Jan 31, 2010

BI Impact components

What Impacts BI Business Value Attainment most.
Goal: meeting Business Expectations in Business Intelligence
Some aspects impact others more but that is subject to interpretations. If all decisions had the same impact this is what an impact analysis would looke like.
Note: We currently spend all our checks, audits and reports on Cost, time and resource - the traditional PMP checklist, and that is what we get
Note2: We do not check, audit or report for ciritical components that will impact 'Meeting Business Expectations' in BI Initiatives so we cry wolf 8 to 12 weeks after go live

The Battle for Truth vs. Information

The battle for Truth in Information has been waging since the dawn of mankind. On one side are the scientists like Galileo ready to be put to the stake, battling for the truth in information, on the other side stalwart and powerful forces battling to maintain a state of mind that is only good for their business or concepts.
Whenever change is accepted there are victims in the old world order. However, when orthodoxy wins then they put the proponent of the new truth on a stake and burn them, sometimes alive - just to prove their point.

For ages foreign, or new ideas, have been shunned by almost every civilization. Today we are witnessing similar challenges in global information both in Iran and China. On the Iran side the regime has blocked access and broadcast of anything that is anti the regime. In China we saw a regime immediately denounce Hillary Clinton’s speech that called for Internet Freedom. The Chinese term this as the new colonialism in the Information Age and term it as information imperialism.
Thought control is an ancient political philosophy that has kept many a nation under the influence official orthodoxy, in China they sometimes refer to it as Chinese Culture. China has launched a sidewinder when they start to accuse USA of instigating rebellions in Iran via the Internet.
So from history to politics we land squarely back to our enterprise Business Intelligence.
Here too there is evidence that there is a possibility of corporate orthodoxy, when a major Bi project in Chile does not deliver business value, all of the business users know about it but officially there is no word of failure. Why 98% of BI projects are declared as a success in week one of go-live, but this rapidly falls to 55% by week twelve. Why that while the enterprise is hemorrhaging in reporting nightmare and have to do with custom reporting applications the corporate declares the BI project a wild success and immediately allocated the next lump sum budget ‘behind closed doors’ to fix what should have been delivered in phase 1.
If corporate chauvinism becomes defensive then they do not accept the mistake. If they do not accept the mistake then there is no possibility to audit and report reasons for failure. If we do not audit or plan for an alternative then there is a possibility we will continue to make the same mistakes.
The question then is for corporations, as much as for management, to decide whose side are they on – truth or corporate orthodoxy

Jan 28, 2010

Should we be concerned

Just coming out from a meeting where the clear shift from conventional data warehouses is being applied to DW world. As the technology is changing so is the interpretation of DW itself. What is the impact of statements and technologies?

The general speil that is being sold now is that don’t worry about your money wasted in DW, where you got 50% or less users satisfaction, we have a solution that will now eliminate data and the warehouse and provide you with science fictional truth, every single time. Probably then it may take you another 10 years to benchmark as the non-DW solution is just starting and the DW solutions already have global stats available.
Recommendation: The solutions are there. The menthods are simple. Define the path and standards and the goal is achievable.

1. No DW: We have a new solution. Only it will cost a little more. But look at what all it can do. Caution: Have we heard that before somewhere. Recommenation: See what works and what will bring you best business value. Talk to customers, do a SWAT analysis if in doubt bet an indenepent business valeu architect.
2. Architecture is not important: I’m not sure where that goes. If you want instant real-time check on key stuff then maybe. But most enterprises do not live on real-time checks. CxO’s perform complex comparisons, trends, forecasts, cross application analytics. Try that in real-time db access mode, it is a rude awakening. Caution: Review with a BI Value Architect before finalizing a decision. A few thousand dollars could save you a few million. Recommendation: If in doubt ask an expert. Make sure the expert is on your side of the pond.
3. Modeling is meaningless: Possibly the most important aspect of DW, here I am on the side of Ralf Kimball and all his theories, except one the 70:30 ratio. Use automation modeling tools and turn the pyramid upside-down. Caution: Modeling is great in every situation. Send an email of your systems and I’ll send you a reason or two why. Recommendation: modeling impacts your information quality, object footprint, query performance and data load performance. Improve all with automation.
4. No databases: In these exceptional examples data elements never become information elements, i.e. data is not required to be stored. Caution: Great for real-time analytics, exceptional for alert reporting but not for CxO analytics. What about historical comparisons, data inconsistencies between disparate systems and most important of all performance which is the critical goal of 2009-13 BI. Recommendation: Think DW and review all else.
5. No Waiting: Also on the table are solutions that will not take 30 seconds or even 3 seconds. Ask a question and the answer shall be provided. VRR, or very rapid response systems are now coming online. Caution: What about accuracy of information. If we could not deliver a good answer in 30 minutes will this system provide it in one. What about historical comparisons, what about trends. Recommendation: Were promised this in the mid nineties and will be promised this in the mid fifteens. Check for business value and get them to sing on the dotted line the same as you do to make good the payments.
6. Throw money have solution: The general value analysis is if it costs more it must be good, so the pitch is we have a great solution but it will cost you a little more, value was never cheap and don’t we all know that. Caution: Larger spend has no impact on success of BI projects so far. The writing on the wall states that 50% of implementation, or 50% of the queries delivered, or 50% of something that has basically failed. So by the averages if you invest a hundred thousand dollars you stand to loose fifty, of one million then five hundred thousand. Recommendation: Unless you plan it well more money may just turn into more wastage.
7. Value is not attainable: What we provide is assured to provide high value to customers. We assure you 100% satisfaction, market average is only 50%. Caution: What you end with is lower than the average. Value, like best practice, is subjective. The question is whose value. If value is that the big guys delivered then why is the reported success factor languishing at 50%. Are some of the failures scared to admit failures? Recommendation: Define value and business value metrics and find the delta. Very interesting results for CFO and CxO decisions.
8. Getting Business Value/Satisfaction is an enigma: We have stats to prove that if you get 60% satisfaction you are in good hands. Caution: Aim for the moon you land on the tree top, aim for the tree top you land on the table, aim for the table you fall on your behind. Recommendation: Don’t let anyone let you accept any solution that delivers less than 80% assured. Not by quantity but by quality attach some controls and definitions of what and how it will be measured 3-4 weeks after go live.

