Wednesday, 27 May 2009

BI Lessons Learnt

Spent an interesting day at a potential customer recently discussing:

- The lessons that I've learnt on recent Oracle BI projects

- How we could apply these lessons to develop an optimum OBIEE rollout strategy.

In no particular order, some of the key lessons that I highlighted and discussed in greater depth were:

1) Releasing too much functionality at once can overwhelm users and support processes.

2) Requirements for Reports and dashboards evolve as users gain more understanding of the tool capabilities.

3) Involve Users as early as possible in Development process.

- Especially if requirements are unclear or poorly understood.

- Report and Dashboard Prototyping often works well.

4) Ensure End Users understand OBIEE Report and Dashboard functionality and capabilities before the Design process starts e.g.

- View selectors, Column Selectors, Dashboard prompts, Delivery options, BI Publisher integration, and so on

5) Develop organization wide Dashboard and Report 'Look and Feel' standards and enforce them.

6) Review quality of data model regularly: e.g. ensure consistent mappings, conforming dimensions, and so on.

7) System performance and perceived 'acceptable' response time is key to end user acceptance.

8) Maintain a library of existing and re-usable solution.

9) End User Training should be focused and timely.

Reviewing my lessons learnt led on to a debate on iterative and agile development methodologies and how they could be best applied in an OBIEE implementation. I'll post some more on that on a future date.


Mikem said...

Hi Kevin
Your lessons and approach are so similar to the steps that I have evolved over the years for BI projects.
They apply - apart from the detail that changes in item 4. - to almost any technology.
In fact I have used the broad guidelines to sell projects, and to gauge whether the suggested technology is suited to the project.
Way far and above the most successful implementations of BI I have done, have been with really simple (and cheap) technology - which supports the implementation principles you suggest.
Current favourite is Oracle APEX.
It is unique in the way in which it supports simple - end user friendly - prototyping and reporting.
Really powerful integration into BI Publisher rounds APEX off as the king - in my eyes - of value-add - BI and reporting tools.
I also use is integrated into Oracle EBS.
Good luck in your BI projects.

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