Facebook CEO Mark Zukerburg recently stated that 'Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good" he continued, "exceptional people are a hundred times better than mediocre people.
This resonates with what Netscapes cofounder once said "The gap between what a highly productive person can do and what an average person can do is getting bigger and bigger", he continued "Five great programmers can completely outperform 1,000 mediocre developers".
In a BI project the question becomes your exceptional person should be a technical developer on the team, the architect or the project manager. Should he be the business value owner or the BI Business value architect.
The second question is that can a single prima-donna provide a strategic BI solution if they are not a team player, or is it important to sound like a symphony with teaming and joint solutions led by an exceptional person.
The key to companies selling BI products lies in a proven solution. 1 for the outside and one for the inside.
The same rule applies in BI projects. One person dealing with business and one technical lead taking ownership of ensuring that all business proposals are based on technical reality.
"After examining the careers of more than 160 star BI rsources, and conducting more than two hundred frank interviews, we came to a striking conclusion: star BI resources / analysts who are technology facing an immediate and lasting decline in their BI deliverables / performance. Their earlier excellence appears to have depended heavily on their former firms' general and proprietary resources, organizational cultures, networks, and technical colleagues. There are a few exceptions, such as stars that move with their teams and stars that switch to working with business to define lasting solutions. Female stars tend to outperform their male counterparts. But most stars who come from a technical background turn out to be only 'technology is king' meteors, quickly losing luster in their new BI settings."
So your exceptional person has to be solution focused. As the solution of BI lies in business needs - the person must be business focused.