Implementing business intelligence initiatives relies on a number of factors, but few are as critical as having support and enthusiasm from the leadership team. The commitment to such a project needs to come from all levels of the organisation, but clear, top-down direction can set the direction for success.

In a survey examining the landscape of BI leadership, Pyramid Analytics found that 58 per cent of job listings on Linked In identified a need for leadership capabilities, with 56 per cent noting communication skills were also essential.

Traits for effective business intelligence leadership

Stellar-7-Essentials-for-BI-SuccessBreaking down the barriers to effective BI strategy can be hard. Gartner notes that initiatives often suffer from decentralisation, making control of projects difficult as information and goals are poorly defined.

Stellar consultants use our unique 7 Essentials of BI Success, a process which starts by addressing the critical role of Governance.

“BI Governance, as its name suggests, is the ownership and sponsorship of a BI Programme,” says Grant Broadbent, managing director at Stellar. “The sponsor and owner need to know exactly why the BI programme exists, what it’s going to yield, and when.

“In very simple terms, if a BI programme is worth spending money on, it must yield a performance improvement or satisfy a specific requirement – be it regulatory, operational or otherwise. It must have clear criteria for success that are understood by all stakeholders – especially the owner and sponsor.”

Nominating a BI leader with a deep understanding of the business needs sets the foundation for what comes next – mapping out the deployment.

“Analytics leaders of the future will make sure they have a clear mandate – business value,” says Frank Buytendijk, research vice president and Gartner Fellow. “In the coming years, business value based on analytics is ready to explode.”

How to lead a BI strategy

Forrester contributor Boris Evelson advocates a staged approach with well-defined priorities. He cautions against widening the scope too soon, preferring to allow businesses to maintain their focus on key metrics. Teams that rush into a project without first preparing their IT infrastructure and personnel run the risk of losing track of their priorities, and over-complicating their deployment.

For New Zealand businesses, the opportunities for analytics success are within reach. Identifying the people in your organisation with the necessary leadership skills may be a challenge, but BI consulting experts can help develop a roadmap with achievable goals that will add the great possible value to your business.

Speak to Stellar Consulting today for more advice about leading your BI deployment.