Jan 27, 2010

Business Value Intelligence

BVA Intelligence

The 2009 Gartner BI summit has come and gone. Global CIO’s have returned to their respective countries with their pressing daily priorities. Oracle world and Sapphire launched new products and applications but the pressing priorities still remain unanswered.

What ever do we do with declining business user satisfaction?

Gartner reported in Feb 2009 that despite huge investments companies are not attaining business expectations. While on the street Oracle customers are moving to SAP BW, SAP BW customers are moving to Teradata or SQL and SQL customers are moving to Oracle or BW.

Does the problem of BVA, Business Value Attainment, lie with technology, i.e. will changing the technology platform alter BVA or is the real issue something else.

With 2010 now upon us and the next Gartner BI conference just on our doorsteps, are we going to hear the same or find some solutions. Will 2010 Sapphire, ASUG and BITI conferences tell us how to maximize returns or sell more appliances? Will Oracle world decrease our probability of wastage or introduce us to newer applications and processes.

Consumers are not only not achieving BVA, but thinking a lot about it right now. So how do businesses get BVA intelligence?

Quite a few BI managers are being asked to cut costs and provide higher services at the same time. Others are loosing business sponsors and support. Projects are expecting their lowest cost resources to wear not one, or two but three hats, and they are receiving too many applicants that feel they fit that role. Still other companies are off-shoring their full BI applications hoping that what they could not solve 100 feet away will magically get resolved with the lowest cost solution 10,000 miles away.

The rest of the world is watching
While BI costs have been escalating, BVA satisfaction rates have been declining, on the last count possibility for failure was at 40 to 48%. Is the reality still worse than this.
Last I talked to a newly appointed CIO, from 4 months ago, she mentioned ‘What a mess. I don’t even know where to begin’
Eliminate ‘heads I win, tails I take your money and go away’ BI projects
An BVA intelligent process can measure BVA from before the BI project starts and provide BVA updates on a weekly basis to the steering committee and all business owners. If there are surprises 4 weeks after the BI project go-live is it the fault of technology, steering committee, hardware, software, implementation partner, the process or the project manager. I can tell you from over 25,000 hrs of BI experience it is none of the above. Each one of them did their job and did it well, so where is the Missing Link. You can request for my white paper that identifies this missing link and my upcoming book that will define the roadmap to finish bad BI’s once and for all.
By bringing BVA information together in one place and providing BI checklists with BVA capabilities – trending graphs, dashboards, near real-time monitors, exception alerts, location-comparison reports and detailed analysis capabilities – an intelligent enterprise can reverse current trends and improve ‘BI’s gone bad’
Gartner has predicted that by 2018, 82% of healthcare IT spend will be in Business Intelligence. If this is any indication of the future companies better make sure every dollar spent is towards the concept of ‘Do it right the first time’
With increasing BI demand we shall see more and more companies creating a profitability path and sustainability leadership in business intelligence. Big and small vendors along with corporate aligned vendors will step up and provide new solutions.
But CxO and business need to be able to differentiate between what will work and what will not.
The synergy between BI and BVA are many. The check point’s simple if understood. But there is a clear roadmap for assuring business success without having to try and reinvent the wheel.
Hopefully we will agree and improve on the basic concepts, and not get led astray be groups that have an agenda of their own.

My advice is the ‘blink’ test. If you feel comfortable and are willing to stake you job with the fundamentals of the offering, and its gives you a ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling based on your own vertical experience then review it with an independent value owner. If not… well that’s an entirely different story.

Jan 20, 2010

The three most critical components for a BI Center of Excellence

In one of my recent BI implementations the customer chief architect, mentioned that he had visited many COE's and COC's, Gartner's center of competencies, but most of them soon turned into COM's, or Center of Mediocrity'.

The three things that might make a COE a COE can be summarized as follows:-

1. Business Participation, ownership and focus

2. BI Strategy, Standards and a 'Global enterprise BI Cookbook'

3. Keeping the name as COE and not changing it to anything else.

Business Participation is essential as any endeavor for excellence must be focused on enhancing business value. Business value mostly cannot be enhanced without a business view and guidance.

Strategy, Standards and a global methodology, as without that different teams can head on divergent paths

COE: as by a simple act of changing the name the very essence is often lost.

Jan 19, 2010

Help save $ 3.39 billion in BI Wastage

Companies have a potential to save $3.39 billion annually on BI investments alone. 
i.e. this is

- Can accomplish an Appolo moon launch in 7 years
- Can build 3 tallest buildings in the world at Dubai costing
- Can build the eitire Dubai downtown in 6 years
- Can launch 3 dreamliners size new projects in aerospace technology

And we do this every year and will continue to do this for the following years if we dont stop and listen...

