Monday, November 10, 2008

Implementing Business Intelligence

Checklist for Implementing Business Intelligence-

If you are planning to implement a Business Intelligence solution there are a number of things to check before you decide on a solution.

1. Cost of the project: The cost of a project comprises of

(a) The cost of the product licenses.
(b) New hardware to be purchased for product installations.
(c) Any third party software to be purchased.
(d) Implementation cost including user’s trainings.
(e) Support and Maintenance cost.

It is very important to evaluate these costs before choosing a product. Certain tools may be cheap to buy but implementation and maintenance cost comes out very expensive.

2. Product’s Credibility: The product should be evaluated by considering the following-

(a) High Stability- The product should be matured enough being in the market for atleast 5 years. This is important as chances of bugs in the product are minimal, the product becomes stable. Couple of years back there were not many products in the market and the options were very less but now this is not the case.

(b) Completeness- The product should have a completeness considering all aspects of features. Some products may be very good in some aspects or features and in most of the sales demonstrations/POC’s they display those capabilities only and always try to avoid any discussion on weak points. Please ask questions as many as you can and also verify whether these capabilities/features are available out of the box functionality using wizards and drag and drop features or they just have workarounds using some code. The product should be a balanced mix of all the capabilities.

(c) Level of execution- Check whether the product can be executed for large number of users even if you have small numbers of users and how the product scales, handles high avalability, clustering environment etc.

(d) References- The product as well as the implementation partner should have good number of references where the product has been implemented sucessfully. Also check for the implementation partner's credibility, financial status and implementation capability.
---- more will follow