Kindness Works Wonders

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Psychology at Work

What elements come together to form a BI (business intelligence) strategy?

Generally, diagrams are necessary at first in order to get a big picture of the entire situation before beginning actual work on formulating a detailed strategy.

After that, the general culture of the organization has to be taken into account. What are the widely held views and attitudes that have permeated the organization to give it its unique character? These intangible entities are what can help us to understand which predictable pattern of behavior and thinking can be expected to be found within the organization. In a word, it's the policy or code of procedure by which the organization lives.

Finally, language used by people on the strategy team and all the technical terms that will be used all have to be defined. This is necessary so that when communication takes place regarding strategy, language used will have a specific meaning and connotation, understood by all people involved in the business intelligence process.

In formulating BI strategy, there should be something in writing, communicated to all concerned, stipulating the exact plan of action. This important written plan should include specific elements, such as a brief, common sense explanation of exactly what is to be created as a result of the BI strategy effort, followed by a step by step listing of how workers and managers plan to develop the end result.

No written plan would be complete, however, without a deadline date. This should be chosen carefully, after due consideration of all imaginable variables, so as to make the completion date one that is realistically achievable. Accurate time lines always will depend on funding and the availability of resources at specific points along the way.

In formulating BI strategy, some sort of flow chart is often helpful. Such visual aids will help people to conceptualize the links between such elements as databases, analysis functions, company decision makers, and customers, all connected to BI central control and the server.

Testing will be a significant part of the BI strategic plan. Without it, the next step could not be taken with sufficient confidence. Acceptable standards must be agreed upon for each step in the testing process to ensure quality results. Testing templates can be a great aid in this regard.

All tangible components of the BI operation should be carefully listed and classified. Events that must take place in a certain sequence should also be written down and recorded in easily accessible documents. In short, everything that can be foreseen should be accounted for at some point in the BI strategy formula.

This might include plans for backups, recovery, and archives. Or it might entail decisions regarding the security of the system, or the proper order of its work flow.

A truly successful BI strategy will be one that is tailored to fit smoothly into the working patterns and general policies of the business where it resides. Overall company strategy must be compatible with BI strategy. If so, success is all but guaranteed.

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