Reference 1
1966 total cost of the Appolo mission = $24 billion. This represents the largest commitment of resources made by any nation during peace time for peaceful purposes.
Reference 2
2009: total cost of building the Boeing dreamliner US$ 1billion
Reference 3
2010: total cost of building the worlds tallest building, Burj Dubai, UAE $1.0 billion.
For the entire Dubai downtown US$ 20 billion

Basis of above statements:
Global DW Costs2008: total spend on BI                         = $8.8 billion (Source Gartner June 2010)
        total spend on BI Implementation  = $7.54 billion (source SAP, teched, 1:7 ratio)
         total spend on BI  SW                  = $1.26 billion  (1:7 ratio)
2006: only 52 % of ERP projects achieve success at go live (source ASUG Benchmark)
               40% of IT projects fail at $        (source Gartner)
         Average failure rate = 45%               (random computation of above)

                45% of $7.54 billion computes to a cool $3.39 billion.

Kicker: It costs 4 times more to fix a BI issues than it does the first time around.
            Our tactical saving is $3.39 billion, the strategic saving might be $13.5 billion. That is how much it will cost you to fix these $3.39 billion errors (1:4)

when did you last check your BI expenses, i.e. your initial investments v/s total fixing spend.
Not from a financial Cost and resource allocation... but from a 'Business Value Attainment' view

Jan 17, 2010

Gartner 2009 on Why BI Projects Fail

A Gartner analyst says that companies that "throw technology at BI problems" and do not gain the business side's support or invest in BI training will ultimately find that their BI projects fail.
The sticking points, Bertram said, are as much about improving poor communication and BI skills, as sifting useful data from the rubbish.

"Organisations tend to throw technology at BI problems. You could have the right tool, but it could be doomed to failure because of political and cultural issues, an absence of executive support so the message doesn't get out, and poor communication and training," Bertram said.
"Having a standard set of enterprise metrics sounds easy but can be quite complex, we've come across organisations with a 1000 metrics, but follow the old Kaplan and Norton balanced scorecard and focus on 'visionary' metrics at the top," he said.
Gartner has defined the BI competency centre to resolve problems it claims derive from poor communication between businesses units. Representatives from each business unit chair the centre and are tasked with deciding how BI can best serve their field of work, including defining governance, appropriate metrics and architecture, and staff training.

Most important of all is business participation in BI projects. participation not just by business experts, but by executives trainined in the art of Business Value Attainment and BI key decisions. Bussiness needs to own and become accountable for BI deliverables. They can no longer sit on the peripheries and simply let their BI investments get hijacked by non-business participants under any condition. Technology is a catalyst to meet business needs, IT is the service partner to deliver in accordance to business requirements and both technology and IT cannot become the end by itself. That in itself is a path to disaster.

Jan 15, 2010

'Heard it through the grapevine'

Background: Customer in Boston undertaking Portal Upgrade, via the migration option. Discussion was whether to migrate MyFavourite objects or not. IT said no need as there was a lot of junk there; my advice was to ask business before they take any such decisions..
Statement from IT Technical lead: "I don't see any value in getting business owners to analyst into this planning phase for they will only raise concerns and delay the whole process. This is my final decision - end of topic.
Background: Customer in Florida undertaking a BI 'Business Transformation' upgrade from 2.x to 3.x. Meeting for all global BPO's (I represented BI) with the Sr Project Manager clarifying the roadmap.
Statement from Vendor Partner Sr. VP: " You all represent XXXX (us).....for BI group the instructions are extremely clear. [1] Business is not mature to understand what we are going to build; [2] No BI team member is to fix any meeting with business users or owners without first getting approval from John Doe; [3] If you involve business it will only delay our project nad deliverables; [4] You have been given your tasks, just put your nose to the wheel and do the job, if in doubt contact John Doe only.......
Background: Customer is a global manufacturer with a global BI in Germany. They are implementing their first BI for North America operations.
IT Manager (ITM): The other two vendors said most of our reporting needs will be met by standard content in BW that meets best practices. They even let us speak to a customer each who said great things about their BI. They both said they can start next week and have given firm timelines and budgets for our needs. We need FI, SD and MM reports. We are a manufacturing company.
XX: I am assuming the information they had is identical to what we have. In that case I cannot compete with companies that can provide you a solution without understanding your needs.
ITM: Explain
XX: Have you talked to Germany about Standards
XX: Do you have a copy of your global deployment policies and processes
XX: Have you talked to Germany about this project
XX: I would first advice you co-ordinate with Germany and have your PM go to Germany or Germany come to the US for a week or two to align standards & Processses
XX: Have you identified what the deliverables for the project are
ITM: The other two vendors both confirmed that what they could deliver was more than we would ever need.
XX: Do you have any complex cross-application reports that are critical to business
ITM:L I can think of two daily reports that take over 10 hours to run
XX: Do you want them to run in under 10 minutes
ITM: That woudl be fantastic
XX: Here is my recommendation. You talk to Germany about our proposal, and the lack of this request from the other two vendors hopefully. Then We align to global standards and discuss all your reporting needs. We then priritize what will come best from your BI and what from your operational systems. Simple as that.

One week later customer signed the contract and 6 months later customer achieved over 92% customer satisfaction. Measures were
1. Met your expectations of reports being delivered
2. Reports met your needs
3. Reports business could use from day 1 as a percentage of total reports delivered.
(p.s. the 10 hour report ran in under 10 minutes)

POLL: Does 100% offshoring make good business sense?

Does 100% Business Intelligence Offshoring make good business sense?
We are living in the Information Age. If we don't investment in the wealth of this age then we are divesting from success.
Just like land was wealth in the 1800's and industry in the 1900's, it is information that is the wealth of the 21st century.
If you make a mistake in a single order due to a bad judgment, it could cost your millions of dollars.
If your information is inaccurate you possibly make small  mistakes on a daily basis.
Companies do not fail due to one single colossal mistake, but due to the accumulation of a whole lot of small ones.
Just like your would not allow your heart surgeon to cut you with the lowest cost scalpel, do not give your crown jewels to the lowest cost supplier as the end results could be quite similar.

