Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Four Components of BI Governance

I read in Business Intelligence Best Practices, an article called The Four Components of BI Governance, written by Deanne Larson and Denise Matney, where they talk about the concept of BI Governance.

They define that BI governance builds in flexibility by creating robust processes capable of scaling to any size and scope, and all aspects related to the approach of BI efforts are clearly defined. Along with a mechanism to manage your BI strategy, BI governance provides measurements for gauging success. One non-tangible benefit: improved morale as the staff involved builds their knowledge base and shortens their learning curve.

What is BI governance? It’s the process of defining and implementing an infrastructure that will support enterprise goals. Jointly owned by IT and its business partners, the process evolves the direction and the value of BI as a strategy.

According them, there are four components to BI governance:
- A BI governance committee
- A framework for the BI lifecycle
- An end-user support structure
- A process to review BI programs

The main point of a BI governance committee is to provide greater visibility to all of the enterprise initiatives —aligning with overall business goals and providing value to each participating entity.

The BI lifecycle is a consistent framework that supports BI efforts end to end and is agreed to by IT and the business users. The framework has six sections: Tool selection, Data integration, Analytics, Custom BI tool work, User acceptance and Training.

End-user support focuses on providing assistance and education from a technical, functional, and data standpoint, always keeping the enterprise goals in mind.

One of the most challenging parts of BI implementation is the review — measuring success and understanding value. BI is not always quantifiable and its role as an enabler does not easily fit into an ROI calculation. Even when you do have quantifiable metrics, your next step may not be clear. The BI review can help you to determine your BI maturity level, identify meaningful metrics, and capture opportunities.

They conclude that BI governance is a framework that helps identify, deliver, and maintain the BI strategy.

In my opinion, the main role of BI governance framework is to ensure that BI initiatives are aligned with business priorities and the corporate strategy.

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