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.

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