Background 1: Business Intelligence is an integral component of every business. When business can be conducted without reports BI will become redundant, until then BI is integral to business success.
Background 2: After the 1008 (October 2008) financial meltdown companies, executives and business owners have been thinking in a state of flux and distrust to conventional norms
Background 3: Some companies have considered 100% Offshoring of BI as a solutions

I've seen so many claims over the years that offshoring "works" and is cost effective, and yet in 30 years of experience working with Fortune 100's, 500's and numerous companies that have attempted this for mission critical projects I have yet to see a model that really does "work". The largest offshore firms, when being candid and honest, will fess up and acknowledge that it's virtually impossible to simply hand-off a complex IT project to a firm that is thousands of miles away, separated by space, timezone and culture, and expect the project to work well. The honest firms will tell you that it takes a serious partnership between the client and offshore provider that may take a few years to bear fruit. Companies like Morgan Stanley dealt with this by sending a sizable team of their own NYC staff to India to spearhead an offshore shop, so that they could bring the company's culture and management processes to this new location where labor is cheaper.
Jonathan Strong - COO, CIO
What I would consider to offshore is more generic functions like Business Content loading and some data extraction, but when it comes to modeling and reporting on specific customer needs offshoring is not an option.
De Villiers Botha, Johannesburg

Just think about the critical business decisions made every day within a typical organization. Many poor decisions are made when they lack timely and accurate information. For example the sales manager who tells a customer he can't service their critical need because he has incorrect inventory data. These types of mistakes can easily cost a company millions of dollars each year, more than enough to support a strong BI organization.
Steven Weiand  PM BI

From a strategy point of view these are almost rhetorical in my opinion...but what does upper management really want to control? Cost or quality
Reference points: Microsoft CRM/BI offshore vs. Dell- Domestic; Auto mfr in the maquiladora region who came back to U.S. due to quality issues; Chinese pet food....the list goes on. Good precursor is "Theory Z" by Ken Ouchi(?) written back in the 90s
Bill Morrison, PM Balboa

Bottom Line not a good idea at all. What you cannot solve 100 feet from your business folks with expensive resources, how do you plan to solve 10,000 miles away with the lowest costs resources

Jan 13, 2010

The BVA Singularity Framework

Angels & Demons of BI Project Success

Build your BI Social pool

Just walking out of a customer in Houston where both business and IT folks are top of the class - but they can't communicate to each other.  Both parties think they are right, which is acceptable. But when both parties think the other is wrong that is a smoulder management needs to extinguish immediately.
But where do i start.

Our recommendation to this custom 'Build a social interaction engine' call it mindpool, build as a wiki.

step 1 - ideaforge (eliminate animosity and develop trust)
1. Idea / proposal must have clear ownership. Develops trust allocates kudo points to the right source.
2. It is instantly shared
3. It is instantly exposed to 'Blink transparency' from Gladwell's book blink (trust your gut feeling first).

example: when JoAnne sales were declining management went for the finance option - cut costs. Step 1 was to centralize stocks. Total disaster. Savior step: - build a social engine that elimiminated vertical silos of Finance, Sales, Stores, etc by creating a horizontal business value owner. Each store shared instant stock position of slow moving / dead items. Other stores swapped by regional demands. In 6 months JoAnne was back on the fast lane.

step 2 - BIForge
Both business and IT to give ideas how to make things better. Same rules apply.
- What do you think will make a process better? instantly shared
- What does not / will not?
- Is business listening to your needs?
- Are the developers understanding business needs?
Teams need to jointly know if they are on the right track

step 3 - with BIforge confidence established
- each request tracked in the wiki
- step by step, and gate pass, tracking with analytics
- BI pool analytics

Dont see why this should not be another great success

Jan 12, 2010

New Movie release and BI initiatives

 Success of a BI initiative is very similar to the release of a new movie.

It does not matter how fast or how much you spent on making the movie, but how it does in the first two weeks.
Very like a BI project the life of the movie is defined in these first few weeks – mega hit, will make a profit, will make a loss, few might see it, or a flop.
However, the major difference is due to the lack of public, or shareholder, inputs we often declare a flop as a success for various reasons and then spend the next few years trying to turn around our so-so movie into a success.
In BI this is possible. In strategic planning this is avoidable
Coming from over 9 years of Sr. business management experience and over 25,000 hours of working with BI customer in a business facing, lead, project manager, architect, and modeler the contents of this book are concepts you can work with starting next Monday.
We have identified the lack of a methodology to explicitly identify and prioritize the Attainment of Business Value in BI initiatives.
So when your BI project goes live its success is announced on week 1 and often users stop using part, or all, of the BI delivered in 10-12 weeks.
Use this book to assure a mega hit first time, every time

Jan 10, 2010

The Big Issues for BI _ January 2010

August 2008, Forrester
- BI relegated to #5 priority due to high investments and low ROI

Feb 2009: Gartner:
- Business not attaining expected business value from their investments
- BI relegated to # 1 priority for 2009-13 period

Mar 2009, Sapphire (SAP)
- Query performance and 'Blink Analytics'

June 2009 Gartner
- Lack of business particiaption in BI Initiatives

2009 SCM International
- Ability to predict supplier failure on global supply chains 

2009 Financial markets
- inability to analyze risk in a timely manner

- Poor data quality and Inaccuratte analytics

- Lack of planning in achieving Business Value Attainment from BI Investments

Gartner's Hot-List for the 2010 BI Conference

Here is the list of hot topics scheduled for the 2010 Gartner BI conferences. When we look over the list the three things we need to focus on
1. BI Strategy
2. Performance and
3. Data Quality

