Boris Evelson wrote a nice post in Information Management, with a list of answers to the question: Why Isn't My BI Application Useful? He said that he can count at least 11 possible meanings, and potential reasons:
1. The data is not there, because: - It's not in any operational sources, in which case the organization needs to implement a new app, a new process or get that data from an outside source - It is in an operational source, but not accessible via the BI application.
The data is there, but:
2. It's not usable as is, because - There are no common definitions, common metadata - The data is of poor quality - The data model is wrong, or out of date
3. I can't find it, because I: - Can't find the right report - Can't find the right metadata - Can't find the data - I don't have access rights to the data I am looking for
4. I don't know how to use my application, because I: - Was not trained - Was trained, but the application is not intuitive, user friendly enough
5. I can't/don't have time do it myself - because I just need to run my business, not do BI !!! - and - I don't have support staff - I am low on IT priority list
6. It takes too long to: - Create a report/query - Run/execute a report/query
7. I need to report/analyze on something that SQL can't do, such as: - Faceted search - SQL on data with uneven, unbalanced, ragged, recursive hierarchies
8. It's a wrong BI application: - I have strategic decisions to make, but the app is designed for operational decisions, or - I have operational decisions to make, but the app is designed for strategic decisions
9. The app is not integrated with other applications, processes or desktop so: - I loose context - Have to switch apps, cut & paste - Don't know how to act on the info that I find
10. I don’t know what I am looking for, but my application is asking to: - Run a specific report - Pick specific facts and dimensions
So I don't know where to start.
11. The app stops short of helping me, directing me to make the actual decision, even if I know how to use the app, have access to the right data, and can find what I am looking for. It's a loooooong way between finding the right info and actually make a decision based on the info.
That is an interesting list. Have you heard some of those answers?