BI Strategy – Are We There Yet?

Welcome to my blog. After a blogging hiatus of about two years, where I just didn’t feel like it, I am back online and ready to pick up some of the topics where I left off. And I will certainly be willing to pick up a glove if need be. There are quite a few controversial subjects in the land of BI, big data, and overall data management, and I will start sharing my views going forward.

One of my favorite discussion topics over the last 10 years is “BI strategy” or rather the lack thereof. I may sound like a broken record, but at closer inspection of organizations’ attempts at business intelligence, it becomes glaringly obvious that most implementations are not based on a real strategy, but on faith and hope.

So why is it that hardly any organization has a true BI strategy and so many BI implementations fail to deliver? Here are a few attempts at an explanation:

  1. Lack of executive commitment
  2. Shortsighted focus on just quick wins
  3. Lack of communication
  4. Internal politics
  5. Not invented here syndrome
  6. Extreme time pressure

I could go on. It is interesting, though, that hardly any stumbling blocks are of technological nature. Pretty much all problems that relate to a lack of a BI strategy are homemade. At the same time, when I review a document that is called “BI strategy”, it almost exclusively focuses on the technology bits, as if that is what it is all about. Of course, BI would never work without technology, but the more important and much harder topics to think about are people–related: requirements, steering, stewardship, or program management.


As a reference, here are some of the suggested chapter headings of a potential strategy document. Feel free to contact me to discuss.

BI strategy