Here is Gartners 2010 Agenda of 'Hot List' topics
• Creating a successful BI strategy
• Corporate performance management best practices
• New BI business models and Pattern-Based Strategy
• Data and content in the cloud
• BI competency center and BI roles and organization
• Gathering requirements and building an RFP
• Choosing and managing performance metrics
• Analytics and analytical applications
• The high-performing data warehouse
• New delivery models: open-source BI and BI as a service
• Trends in information infrastructure and enterprise information management
• Data quality and data integration convergence
• Business activity monitoring and the rise of process-driven BI
• BI justification and business value
• BI market trends and vendor evaluations
• New Enterprise 2.0 and enterprise search trends

Gartner's 2010 'Hot-List' topics

Gathering and using business information are critical to driving growth. Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics and Performance Management (PM) initiatives coupled with an innovative and adaptable information infrastructure will play a significant role in helping your organization identify and understand the potential impact of these new business patterns, providing the insight business leaders will find invaluable. New ways of using traditional technologies, coupled with the increasing sophistication of analytic applications and the emergence of mash-ups, offer huge potential for IT to help adapt and grow the business for this new world.

There is evidence that firms are increasing investment. With nearly half of organizations anticipating that BI budgets will increase in the next 12 months, it is vital that investments are deployed that build - and develop - the use of these investments in the business. In spite of significant opportunities in supporting the business, obstacles still abound: unengaged business sponsors; lack of business user involvement; fragmented information silos and governance; BI tool proliferation; poor data integrity coupled with poor quality and inconsistency, skills gap can lead to low adoption rates amongst business users and unrealized business value.

Jan 9, 2010

Book publishing planned for Q1 of 2010

BI Valuenomics planned for publishing in Q1 of 2010

Jan 6, 2010

Who murdered our BW

There is a divergent trend that in ongoing in BI across the planet

School 1- Change the DW.
This group of companies rant DW 1, either Oracle DW, SAP BW, or other apps and then they did not reach their promised, or expected. In this group SAP BW customers are moving to Teradata and Oracle, Oracle customers are moving to SAP BW and Teradata, and I assume some other customers are also moving to alternative platforms. Other BW companies have been convinced to change their database from Oracle to DB2 or visa versa. Still other companies have implemented expensive accelerator appliances adn now delivery reports that users cannot use, but faster.
Recommendation: The fault mostly like in the following mistakes [1] lack of business
participation; [2] Lack of Architecture / modeling; [3] Lack of Business Value audits and Checks. Our findings: Technology is just a catalyst and will underperform, simply perform, or outperform depending on how we have designed and modeled the
technology. Motto: 'You cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results'Solution: Involve business from the very start, ownership and accountability. Ensure BI intelligence injected before they make their decisions on someone elses
value drivers. Don't blame inanimate objects for murdering your BW.

School 2: Change the Driver:
When a company recently went live and users stopped using their BW in under 6 weeks they went and fired the whole BW team. The BW team on their side quoted the successful go-live and having delivered all the objects they were supposed to. The vendor showed their contract and confirmed they delivered in accordance to business sign-offs. The customer BW PM said she was only following deliverables, resources and times and simply 
followed standard PMP rules, the client PM the same. The steering committee
said they had no idea of BI and had signed off the project on recommendations of their key stakeholders. The key stakeholders said they had based  their recommendations based on the recommendations of the triad partners, SW/HW & Implementing,  and their findings and recommendations along with  presentations  from successful customers.  THE SW partners said the product had been deployed successfully and was the best of the best; The HW partner the same. The implementing partner said they delivered in accordance to their contract and business signoffs. The stock holders never heard about any of this, nor ever will. The buck kept zooming all over the place - scenario is pure quicksilver.
 Recommendation:  There was no one to blame. In the whole process of selection, planning, delivery, testing and deployment there was no 'Business Value
Attainment' process, check or audits. If BVA was never sown it should come as no
surprise if it was not available for harvest.Our findings: No one was at fault. Gartner states that 42% of BI projects fail, this was just a statistical aberration. company had a detailed 'Lesson Learned' session and viola just 3  years later history repeated itself. SAP stated in 2006 that only 52% companies realize business expectations at time of go live.
Motto: 'Plan your work and only then work your plan. Make sure you have a BVA owner  and weekly audit process. Solution: Rather than playing the blame game later with millions down the drain, it is far better to add a single Business Value Audit process to the murder mystery above. Motto: While success has many fathers, failure looses its parents faster than the speed of light'
So finally you decide who murdered the BI project most??

Angels and Devils of a BI Project plan

Size of the ring is the impact force. Green is a positive impacts, red negative. Orange is on the side of red, and Grey must be considered. So a large grey circle 'BI Strategy' or 'BI Best Practice' are both highly essential components. Whereas the big green circle for 'BI Standards' is mandatory. Good standards that is not the R/3 legacy of Z and Y standards. Similarly ' So a large circle, i.e. 'Business as BI Owners / Advisors' is a very positive impact. Whereas the last one 'Project without business participation' is a large red circle thus a very negative impact.
Use this as a checklist for your project in the future, or one for the past and see if it stands true.

Every small decision we take has a monumental impact on the BVA (Business Value Attainment) component of a DW project. It is critical for decision makers to identify their Devils before they do their Angels.
It is equally critical to identify your angels as they are the ones to bring you success.

The above diagram is an example of the different components involved in a BI decision process and the impact they have on the BI project.

BI Still Hindered By Technical Problems By Antone Gonsalves

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/business_intelligence/reviews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=222002794
InformationWeek   December 21, 2009 08:26 AM
A survey of BI professionals found the success rates of business intelligence deployments largely unchanged from the last survey in 2007.

