A BI/BA Competency Center has tremendous impact within an enterprise
It is impossible to overly stress the importance and effectiveness of implementing a competency center for Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA). These centers, frequently referred to as BICC or BACC, facilitate information sharing and the efficient management of BI tools within an organization. Regardless of the tool(s) in place within an organization, there are elements and attributes about each one that can dramatically affect the impact and success of their usage.
Certain practices are universally understood within a technical staff such as IT, but quite often are not clearly understood by the business users who are simply trying to acquire new information from any number of data sources. For example, it is generally understood that it is usually far better to sort data using the database functions for sorting rather than to bring the data over to the BI/BA tool and sort it there. This is a trivial case but a non-technical user can perform tasks that are highly inefficient and resource intensive.
A BICC would establish basic guidelines for product functionality to perform common tasks that apply to all users. If a better method in uncovered later, this information should be shared by all users. Does this apply to your use of BI tools today?
As new features, functions, and enhancements are introduced within your BI/BA portfolio, how does your organization share and disseminate this to all users of the tool(s)?
Years ago, many organizations implemented information centers, which acted as a support group within the organization. The group offered skills, consulting, education, and dissemination of best practices for all end user-based tools. Then the era of “I can do it myself” began when massive amounts of time, money, and energy were spent by multiple individuals learning similar skills in parallel and totally disconnected from each other.
Today, it is not uncommon for organizations to have five or more inhouse BI/BA tools. Many of these tools perform the same or similar functions, but in many situations certain solutions are more effective than others. There are many success stories regarding BI/BA deployments and the positive impact they have within the organization. . There are also numerous failures or less-than-perfect scenarios. Quite often the tools are blamed instead of the manner in which they were introduced and supported within an organization.
To maximize the effectiveness of any BI or BA tool, a competency center should be established to offer a “hub of expertise” where the most knowledgeable individuals are available to ensure consistency, accuracy, and the most effective application of such tools.
Do you have a BICC within your organization of has there been any discussion of implementing one? Do you understand the concept and see the value in enabling a BICC? There are many articles and posts available on various web sites and blogs that may be useful to you. There is no shortage of information; there is just a shortage of practical application.