“Do not dwell on assumption and expectations, bet the health of your BI environment on scientific checks and an official healt report annually” The Scientific Principles of Information Delivery, 2012
In part 1 of this paper we talked about standard health checks. The most critical on of them is is the foundation of the methodology which is your documented and communicated ‘Global BI Cookbook’
The additional recommendations of 'The Scientific Principles of Information Delivry', a book due for release around Q3 of 2012 has the following new recommendations and caveats.
a. Conduct a BI Health check every year to ‘information freeze’ risk: Crossword and puzzles are great for the brain, but looking at the same report year after year can sometimes cause corporate tunnel vision. While it is necessary to have some corporate reports that remain strategically constant, it is still necessary to change reporting to suite market changes. Being overweight doubles your risk of information freeze and obesity quadruples it. The aim of all developments should be to keep your BI healthy for the life of the organization. “If you do nothing but keep feeding it garbage, the health of your BI has to deteriorate. According to Gartners report more than 50% of global BI’s are genetically predisposed to the disease of failure, just as 20% of Americans are predisposed to Alzheimer. An annual check will prevent a brain-seizure that gets out of control or costs your company millions of dollars to fix.
b. Do not buy without alternatives analysis: Over the last year the author has visited BI projects that installed BWA but did not need it, Installed BOBJ but did it the wrong way, installed Teradata because their Oracle DW was designed all wrong, and the list goes on and on. Common sense mandates that when companies spend millions of dollars they conduct due alternatives analysis. But the fact is that they do not. So when your current initiative expires, or does not deliver in accordance to business expectations then the basic foundations were wrong. Hire a BI Business Value Architect to get this step right and save yourself and your company deep headaches strategically.
c. Watch the numbers very closely: The 10 week brain seizurerisk assessment that’s been stated for ling may have been a BI paradigm until 2010 but it is no longer so. BI Valuenomics solved that. If watching numbers is elusive see ‘Moneyball’ the movie once again. ‘98% of BI projects are declared successful in week 1, yet less than 50% remain successful by week 10’ is a very numbers statement. Most companies let their vendors go after 4 weeks of support and fall off the cliff by week 10. Demand a 11 week support and things will change. Most BI installations demand quantity and most of them risk major medical surgery drowning in the numbers and gasping for quality. A recent study of may BI installations demonstrated that the risk of brain-seizure decreased by over 40% by simply applying the scientific principles of BVA (Business Value Attainment). This was constant and not influenced by the amount of money the company had invested into their BI initiative.
d. Cosmetic surgery is never beneficial: The most inefficient point to conduct transformations is in the OLAP layer, yet over 80% of BI initiatives do it precisely there. The reason for this is technocratic data modeling which believes in collecting data as a means of information. This has been proven absolutely erroneous and most inefficient. Three independent studies indicate that OLAP transformation are most ineffecient tactically and strategically. “These studies are not casual” say Alex Paleologoes from Hellenic Technologies, “It degrades performance for all times, i.e. in its current state and even as you apply accelerating technologies”, he continued, “For example if your quesr takes 60 seconds for database, and 30 seconds for OLAP transforms and you install a BWA. With the BWA your database access will go down to 1 second and your OLAP will still take 30 seconds. If you install HANA your database access will take 0.05 seconds and your OLAP will still take 30 seconds. So take care that your surgery is not cosmetic and tactical only.
e. Personalize your Fitness Plan: The Scientific Principls guidelines now stress getting a fitness test between external partners in BI Initiatives. The triad partners and their plans, IT and business co-existance and the overall satisfaction ratings of each partner about every other partner. Most BI projects start with great expectations, but less than 50% of them reach their destinations. Some companies offer Global BI Health Checks , very much like you and I need metabolic rate analysis and fitness tests annually. Wise folks take this seriously and avert major disasters, some wiser ones feel it is a waste of time and effort to go for these annual expams and we all know how their lives end. The goal has to become fit, more fit than the competition, not just to go on a diet and loose weight. Being fit and fat is far superior to being unfit and thin.
f. Don’t stop your medication in the middle: Just like a lot of patients stop taking their antibiotics midway, so too a lot of ‘smart’ executives stop following the advice of ‘BI Business Value Architects’ midway. We were told of an inhouse oofshore operation in Poland where the IT confidence in the group was at 16%. The author proposed a plan that would have taken them in 1 years to over 85%. However, within 4 months the Polish management felt then understood the scientific plans and stopped taking the medicine as they reached 33% satisfaction. They felt they could now do it on their own and took ownership. Penny wise pound foolish, because 16 months later they were still languishing at 31% satisfaction.
g. Before the cancer risk, reduce the heart attack risk: As your queries become more and more slower your instant graticifation, and triad recommendation, will be to go and install a BW Accelerator. However, that will be an error for ‘it add little value to deliver reports, that business does not need, this time only faster’, based on the fact that 40-60% of the reports in your warehouse are useless trash. So before you go and spend millions of dollars on the new Hummer try a little remodeling. It will possibly meet your short term objectives and also slim your BI strategically for when you actually need a BWA.
h. If you don’t understand the problem get a trusted expert: This is standad advice. If the recommendation is something you are willing to bet your job and reputation on then go for it. But, when it fails don’t go around pointing fingers, and firing , others. If in doubt get a second opinion. Not all doctors out there are looking for your good, some of them are also there to perform surgery on you even if you did not need one – just to make a fast buck.
So in order to keep your BI healthy do the right things from a scientific perspective, and not because some sales person convinced you into something that may not be in the best interest of your BI environment.