Business intelligence usage continues to be hindered by a number of technical factors, such as data quality, reliability of the BI system and access to relevant data, a survey showed.
In addition, the 2009 survey of 324 BI professionals by BI Scorecard found the success rates of BI deployments were largely unchanged from the last survey in 2007. The majority of deployments were "stuck in the middle, with only slight to moderate success and business impact," Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard and a regular contributor to Intelligent Enterprise, said in a recent report based on the survey.
On the brighter side of the findings, the survey found that 85% of BI projects have executive-level sponsorship, a key factor for success. In addition, the number of companies standardizing on a BI platform or particular modules has increased dramatically, and those that have taken a strategic approach to their BI tool portfolio were mostly likely to reap the benefits.

Specifically, the 2009 survey found that 29% of BI deployments were slightly successful and 47% were moderately successful. Only 21% of the respondents rated their deployments very successful.

"A number of technical factors continue to contribute to -- or hinder -- stronger BI impact," the report said. "Data quality, reliability of the BI system and access to relevant data are the most important technical factors."

Nevertheless, BI has had a somewhat-to-significant impact on 70% of the organizations represented in the survey. However, the percentage rated that impact as significant declined to 25% from 32% in 2007.

"Given the differences in the state of the economy in 2007 versus 2009, this decline may indeed be that BI was less effective, or it may be a reflection BI could not save many companies from making bad decision," the report said.
The survey also found that "pervasive BI" remained more vision that reality, with 24% of employees using BI. That percentage was unchanged from 2007.
Nevertheless, usage by particular user categories, such as front-line and field workers, showed substantial increases. This is important because for BI to have a more profound business impact, it needs to be used by all personnel who make decisions, the report said.

value vs. business value

Feb 2009, 1,5000 CIO's told Gartner that despite investing large budgets into BI they were not attaining business expectations.

Value is subjective while business value is objective.

While value means different things to different partners, business value is the true measure of BI success.

The only measure of success is whether users like your BI or not, everything else is an opinion or an interpretation.

Join hands to define an actionable roadmap to 'BI Business Value Attainment'

PS globally we spent over $61 billion on BI in 2008, $8.8 billion on BI SW alone, with 25% of that to SAP Business Objects installations.

Jan 3, 2010

The Battle of Business and Intelligence

Alexander Paleologies & Rudy Garcia SAP Procurement leads at Anderson Consulting and SCC said in 2002- 'Two things missing from many BI implementations - business and intelligence'
Our quest leads us to ask why Business, Intelligence and Technology are divided. As BI is about making the business connection why has evolution so carefully prevented the merging of these three critical components that spell BI SUCCESS.

There is nonetheless a significant difference in how these three components work.
Normally we expect Business, intelligence and technology to work in harmony by conflicting power blocks, influence areas and individual agendas derail the harmonizing process. The irony is that that we may not even be aware of this constant battle and its effect on the overall performance and Business Value success of our BI investments.

As a comparison these are three hemispheres that need to harmonize in Business Intelligence. Very much like the two hemispheres of the brain. If not then the whole process becomes dysfunctional. The three hemispheres are BIT.
So rather than delve into the three hemispheres of BI let’s talk of the two hemispheres of the brain and see if we can learn anything from our own way of thinking.

From standard neuropsychology it seems evident that the right hemisphere pays wide open attention to the whole world. It sees the overall status of our environment. While the left hemisphere focuses on specific details. Thus new experiences are best handled by the right and analysis and detailed focus of past experiences by the left. The right hemisphere view is based on global trends and nuances of global influences.

Conversely because of the sharp focus the left hemisphere is unable to see the total view - it is inherently blind to the world around us.
There is a reason we have two hemispheres. We need both versions of the world.

Without the global right version we become socially impaired, emotionally insensitive, and have unbalanced understanding of our art, beauty, social norms, and religion.

Without the left hemisphere we continue to struggle capabilities to bring anything to focus or review anything in detail.

If a person, or society were to imbalance itself more on any one hemisphere there will come a time for corrections.

According to Ian McGilchrist, in WSJ, for the last 2,500 years we have focused a greater imbalance towards the left side of the brain. Greece pointed out many centuries ago how leveraging both hemispheres can bring about harmony. It taught us to look at both the society and ourselves in logic, politics, art. The great tragic Greek drama is based on this fundamental balance of the outside and the inside. During the convergence age, i.e. 500BC to 100BC there was a lot of work on the right side of the brain thus we find all the leaders of philosophy, religion and theology exist in that specific period.

On the science side we have focused on the left side of the brain.

In time an imbalance has appeared. In time the partnership somehow got lost.
Today we are in the Information Age. Getting back to our world we see a lot of left brain development in our BI evolution. Science, technology and focus has dominated the BI development and analytics. The right hemisphere has been systematically discounted.
Getting back to BI and just focusing on three hemispheres, i.e. Business, intelligence and Technology we see that technology is a left hemisphere embodiment, Intelligence a Right hemisphere and business a mixture of the two.
In the late 80's to the end of the last century when Bill Inmon introduced the concepts of BI they were left centric. DW was all about data and focus on data. it was assumed, and still is in most data warehouses that if you have all the data then companies should be able to get any information -so the focus was technology and data. What this has resulted in is extremely large DW's that do not deliver in accordance to Business expectations. Basis of this assumption is the feedback from 1,500 CEO's in the Gartner BI report of Feb 2009.

