PART 02: Business Intelligence Strategy

I started this blog to write about my daily, weekly or monthly impressions of my actual job. But what I have learned in the last days and weeks was that the basics of business intelligence are not in everyones mind. A lot of guys and girls are confused if you talk about Business Intelligence (BI), data warehousing (DWH) and the core elements.

The problem in our discussions are not my partners education or experience, it is simply the total loss of terms and their meaning. When I talk about Business Intelligence or any other topic of my area of expertise, I have always a definition of it in my mind. Before I write about any topic in the future, I will provide a definition first. And after this definition, I will write some basic explanations to introduce you in my world of BI & DWH. Do you know what I mean? I will explain it in the next paragraphs.

My definition of Business Intelligence:

„Business Intelligence is an initiative in user companies in order to collect, transform and provide data for users to plan, control and steer the company to achieve the company´s goals.“

You can simplify the message of this definition further to:

„Use data to reach your company`s goals“

But we return to the first definition. What I want to show is that Business Intelligence is not a technology-driven topic. It is one part of it and most of the people in the world focus on this issue. You have some many consultancies and analysts which talk, write and speak about the vendor`s products (like SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAS, Tableau, Qlik and all the others) but only a few experts who concentrate on the topics BI strategy, BI organization and business requirements. If you do not focus on these topics, your business intelligence project or initiative will not succeed. I promise.

To sum it up: Business Intelligence bases on the three core elements: organization, technology and business (requirements). If you can remember the header of this post, I wrote that BI strategy is an core element, too. The BI strategy is an outcome out of the three elements. You can see it in the picture below.

BI core elements

I explained some sentences before that I will bring a definition for every term which could be misunderstood. So let`s define the core elements:

Core element technology

„Business Intelligence Technology includes software, hardware and middleware as well as instructions for the usage of it.“

This means that the element technology focuses on business intelligence software and hardware and gives a clear statement which technology and how it is used in the company. Furthermore, there has to be a tool strategy, a construction plan and an general overview about the architecture of the information transportation.

Core element organisation

„Business Intelligence Organization includes all kind of schedules, processes and regulations for people who are part of the business intelligence initiative“

The outcome of the BI Organization is in general a Business Intelligence Competence Center, a BI Governance and rules of agility.

Core element business

„Business Intelligence business focuses on all clear usage scenarios within the companies departments which promise the profit of a competitive advantage“

That means that Business Intelligence is not only an Financial department- or IT-driven topic in companies. Most of the time these two departments are responsible for the start of BI, but they can affect other departments as well. In addition, the core element business examines the benefit of BI in the departments, users or user groups and the cost efficiency.

Derived core element strategy

„Business intelligence strategy is a high level plan to achieve one ore more goals with the given technological, organizational and business circumstances under conditions of uncertainty.“

My recommendation is that to write the BI strategy down in just one or two sentences, so that everyone can understand why the business intelligence initiative or project has or will be started.


About Tobias Riedner
Tobias Riedner foundet in 2015. He works and worked as innovator, consultant, analyst and educator in the fields of business intelligence and data warehousing. He learned a lot from the best consultants, managers und educators in the past and shares his knowledge worldwide. He works for a steady growing traditional company which is a leader in industry 4.0.