. Creating an outline of the program before implementing and choosing the strategies will be more beneficial for the companies. Unclear business logic and objectives can cause more problems and deliver inefficient results. There should be an architectural blueprint of how the BI estate will look and operate.


2. Gather Right People at Right Place

It is very important to have the right people at the right place. Organisations should build a panel with strong technical expertise and know how. The top management and executive personnel should be carefully chosen so that they can take critical decisions when it’s required. Allocating right people at the right level is vital.


3. Choosing the BI Tools

There are a wide variety of BI tools to choose from. Usually, a business requires different tools to suit different layers of operation. However, while choosing these tools, organizations should carefully keep their objectives and strategies in mind.  It is important to cross check the tools that the company requires and the teams which will use these tools. Initially, heavy lifting of BI tools is required to maximise its potential.


4. Identifying KPIs and Implementing BI Strategy

KPIs are values which are measurable and are used to show how effectively and accurately a company is achieving their business objectives. They are at the core of a good BI strategy of any company. KPIs can indicate the areas where businesses are on the right track and where improvements are needed. So, it is critical to identify the key performing KPIs.

Moreover, for a successful BI deployment, support from key business areas is required. BI should include all operations and not remain isolated in the IT only. Business users often require actionable information and reports in real-time and thus cannot wait for IT to generate reports. IT should be involved in the actual implementation but every business operations should be involved throughout the process. With self-service analytics on the rise, it is expected that BI strategies will become more inclusive and less reliant on IT.


5. Study of Data Type

The type of data dictates how the organization operates. Based on the type of data, executives need to adjust their strategies. It is essential to filter out the data that is required in order to avoid getting lost in the data lake. Filtering out useless reports and finding new profitable channels and opportunities in data will benefit the entire organization. So, accordingly, the decision-making process should be revised. A BI platform should not be implemented just to become “data-driven,” it should serve to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase the profitability of the organization.  The information and insights at every point should be validated to ensure the reliability of the data and the focus should be on business problems first and then on data. The BI strategy should also be flexible so that it evolves as the priorities change. The data governance processes should be systematically implemented. It is important to steer clear of meaningless analytics.


6. Regular Monitoring and Capability Improvement

It is important that time to time revision and upgrading of capabilities and strategies are carried out. What processes need upgrading should be analyzed and the weaker performing channels should be re-developed. Assessment of current situation and indicators should be done regularly. A successful BI strategy requires iterative ‘trial and error’ method. BI solution should adapt according to requirements instead of staying stagnant.


7. Proper Data Warehouse Technology

Based on the requirement of the organization, it is decided how much and how often real-time data enters into the data warehouse. So, organizations should be clear while incorporating data and should stick to a large feed controlling all the data instead of numerous small feeds. A proper data warehouse technology should be in place to carry the huge data burden and provide easy access to data.



BI is essential for business growth and competitive advantage, yet reaping benefits from BI requires rigorous strategy, analysis, and planning. Without a proper roadmap, it is easy to get lost in meaningless analytics. So, remaining on the right track and constant evaluation of strategies is vital to utilize the benefits of a BI strategy. The above seven steps can help a business to achieve a successful BI strategy.