By the early 2000 DW started to become Business Intelligence. What evolved was the introduction of Intelligence. As more and more companies invested into Bi they all had two common experiences

1. Users scored in the 90's when asked if their BI had the potential to delivr their needs.
    The continue to score in the 20's and 30's when asked if current reports meet their business needs
2. The gap between potential and Attainment is the BI enigma of the century, we call it Business Value Attainment
What business needed in the middle of Intelligence and Technology was reports that they could use on a day-to-day basis, but the battle of Tech vs. Intelligence wages on and business got caught in the middle.

Technology is exclusive of business or intelligence. It does not consider business needs or has the capabilities to deliver to business needs independent of business or intelligence.

Intelligence is inclusive of technology and business. It needs the input from business and then review the technology for its capabilities and limitations

Business still needs their day to day reports and only then the fancy metrics and dashboards that technology continues to sprout across the planet in all their BI implementations. So what most BI implementations end up with is fancy metrics that need another 2-3 years to actually fix, and little or no day-to-day actionable reports.
Whereas Intelligence feeds on negative feedback, business needs simple actionable inputs. Technology unfortunately got locked ever further into its own points of views. It capabilities are limited to doing the same thing and no further unless Intelligence or business intervenes.
Thus as our BI world becomes more and more rule and technology bound, we may possibly loose our ability to listen to business and thereby leverage the intelligence component so essential for Business Intelligence.
In the recent past there is a great reliance on conceptual and technology values. In going all out for for what we believe will bring us business value realization, we exploit business and intelligence and sometimes begin to see ourselves as alien to them. We have see some BI implementations where communicating with business about BI Deliverables, plans or designs is prohibited. In this single step we have also compromised intelligence and put all our eggs into the technology basket.

Roadmap to save $20 billion of BI investments

Gartner Feb 2009 based on feedback of 1,500 CEO's
- BI CAGR (compound annual growth) growth expected to be around 15.3% for the 2009-12 period
- Companies not realizing expectations from their BI investments
- BI Ranked as the #1 priority for 2009-13 period

Gartner June 2009
- in 2009 the BI market grew by 22%, Australia grew by 16.7%
- By 2020 BI Spend for Healthcare industry will be 82% of IT spend
- 2008 BI Software Sales were at $8.8 billion
- By acquiring Busines Objects SAP dominated 25% of the BI SW sales market, followed by Oracle and SAS at 14.6 %, IBM 11% and Microsoft at 7.7%

SAP reports
- SW : Implementation costs are 1:7 (Teched 2009)
- SAP Implementation customers report that 52% of them realize business value at time of Golive

Global BI Stats:
  • 50-60% of BI implementations reported realizing Business value at time of go live
  • 18% reported not attaining their business value after 12 months of go live
  • $ 8.8 billion spent on BI SW sales

So here is the computation for 2008
  • Cost ratios between SW:Implementation is 1:7 (TechEd 2009)
  • Total reported BI  investment = $61.6 billion
  • 48% of total spend (i.e. failure rate) = $29.568 billion
IMAGINE - There is a potential of saving $29 billion of wasted funds allocated to non value BI initiatives.

The aim of this book is to jointly decrease this $29 billion wasteage. $'s we spent in 2008 and reduce this by 50% by 2013.

Proactive Value enhancement
  • Save 48% of your BI investments ( we knwo the number is larger than reported)
  • Get higher User satisfaction in all your future and current BI investments
  • Deploy a BVA (Business Valeu checklist) everytime someone sells you their 'value'
  • Refer to your process to weed out non BVA ideas and suggestions




How to follow the author

Twitter: BIWatchdog

LinkediGroup: BI CENTRAL

Blog:  http://bivaluearchitect.blogspot.com/

email: hguleria@bidatabridge.com


HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.

Have been busy this last year on a book....skeletol details now available on this website. Any value recommendations are welcome

The research focuses on increasing the 'Business Value Attainment', referred to as BVA and its fundamental difference from Value in isolation.
It highlights the challenges business owners and management face, as new customer and existing customers and makes business owners 'intelligent' BI participants in the BI implementation process.

unlike all previous books written on BI and SAP BW this one fucuses on the business side of Business Intelligence with the single assumption, backed by all the reports from Gartner and customers. The two things that might be missing from most BI implementations are 'Business and Intelligence'

The fundamentals of the book are the concerns of the Gartner report and the need of the CEO's Gartner talked to with one single aim - increase BVA.

Jan 2, 2010

BOOK 2 CHAPTERS - BI Valuenomics for SAP BI (June 2010)

• Forward
• Preface

• What to expect from this book
• The BVA Study
• The Book
• Acknowledgements
• How to use the Book
• The Soft Crisis facing global BI Implementations

SECTION 1 - A C Level management value Drivers
Executive guidelines for BI
• 1A.00 BI, Business Value and the missing link
• 1A.01 Changing the definition of BI Success
• 1A.02 Building a Sustainable BI Strategy
• 1A.03 The impact tof Architecture, modeling and Standards on BI
• 1A.04 The evolving role of corporate performance management
• 1A.05 Center of Excellence or Center of Mediocrity
• 1A.06 Metrics, dashboards or operational reports – the BI Dilemma
• 1A.07 Data explosion and its impact on your BI
• 1A.08 Letting the fresh air in. Social Network analysis
• 1A.09 The impact of Self Service on BI
• 1A. 10 How BI and MDM join hands for data quality
• 1A.11 The impact of standards on Data Quality & Governance
• 1A.12 Leveraging your Portal as a BI Strategy
• 1A.13 The death of DW and birth of in-situ BI
• 1A.14 Determining the "return on BI" via identifying the ‘missing Link’
• 1A.15 Performance management and compliance
• 1A.16 BI trends and the super players
• 1A.17 Best practices in BI Project management

