Monday, February 09, 2009

BI for BI

One of the core disciplines within a Business Intelligence team or program is to develop internal metrics and performance management practices. The idea of "BI for BI" is to exploit your internal strengths and live the fact-based decision mantra.

Business Intelligence is a core component of corporate performance management systems. Conversely, Business Intelligence can only deliver maximum value when it is coupled by a strong performance management culture. In order to communicate the value of spend on BI / performance management initiatives, we need to talk about both the BI technology and the culture required to support it.

If we have the management practices in place to constantly act on and refine our internal program / departmental metrics, we can then use this as a working example to the rest of the organization. Not only will you be able to demo the metrics produced for your team, but you will be able to relate success stories that you had acting on this information. Not only show a dashboard trending average bugs per release, but also tell the story of how your team saw a negative trend 6 months ago, implemented an improvement to the code review process, and reduced overall bugs by 50%. How powerful is that!


Here are just a couple examples of metrics you could put in place to measure your BI program:

  • ETL Job Completion Times
  • Uptime by Infrastructure Component (Presentation, ETL, Database Layers)
  • Volume of Requests for Information
  • Average Frequency of Visits to BI Portal (i.e. 3.5 times per week)
  • Volume of Data Quality Issues
  • Resolution Time on Service Tickets
  • Production Incidents by Severity
  • Changes to Report / Asset Catalogue

A couple hints on how to put this in place:

  • Make people accountable for their metrics. They own them and report on them.
  • Start small and grow. Start with measuring only a handful of metrics, and add additional metrics over time. Look for patterns of key performance indicators, and their relation to other metrics.
  • Review and publish your metrics. Have a regular time set for metric review. Make metrics available to anyone that interacts with you, including your customers. Open the Kimono!

It is a basic professional requirement for an organization to produce regular metrics on their performance. Leverage your team's expertise in the discipline of Business Intelligence to improve your team's performance, and show the rest of the organization how it is done!

No comments:

This is a personal weblog, and does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.