26 Sep

Business Intelligence Gatekeepers


Aim to improve business processes and unlock new opportunities

Gatekeeper (noun): an attendant employed to control who goes through a gate

BI Gatekeeper: Individual deciding what information to include and make available.

The creation of a central base of information for decision making and analytical purposes is all too often being stalled due to a lack of understanding of the processes involved in delivering valuable information.

Individuals and/or Business Intelligence Gatekeepers following their own agendas might purport exaggerated reliance on technology or act indifferent towards strategic business objectives.

Even though a thorough understanding of technology and knowledge of the latest developments in the field of Business Intelligence is beneficial, those in the driver’s seats should be motivated to support business objectives while simultaneously aiming to improve business processes and unlocking new business opportunities.

Open the BI Gates

Although business drivers have largely remained the same over the past decade: increased customer retention, improved service quality, speed to market with new products and services and fraud detection to name a few,  the landscape within which we have to deliver intelligent Business Intelligence has drastically changed

In-depth knowledge of all aspects of the data collection processes forms the backbone for success. It is of paramount importance to be able to apply data management practices, processes and principles spanning data quality, data integration and data analytics to frequently changing data resources.

Of course, technological prowess will be a benefit, but no Business Intelligence project should be guided solely by Technocrats’ visions.

There is little point in debating the merits of Data Lakes versus Data Warehouses or to ETL or ELT or not, prior to having an overall BI blueprint in place whilst the window of opportunity for strategically utilising information close.

Several critical steps in data collection and utilization projects must be considered to fully realize business value.   More time should be spent to determine what information is required to guide the organisation into its strategic future. Coupled with this the entire “data management for analytics” process must be reviewed for improvement; from retrieving, cleaning, restructuring and storing through delivering to the end user in their requested medium.

Another deterring factor for delivering successful Business Intelligence is ineffective planning which results in many mothballed projects. Over and above, if BI Gatekeepers are tolerated to use data projects as internal weapons, this downward spiral will continue resulting in millions of Rands wasted annually.  Devastating one of the business’s most valuable assets: DATA!

Democratisation of Information

BI starts and ends with people, their level of skill and experience and the ability to rapidly adapt to change.  It is crucial to invest in formal training and address any skills gaps by appointing a reputable BI partner who has a philosophy of skills transfer. These are just some of the actions that precede designing solutions and the selection of suitable technology.

Instead of being Business Intelligence Gatekeepers, we should strive to be Masters of the Information Galaxy.  A democratisation of Information is within reach.

Be sure to attend our four-day “Concepts, Design and Modeling for Extended Data Warehousing” course should you want to get a good understanding of how to improve information democratisation.

No more BI Gatekeeping!



Written by Susan Andrè


Business Essentials is Africa’s premium networking and business directory.

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