When walking through a BI Process Checkup, I like to start at the end with desired results or output. I ask lots of questions.
- What BI tools or processes do you have in place?
- Do you have any regulatory agencies, accountants, a board, or anyone else to whom you have specific data you need to report?
- Are you collecting information to help with your marketing efforts?
- What reports are you currently getting or using that you can’t live without?
- What do you wish you knew about your business that you don’t?
- Do you trust the data you are currently getting?
- What reports or data are you currently getting that you do not use.
- Do you have BI that drives any workflows?
After answering all these questions, reviewing all the current BI tools, outputs, data tables, etc., there is often a need to talk directly with the persons who use that data and outputs. There are often people using the data or performing manual process along the way that my stake holder contacts are not aware of. It is at this phase where we start to identify several common issues.
- Collecting data that no one is using.
- Persons collecting data not understanding how or why that data is needed or used.
- Collecting data inconsistently.
- Manual processes to manipulate data that can be automated.
- Data in spreadsheets that would be better represented graphically.
- “Magic data” that no one seems to know who or where the input comes from.
Time to talk to the data sources. here are a few additional questions I ask them, myself and the data
- What percent of your day is spent collecting or manipulating data?
- Are multiple persons or processes duplicating data collection?
- How many touches are required on each data set between source and output?
At the conclusion of my BI Process Checkup, I like to provide stake holders with a document that outlines.
- What seems to be working well in their BI Process.
- Recommendations for improvements to their BI Process.
- A quote for additional services if they want Brindle Pup to implement some or all of those recommendations.