The Intelligent Organization will both develop and maintain a Business Intelligence strategy and will apply the principles of BI governance in order to ensure that the efforts put into Business Intelligence produce lasting results.
BI governance (compass) and BI strategy (map) are mostly about ‘alignment’ between the processes registering, processing and responding, between internal and external information and between business and technology. The map and compass enable us to make better choices when it comes to desired BI projects and their order, which leads – among other things – to a higher return on these projects.
BI-ambition levels exhibit a clear relationship with the environment
The five levels of ambition – incomprehension, local understanding, coordinated organizing, integral improving and intelligent innovating – generally exhibit a clear relationship with both the environment and the type of organization. Reaching a higher level of ambition paves the way for organizations to start organizing – pivoting – and operating differently. Business Intelligence can then be seen as an ‘enabler’ for a different organizational structure, a different management style, etc. However, the different organizational characteristics of the levels of ambition do not exclusively belong in the domain of Business Intelligence.
Good balance between the 3 basic processes of the BI cycle
For BI governance to be effective, the organization divides its attention evenly between the three basic processes of the BI cycle and aims for a good balance between contextual (external) and transactional (internal) information. The point here is that we must create a closed-loop process for both the major and the minor Business Intelligence cycle. Based on the gathered data, the Intelligent Organization will gain (new) insights, which in turn will lead to a demand for additional data that we will need to collect or register (either internally or externally).
Ladder of ambition of BI
As the organization climbs the ‘ladder of ambition of BI’, the phenomenon of BI Governance becomes increasingly important. If we ‘just’ wish to understand the organization, than we do not necessarily, need to change anything or react differently. In addition, we need little or no external information. The nearer we get to the top of the ladder, the more external information we need and registering and responding will become more a part of Business Intelligence.
The BI Competence Centre (BICC), led by the BI manager, should be responsible for both the BI strategy and governance. The BI manager both initiates and coordinates all BI projects in close consultation with relevant stakeholders. He also manages the ‘day-to-day BI operations’. Furthermore, the BICC raises awareness with regard to both the significance and the benefits of Business Intelligence, develops a ‘corporate intelligence strategy’, decides what applications to use, specifies the business cases, standardises the Business Intelligence tools and methods and last but not least aligns the BI projects with both the goals and the strategy of the organization.