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Three IT Best Practices for Better BI Integration

There really isn’t a limit to the amount that can be integrated when talking about business intelligence, but that doesn’t mean IT has the time to link everything under the sun together. How can IT decide what is the most valuable to integrate for both business and their own organization? How can IT get past creating integration on a “project-by-project basis”? Loraine Lawson offers three best practices to help address some of these questions, and that help comes by way of an interview Lawson performed with John Lucker, a principal for Deloitte Consulting. According to Lawson, people need to remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to “data hygiene” and what data is most valuable. Lawson almost immediately decries the Pareto Principle, but quickly follows up with this explanation of why the 80/20 rule is probably good advice: In this era of Big Data, Small Data, Social Data and data, data everywhere, it’s actually smart advice. Instead of trying to integrate some mass quantity of data, and assuming something useful will emerge, perhaps it’s time to sit down and really discuss what the goals of BI and analytics are. You might realize, for instance, that you need to add some external data or integrate different data sets when you think through how to support these goals, rather than the goals of a specific project or department. The catch is, to follow it, IT will have to stop following the integration bouncing ball from project-to-project and take a more holistic view of what your organization needs to achieve. This means using BI as a complete system, not just a project based effort. This provides a strategic view of what kind of information you need in the organization (rather than just a project based one) which provides more value. A caveat that Lawson asks and Lucker explains is that the implementation of BI integration: don’t depend or expect for super BI users after implementation. Instead, make the system as useful to the user as possible, and they’ll use it. Make it unusable or confusing and adoption will be much harder.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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