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Critical Success Factors for successful BI and analytic implementations


A panel of the keynote presenters discussed critical success factors for BI and analytics. Panels are tricky to blog so this is just going to be a list of thoughts generated by the panelists with no attempt to assign them to the individuals. Critical success factors, then, include:

  • You must understand what drives high performance for your organization
  • Demand from within the business is critical – they must want the answers or capabilities
  • Getting concrete goals and metrics that can be moved by analytics is important
  • Business leadership and sponsorship are essential, IT cannot do these kind of projects alone
  • Having the right technology team to deliver on this is hard, particularly within a corporate IT group
  • Data quality is essential and highly correlated with successful BI projects
  • Speed to value – must be able to show value quickly not wait for 18 month projects
  • Coping with the ever increasing scale and volume of data and maintaining the performance levels expected
  • May need a new organization to own the project and manage the IT/business/analytic trade-offs. A Chief Data Officer, for instance (though I would say a Chief Decision Office is more useful). Don’t let DBAs or top power-user or the system architect own the trade-offs – need to manage trade-offs across business and IT.
  • It is important that restrictions on IT budgets or IT operations are allowed for but not allowed to throttle opportunities. Just because the project has an ROI, IT may not have a budget and this can create a challenge.
  • Political barriers and a lack of understanding of the potential can be real issues

There was a lot of great discussion but I think those were the key CSFs.


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