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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

By Mary Anne Hopper, Senior Consultant

Boats - photo by John Hopper
It’s not like I spend my weekend and down-time thinking about work but some of the lessons I learn over the weekend apply to Monday thru Friday.   Case in point, my kids recently attended a racing seminar with an Olympic sailing hopeful.     He worked with them for three solid days focusing on boat handling drills.   Some of the kids wanted to know why.   His response – because you have to be able to repeat the basics the same way every time so you can deal with all the things that will be different every time (like wind velocity, wind shifts, waves, other boats, etc).

How does that relate to BI projects?     In order to deliver value to our business partners in the timeframe they expect, we have to be able to execute our projects repeating the basics every time so we can deal with the things that will be different every time.     I hope that sounds familiar.

Two great starting points are the project intake and requirements processes.   I use the phrase ‘starting point’ for a reason.   The intake process defines what work your BI team will be working on and in what order.   After those requests become defined projects, the requirements process (business, data, functional/application) then define what is going to be delivered to the business.   No matter how well defined the design and delivery processes are, the beginning of the cycle is imperative to success.   The table shows some examples of what process components need to be consistent and repeatable and what types of things are likely to change on you.

The Basics What's the Same What's Different
Project Intake
  • Request cataloging
  • Prioritization
  • Business users
  • Business priorities
  • Resource availability
  • Business requirements supported by data and functional/application requirements
  • Artifacts
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Sign-off
  • Data availability
  • Data quality
  • Business users

This is a short example list and by no means all inclusive – there are numerous other examples.   The take-away is to understand that ongoing delivery success starts is dependent on the basics.   And nailing the basics with consistency will allow for more easily handling all the things that continue to change.

Photo provided by John Hopper.

MAHopper_BWMary Anne has 15 years of experience as a data management professional in all aspects of successful delivery of data solutions to support business needs.   She has worked in the capacity of both project manager and business analyst to lead business and technical project teams through data warehouse/data mart implementation, data integration, tool selection and implementation, and process automation projects.

Posted October 14, 2010 6:00 AM
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