Keeping Your Eye on the Prize: Business Value

eye on the prizeRightfully so, sometimes data warehouse directors and database administrators get caught up in sourcing, modeling, integrating and managing data in the data warehouse. Don’t get me wrong—these are all important activities.

However, let us not forget to keep our eyes on the prize—the business value of distributing intelligence throughout the enterprise and unlocking the ivory tower of decision making.

In a recent article, Stephen Brobst reminds us:

Far too often, the focus of enterprise data warehouse (EDW) construction is on getting data into the relational database management system (RDBMS) repository rather than getting it out.

Certainly, acquiring, cleansing and integrating data into the EDW is a critical set of activities. However, the true success of an EDW will be measured by its ability to deliver decisioning capabilities. In the end, a high-value data warehouse is more about exporting decisions throughout the organization than it is about aggregating all of its data into a big bucket.

Continued executive sponsorship of a business intelligence initiative is usually predicated on showing and mapping “value” back to the top priorities of your company.  To do this, it is important to keep your eyes on the prize—the business value from creating a single repository of fresh, relevant and clean data to help your company enhance revenues, keep customers longer, lower operating costs and improve employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Have you revisited your original “BI” business case? If not, dust it off and see what “value” was promised to your sponsors. Spend time validating your performance. You might be surprised to discover what was promised—and more surprised to see today’s variance from your original goals.


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