In preparation for our upcoming SAP BPC event that is taking place Oct 29-31 in Las Vegas, I wanted to post a great tip I found from one of our speakers. This was taken from Penny Silvia of IBM's presentation "A leading expert’s guide to developing a rock-solid BPC reporting and analytics strategy". For more info on the event, visit www.bpcbootcamp.com
10 Steps to Developing and Measuring a BI and reporting Strategy
- Have BI workshops that:
- Show management what SAP BusinessObjects tools are and what they can do
- Give concrete examples of SAP BusinessObjects applications related to their work or business
- Give guidance on what should be done and when
- Ask management business questions to test their readiness for the SAP BusinessObjects projects
- Ask management what their key performance indicators
- Understand the levels and needs of key Plan to Actual reporting elements — And if that data is available at “equal” levels
- Assess your resources and skill sets available in the business
Available skill sets
- Do we have resources that know how to use SAP BusinessObjects?
- Do we have a solid PM available?
- Does our Basis resource know SAP BusinessObjects?
- Do we have the capacity to start a BI initiative?
User’s level of technical knowledge
- Are my users knowledgeable of the SAP source data, transactions, reporting, etc.?
Existing technical infrastructure
- Do I have hardware available to implement SAP BusinessObjects?
Is funding available $$$
- How much funding is available — For a small business content implementation for a given area, or cubes that are customized?
- Do a gap analysis
- Determine the gap between the requirements and SAP BusinessObjects
- Example: Use an Excel spreadsheet to list what is included in the FI-GL business content
- Compare this with the SAP ERP transactions used and business requirements, then come up with the gaps
- Determine the priorities: Use your KPIs — What’s more important to your company?
- Determine the BI objectives - Do I want users to use only the BI reporting tools?
- What reporting tools should we use?
- What current reports are we replacing?
- Do I want to eliminate ABAP reports?
- Obtain buy-in from stakeholders
- Socialize the plans and gain buy-in
- Create a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC)
- Establish project priorities with key stakeholders
- Obtain funding and support for BI initiatives
- Establish standards, including change management procedures
- Align BI strategy to overall IT strategy and enterprise goals
- Create a business case and outline expected benefits
- Each project should have a business case
- If you can’t come up with a valid business case, why do the project?
- Ensure you evaluate the merit of business cases
- What is the expected ROI and when can it be achieved?
- Describe the deliverables of the project
- Are you delivering end user training or super user training only?
- What documentation will you provide at the end of projects?
- What processes will you put in place?
- Build the infrastructure
Determine the technical infrastructure needed for your overall BI strategy
- For example: How many servers and what size they are (get your hardware vendor to help, using SAP’s recommendations)
- Estimate the growth of your SAP BusinessObjects servers for the next few years (your SAP BusinessObjects system may eventually be bigger than your SAP system)
- Determine what you need by what tools you will deploy — SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP BusinessObjects, etc
7. Maintain resource integrity
- Define what data quality means to you
- What is the system of record for key master data?
- How many data errors are acceptable?
- Decide how to evaluate and prioritize data quality problems
- Decide how to fix ongoing data quality problems
- Establish criteria for success
- Apply best practices for the BI implementation
SAP Best Practices checklist: For example: Early Watch Reports — Are early watch reports reviewed and monitored regularly
- Determine measures and metrics you can use to monitor success and value
- Example: You can use BI statistics to measure the usage of reports
- Set up exceptions in the reports to highlight any queries that run longer than 100 seconds
- Report successes to the business to
demonstrate value and build future support — Using a communication plan
- Treat information as an asset
- SAP BusinessObjects tools are not just for slicing and dicing data
- SAP BusinessObjects tools can be used for strategic decision making
- You can use SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Process Designer for predictive analysis
- SAP Business Planning and Consolidation can be used for planning your sales figures and showing reports with the actual sales values vs. your planned sales
- Review BI initiatives
- Ensure alignment by reviewing what you are doing, and re-aligning if necessary
For example: If your users aren’t available to do end user testing, stop the project and re-align!
- Review your project plan, make the tasks and times realistic
- Use prototyping to show users what they will see
- Do it fast and maintain their interest
- Ensure they are involved in the review process early
- Be flexible in the scope, as it often changes and sufficient contingency should be available in the budget for this
- Measure what is currently in place for BI
I look forward to seeing you there!
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