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Business Intelligence For Dummies® by Swain Scheps

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Chapter 18. Ten Keys to BI Success

No book on business intelligence would be complete without a list of the top elements that have to be present in your BI initiative to make it a success. Consultants and pundits make their own lists—just as every vendor, academic, and anyone else who's ever been around a BI implementation makes his or hers. Of course, every situation is different; companies, market conditions, and personalities involved all conspire to make a complicated situation downright confusing. But if you combine the ideas in this list with your own knowledge of your company's unique qualities, you'll be on your way to a successful implementation and a valuable business intelligence program.

Picking Good Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

How does your organization measure success? It seems an innocuous question—but an astounding number of executives can't answer it.

Measuring and managing key performance indicators (KPIs) is the ultimate goal of any business intelligence solution. KPIs are metrics and measurements that indicate at a glance whether the company is living or dying. The insights gained through BI should lead to better decisions—followed (presumably) by better performance that will show up later in the KPIs. The idea is that if you've picked your KPIs wisely, the business will prosper over the long term.

Tip

Choose KPIs that line up with your business goals. If you run a call center (for example), your BI solution should feed on KPIs like Average Hold Time and Average ...

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