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Design Thinking and BI… Match made in heaven?

Last time I blogged about my first experience at SAPPHIRE and being initiated at Design Thinking. It made me think as to how I could apply it to my line of work: Business Intelligence.

As a BI Business Partner for MolsonCoors Brewing Company, where does Design Thinking fit in our organization? Could we easily apply the principles to help innovate and ultimately sell more beer?

Our BI Challenge

We have implemented BI for over 10 years now. Our thought at that time was that the end-user knew what information and data he was looking for. He would tell us exactly what he wanted in detailed SPECS!! We would built hundreds of different views of the information available according to what the business wanted. Why not? We had the time and the resources available at no cost to the departments.

Even if we did exactly what the business told us they wanted… they were not using the tools we gave them.

We were responding to the business requirements and not challenging them to understand their needs. The result? we were not hitting our targets.

People got lost in the sea of information and got frustrated and ended up back to their trusty excel.

Today, the company and its resources evolved. Do more with less is the new golden rule. Our organization is challenging us to deliver Standard, Global and Scalable BI products quickly. We are also challenged to innovate at low cost.

We need to be proactive and provide access to our complex information in a easy and simple way!

How can we achieve this? Can we adopt a methodology that would help to obtain that ideal state?


Design Thinking, Part of PMO phase?

Our BI department is project driven and follows the brilliant execution PMO methodology. 

  • Concept
  • Feasibility
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Stabilization     

In the feasibility phase, this is where we feel Design Thinking will help us.

Here’s how we think we can articulate each phase of Design Thinking.


Next, I will be presenting a series of articles applying the concepts Design Thinking and BI with my first task in making it simple for users: Clean Up of what is out there! This will be my foundation for my TechEd 2013 presentation in Vegas!

I think I will need more than just one Beer!

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      Author's profile photo Heike van Geel
      Heike van Geel

      Hi Alexandre Papagiannidis, thansk so much for sharing your DT excitment and plans to go go into practice.

      I would like to point you to this presentation "Design Thinking and Product (Go Live in 6 Months)" in which the project team shares their experience on developing a deployment cockpit for SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions.

      Perhaps you can get some more inspiration from this project experiences. 🙂

      I am looking foward to read more about it and wish i could be at your Las Vegas TechEd presentation.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Heike! this is great info... I will share it with the team!



      Author's profile photo Simon Kemp
      Simon Kemp

      Hi Alexandre,

      This is great! An example of DT in the wild - I have always felt that BI in particular would benefit greatly from more focus on the user needs, I think the way you have integrated DT into your PMO process is fantastic... I will make sure to be at your session in LV - can you share the session ID?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Simon.. We are quite new to Design Thinking but we see great value in it!

      My session at TechEd will be EA116 on Wednesday from 5:45 - 6:45. Perfect time to have a beer at my session  😉   Hope to see you there!