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Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim

The Hand of the King to Support Self-Service BI: BI Competency Centers

Self-service BI part 2

This is part 2 of a 6-part series on self-service BI. The series will address primary dimensions of self-service BI:

The Hand of the King is the top advisor and confidant. Yes, that’s your BI Competency Center (sometimes called a BI Center of Excellence)! Combine your analytics strategy (you have one of those, right? If not, start with ), with the functional arm of a BI Competency Center.

Your analytics strategy should help you understand business pains and identify technology gaps, while focusing on change management and adoption. Your BI Competency Center then provides a sustainable framework to execute that strategy and maintain it. For details check out these ebooks on BI Strategy and BI Competency Centers.

An analytics strategy can be as comprehensive as you need, depending on the maturity of your organization. The key point is that, for each of the blocks below, you have done the following tasks:

  • Write it down
  • Communicate any decisions
  • Align across departments

Many times, the Organization pillar is left untouched. This is a mistake. As Hand of the King, this is a pillar when you’ll make an enduring mark! Decide how you will measure success, actually measure it, and then communicate how the world is better after all of the effort you have put into your BI Competency Center.

Notice, too, how much self-service BI impacts all of the squares in Figure 1. For example, Priorities and Alignment will change when BI is handed to a much larger percentage of your user base.

BI Competency Centers support the Analytics strategy by bringing together business skills, analytic skills, and IT skills. Don’t worry—this doesn’t imply that you need to start with 12 full time equivalents to staff out the BI Competency Center. You’ll probably need at least one full time person (Hand of the King) to wrangle and provide direction, but many times you can borrow 30% of your super users for some of the other tasks.

BI Competency Centers have been around for a while, but expectations are definitely changing. See this blog for details on how BICCs are changing:

Do you have a BI Competency Center? Are they managing system upgrades, or truly functioning as chief advisor and confidant?

In the next section, we’ll talk about the many many different use cases of self-service BI.


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