Mar

20

2017

BI Diretors Selling BI Projects.png

Do BI Directors Really Have to Sell BI Projects?

By: PJ Hoke

When it comes to business intelligence, there’s an inherent gap between IT and business groups. IT is focused on technical restrictions and providing BI solutions that align with the reality of the business, while business groups come up with the BI desires that will make an impact on the business. To bridge the gap between desire and reality, it is usually up to the BI Director. The key question is, how does a BI Director go about bridging this gap? By selling BI projects effectively to both sides.

Common BI Director Challenges

Selling BI projects comes with more challenges than simply translating desire into reality, however. There may be an overall lack of vision or adoption in the company concerning BI. Perhaps there isn’t an existing BI platform or maybe it’s difficult to standardize on a BI platform. Other challenges include hesitancies about BI being scalable, concerns about ROI, inabilities to put a plan into practice and a lack of data governance and integrity. Fortunately, there are several ways to address these challenges and get both IT and business groups on the same page.

Skills Needed to Sell BI Projects Effectively

Evangelizing the value of BI is the top priority here. Once people see the value of a BI Project, it will be easier to justify the cost. According to CIO Magazine, there are 10 keys to a successful BI strategy that you can use to sell a BI project to your team:

  1. Choose a C-level sponsor (who’s not the CIO).
  2. Create common definitions.
  3. Assess the current situation.
  4. Create a plan for data storage.
  5. Understand what users need.
  6. Decide whether to buy or build the analytical data model.
  7. Consider all business intelligence components.
  8. Choose a systems integrator.
  9. Think “actionable” and “baby steps.”
  10. Choose low-hanging fruit to start.

Read the full article to learn more about these keys. The good news is that you don’t have to sell all of these yourself. By hiring a BI consulting firm, you’ll be able to accelerate delivery of your BI project.

How a BI Consulting Firm Can Help

A BI consulting firm can provide an outside view and opinion of your BI environment. BI consultants are highly skilled professionals that give you the extra horsepower you need during the project’s design and implementation. They’re also usually more cost effective than hiring, onboarding and training a new employee. Here are a few other benefits to bringing in a BI consulting firm:

  • They offer an unbiased opinion: A BI consulting firm acts as a neutral party to help make decisions on controversial projects without getting wrapped up in emotions.
  • They provide confirmation for new ideas: If you’re attempting to run with a new idea that might not be well received within your organization, a BI consulting firm can bring clarity to an idea and help define the roadmap.
  • They bring in new ideas: A BI consulting firm can bring innovative ideas to help define a vision and implement a plan to jumpstart a BI initiative.

Yes, BI Directors really do have to sell BI Projects. But if you focus on evangelizing and accelerating the value of BI, consider having a consulting firm assist you, you’ll be able to sell BI projects more effectively.

5 Steps to Sell a BI Strategy Upstream