Project Management

TDWI recommends a BI and analytic Competency Center

TDWI recommends the implementation of a Business Intelligence (BI) and analytic Competency Center (CC) or Center of Excellence (CoE).

In his 2014 third-quarter report on “Business-Driven Business Intelligence and Analytic,” David Stodder explores how organizations can and do achieve value through these technologies. The report summarizes survey results from 668 respondents as well as provides feedback and analysis from related reports and interviews. While there are a number of his finding that deserve their own blog post, in this post I want to highlight his CC recommendation.

Stodder recommends a CC to ensure resources are channelled to important projects, to improve the collaboration between business and IT, to address governance, and to guide BI.

In addition to the traditional BI and analytic tools, e.g. dashboards and DI/OLAP tools, Stodder’s report suggests that mobile BI and analytic appliances are being selected and used by the business community, without IT involvement. Similarly, non-structured content such as text is also in use without IT involvement. Meanwhile these investment do not appear to be leveraged by the majority of business users within the organization. More than 62% of the respondents reported that less than half their organization uses BI and analytics. In fact, spreadsheets still dominate as the most often used decision-making tool. And, the BI and analytic budgets are controlled by the Chief Financial Officer and finance management in first place, the Chief Information Officer or IT management in second place, and the Chief Executive Officer and corporate management in third place.

Furthermore, the report highlights that IT management and BI, analytic, or data warehouse development personnel are responsible for the success of BI initiatives almost much as they are for their failure. (See Table 1)

Table 1: Functions accountability for BI, analytic, DW success and failure

Function   Success   Failure
IT management
73% 66%
BI, analytic analytic, or data warehouse development personnel 77% 66%


The take away from the report is act now if you want your organization to benefit from BI and analytics.

  • If your organization has a BI CC, it may not be effective. Conduct a restropective review with your users.
  • If your organization does not have a BI CC or CoE, consider starting one. However pay very close attention to its staffing and ensure to include business users in the team.