If you have an understanding of the intelligence of business and what makes a good KPI, you will see if a business intelligence project would be pursued by your company. This segment contains several indications of the effective implementation and utilization of the business intelligence infrastructure by your company.


Consider who is calling for a business intelligence technology initiative in a practical manner. If the technicians are the only drive for this kind of project, the business is not ready for BI. You need to buy-in from potential BI infrastructure consumers; otherwise people would not use it regardless of how beautifully it is made.

Executives need to be shown the realistic expectations of return on investment (ROI) and competitive advantage to be realized from a well-functioning BI infrastructure. Without support from the top, a BI infrastructure project will be starved for both monetary and time resources.

The current keepers of the organization’s data may feel threatened by a BI implementation. Getting these information gatekeepers to cooperate in sharing inside information and explaining those calculations is essential.

Key individuals must be shown their role and contribution to use a BI infrastructure to make key business decisions.

Realistic Expectations

Does your company have reasonable aspirations of a BI project? First, it must be noted that in a few weeks’ time, the IT department will not construct a complete BI system using castoff equipment in its spare time. The BI infrastructure would require expenditure in both computing power and staff time to achieve acceptable results within a realistic timeframe.

Second, it must be recognized that the implementation of the BI project takes considerable time, not only from the technological resources, but also from the business side of the company. The IT department cannot construct a BI solution in a vacuum. It requires the attention of the business stakeholders to explain the needs and identify the KPIs.

Ongoing Care and Feeding

If the BI infrastructure is in place, is there any recognition that it will need capital to provide ongoing support? These services would need to track the operation of the infrastructure in order to identify and fix any issues that might occur. They will also need to strengthen the BI infrastructure as the company expands and evolves.

In some cases, much of this ongoing support can be provided by external consulting resources.  However, there should be at least one internal resource for the company with a large amount of their job description based on managing BI operations.

Well-Defined KPIs

Will your organization be able to identify good KPIs? This is especially true if the organization is rather large and spread out geographically. There must be someone in upper management who can be the final arbiter. That person or group of people must shepherd the KPI definition process.

Actionable KPIs

As mentioned above, KPIs are only useful if they contribute to action within the organization. It is therefore crucial that decision-makers can agree on the usual range for each KPI. Furthermore, they must be able to express the action to be taken when the KPI goes beyond that range. Without these acts, the infrastructure of BI generates little ROI and no competitive advantage.

Reliable data Sources

After identifying the KPIs, the company needs to classify the sources of knowledge for these calculations. Does each part of each KPI calculation have a reliable electronic source? Some of them could come from outside of the company. After the sources are identified, the safe path to connect and get them to the BI infrastructure must be identified.

If a reliable electronic source cannot be determined for a specific piece of information, an alternative must be created. Is a reliable, timely and repeatable procedure possible to collect the necessary information for each of these situations? This may mean that internal workers or external suppliers and business associates manually enter data. It may also mean designing an automated mechanism that doesn’t work at the moment.