The headline on one of my recent articles asked: Big vs. Small BI: Which Set of Returns Is Right for Your Company? It was a trick question, of course, since the answer is "both."
Many companies start small with their business intelligence initiatives before expanding BI more broadly across their business. Doing so not only helps illustrate BI's value, it tends to get users excited about the possibilities. While important with any software initiative, getting users on board is essential with BI, as I wrote recently.
If IT can find a business pain point and build a BI tool to solve it, chances are business users will bring more good suggestions to the table. That was the experience of The Allstate Corp., which created a wildly popular dashboard that made it easy to track customer complaints. (And tracking them should be the first step in actually addressing them.) Tim Acre, the company's senior manager of BI tells SearchCIO.com:
High-visibility, high-impact projects are important. You can tell when the [BI] vision is becoming clearer the ideas really begin to flow.
So, not surpriisingly, completing a proof-of-concept with a business group that helps illustrate the potential of what a broader BI implementation can do is the first of SearchCIO.com's Five Steps to Unfreeze a Business Intelligence Strategy. The other four pieces of advice: