By: Steven Dine, President of Datasource Consulting, LLC
I am always dismayed when reading articles and analyst reports that include a statistic of the percentage of Business Intelligence (BI) initiatives that fail or do not meet customer expectations. Most of those articles and reports go on to describe the now well-known reasons for why these types of initiatives fail, including lack of high-level sponsorship, poor data quality, low level of functional participation, unacceptable query response times, etc. What I never see mentioned, but often see in practice, is the incompatibility between the requirements and the implemented architecture in consultant-led initiatives. How does this happen when nearly every consulting organization has a BI implementation methodology and experienced resources in implementing BI programs? While there are many causes, one often overlooked reason is the inconsistency in how BI consulting companies define the basic BI concepts. Many times the definitions depend on which consultant at the company you ask. I have yet to find these definitions posted on even the largest BI consultancy websites.