Saturday, February 25, 2012

BI Stands for Business Integrity

One of the key aspects of working within the field of Business Intelligence is the need for an absolute commitment to Integrity. In my career I have run across a number of situations that have put this to the test.

Data Integrity Issues

No matter the maturity of your data governance program, we have all run across situations where a data quality issue is impacting the quality of our Business Intelligence information or highlights an operational issue. Quite often these issues are highly sensitive within the organization. We have a responsibility as Business Intelligence professionals to communicate these issues to our stakeholders in a sensitive way that is focused on resolving the issue.

Truth Hurts

The facts don't lie. The beauty of Business Intelligence is that once you take a look at the data, there really is no defending the various theories that people use to operate their business in the absence of facts. Again, we need to engage our stakeholders in the process of moving to fact based decision making by having them part of the solution so they can adjust their business practices to the true reality.


Nobody is perfect. The reality is that we will make mistakes in our BI implementations by inaccurate meta data, ETL coding errors, report logic and the hundreds of other places we can make mistakes in our BI implementations. We need to raise these issues and the impact this has had to business operations and decision making. This isn't about quickly fixing and hoping no one notices, we need to be up front and accept responsibility for our mistakes.

Communicating these issues is not about sending a blanket email coldly highlighting the issues, the best way is to get out of your chair or pick up the phone and talk to people. This is not the fun part of the job. We always need to do the right thing, especially when it is hard.


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