6 ways to ensure your Business Intelligence program fails

The sweet smell of success – indescribable, effervescent, enviable and utterly unachievable if you merely lump your Business Intelligence (BI) program in with your data-warehousing activities.

BI initiatives must be treated separately, independently and with the dedication and respect they deserve.

Here are six ways to ensure failure when implementing a BI solution on top of your existing data-warehousing program.

1.  Don’t define BI as a separate business function

Failure to separate your BI function from your data warehousing will result in wasted time and effort – without identifying specific goals and resource needs, how will you generate actionable, relevant insights, establish appropriate costings, resource allocation or know when or how to achieve Return on Investment (ROI)?

2.  Don’t align reporting and analytics with business goals and objectives

No matter how advanced your BI solution, the data analysis generated will have limited value if it isn’t aligned with operational strategic goals.

3.  Don’t align data collation with your BI objectives

Even if you carefully match your reporting and analytics activities to highly specific business goals, the results will be misleading if the data collected is inappropriate by being:
   a. Non-compatible with your BI tool
   b. Irrelevant to the business objective the analytics and reporting is meant to  support

4.  Try to perform complex historical trend analysis immediately

At the beginning; the ability of your BI tool to generate complex data analysis will be impaired by a lack of high quality data. It is important to establish solid data architecture first to ensure the data you are generating and collating is not flawed. From there, you can easily build on your data-assets.

5.  Don’t provide BI training

If you’re introducing a BI solution for the first time, personnel within your database administrative team will not be equipped with the adequate knowledge and skills to support the demands of the BI solution and its end-users. Guide your staff through a comprehensive training program of use dedicated BI consultants.

6.  Don’t manage your BI program

Neglecting to govern your BI activities correctly by lumping its management into your existing data-warehousing administration, will result in poorly defined project goals, and a failure to establish or deliver appropriate time-bound delivery cycles.


Whilst BI tools and data-warehousing are inextricably linked by necessity and virtue of their individual purposes, they must be treated as separate business functions, to ensure that they achieve their full potential and high ROI.

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