SECTION 2 - A Business Owners- executive value Drivers
New Customers - Business Value Drivers
• 2A.01 The ‘Missing Link’ in all BI Projects worldwide ***
• 2A.02 Redefining BI Project Success ***
• 2A.03 Independent BW Value Owners ***
• 2A.04 What all C level managers need to know about BI
• 2A.05 3 most critical considerations for BI success
• 2A.06 How to measure BI Success
• 2A.07 Who should own BVA in a BI Project
• 2A.08 What is most important for BI Success?
• 2A.09 How is Value different from Business Value
• 2A.10 BI Strategy & Best practices
• 2A.11 Global BI Cookbook
• 2A.12 BI Infrastructure and landscape
• 2A.13 BI Project Planning
• 2A.14 BI Standards
• 2A.14 BI Architecture
• 2A.15 BI Modeling
• 2A.16 Cut-over planning and BI Go-Live
• 2A.17 Post production support
• 2A.18 new technologies & the future of BI
             o ETL Tools
             o OLAP Tools
             o BW Accelerator
             o BO Explorer
             o Business Objects and BOBJ
             o BO Excelsius
             o BW 7.2 (new features)

SECTION 2 – Business executive value Drivers
2B Post production BW Value Drivers
• 2B.00 BW Maturity Matrix
• 2B.02 Post Go-live analysis of your BI
• 2B.02 Center of Excellence
• 2B.03 C level value measures
• 2B.04 BVA – Business Value Attainment
• 2B.05 Key questions of a CIO / CFO
• 2B.06 Assuring BVA in BI Projects
• 2B.07 Value of BI Strategy and Best practice – reassess
• 2B.08 Data Quality & Governance
• 2B.09 BI Re-Architecture
• 2B.20 BI Re-Modeling
• 2B.11 Measuring BI Success after the event

SECTION 2 – Business Owners value Drivers
2C BW Upgrades & New Installations
• 2C.00 BI Upgrades
• 2C.01 When to Upgrade
• 2C.02 BW Upgrade Options
• 2C.03 How long should a BW Upgrade take
• 2C.04 BW Upgrade Resource and Skill requirements
• 2C.05 BW Upgrade planning
• 2C.06 Enterprise Portal
• 2C.07 BW Accelerator
• 2C.08 BO Explorer
• 2C.09 Modeling for BW Accelerator
• 2C.10 Modeling for BO Explorer

SECTION 3 - Business User guide to BW
3A Business view of technical components
• 3A.01 The science of BI Strategy
• 3A.02 Engineering BI Data Architectures
• 3A.03 BI Standards and processes
• 3A.04 BW Architecture & Modeling
• 3A.05 BI Data Quality and data Governance
• 3A.06 Building uniformity - BI Cookbook

SECTION 4 - Business User Guide to BW
4A Introduction to SAP BW – non technical
• 4A.00 An executive view of BW Objects
• 4A.01 BW Objects
• 4A.02 Data modeling & Information modeling
• 4A.03 BW technology stack
• 4A.04 BW Data flow considerations
• 4A.05 About InfoObjects and Key Figures
• 4A.06 ODS, DSO, InfoCube and MultiProvider
• 4A.07 BW Business Analyst
• 4A.08 A SIPOC flow of BW tasks
• 4A.09 BW Accelerator
• 4A.10 BO Explorer

SECTION 5 - Samples

5.1 XXX

Introduction to BI Valuenomics

 Fact 1:
In Feb. 2009 Gartner released a report on global BI. Based on feedback from over 1,400 CEO's worldwide they reported the following feedback.

1. Companies are not realizing expected business value from their BI Investments

2. Despite this their #1 priority for 2009 to 13 is BI

Fact 2
Upon further review companies invested $8.8 billion in BI software in 2008 (source Gartner, June 2009
This computes to a spend of around $61.6 billion on implementing all that BI
Which in turn is a total spend of over $ 70 billion on BI
Fact 3:
SAP ASUG reported in 2006 that 52% of SAP customers realized business expectations at time of go live
Gartner reports success ratios of around 55-60% for BI projects

This computes that out of approximately $70 billion invested in BI in 2008 around $30 billion deemed as recoverable.
From Jan to November 2009The author, along with assistance from over 300 resources across the planet, conducted a survey to identify and define this 'MISSING LINK' - Business Value Attainment in BI.
We had a 'eureka moment' in September 2009 and the result of that is shared in BI Valuenomics.
This is possibly the Holy Grail of Business Intelligence: The book outlines an actionable roadmap for attaining the elusive 'missing link' and guides readers on a proven path towards increasing user satisfaction from the low 40s and 50s to over 80 percent, and saving a large porion of the 40 to 45% whoich companies will possibly loose without a Business Value engine or a process in their BI projects.
This book is a goldmine for new BI customers, as much as it is for existing customers.
Unlike previous books on SAP BW this book undertakes a unique journey in guiding the executive management and business owners on key success factors that lead to higher business value. It covers very little on the technology side of BW as that is more than covered by so many book in the market.
It redefines some critical decision points that make it such good reading.
This book has 5 sections

Section 1 is for C level managers and business owners with executive briefs on key success factors. It is designed for new customers.It also for existing Business Owners and reintroduces critical components such as data Quality, architecture and Modeling from a Business and not technology perspective

Section 2 is Post production business decision support

Section 3 is for the technical side of BW but viewed from a functional / business point of view. It assists business decision makers to become 'intelligent' BI participants.

Section 4 deals with Introduction to BW, once again an executive look at the various layering’s of BW and how each part works, or does not with other critical components.

Section 5 contains invaluable templates and samples of critical components like Standards, Risk Registers, BI Center of Excellence and other documents that teams can use for their projects.
It also contains a list of whitepapers that are available for the asking..
The book is planned for release in Q1 of 2010, around end march to April, 2010