Objectives, scope and limitations of a business intelligence project

Published on 09/04/2024

Objectives, scope and limitations of a business intelligence project

Published on 09/04/2024
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Objectives, scope and limitations of a business intelligence project

Conceiving and preparing a Business Intelligence project requires completing different phases. In this article, we explain the most important steps.

Objectives, scope, and limitations of a Business Intelligence project

Business intelligence projects are not bound by size or activity. Such decisions are results-oriented and structured around information systems to optimize decision-making. Effectiveness, productivity, and competitiveness are not exclusive to large multinational corporations; in fact, when implemented in a SME, they can make a significant difference before and after.

This article focuses on business intelligence. If you’re interested in this topic, feel free to download our Ultimate Guide to Business Intelligence:

However, planning is crucial when launching such a project due to the multitude of tasks, vast information volume, and involvement of various individuals from different organizational levels. Information must be gathered from all functional areas of the company to determine a strategy based on its strengths and weaknesses, facilitating decision-making. 

Therefore, meticulous management of business intelligence is necessary to avoid the main errors that may lead to project failure:

  • Insufficient preparation.
  • Lack of knowledge about business information systems.
  • Failure to use a methodology in its development.
  • Lack of objectivity in data collection.

Throughout this post and the following ones, we’ll address the activities comprising a business intelligence project by studying its different stages: initiation, planning, execution, and closure.

Business intelligence project approach

Defining the project’s scope should be treated as a priority. In the case of business intelligence projects, the scope will be determined by the business models to be supported and the data required to achieve them. For general system projects, it will be necessary to establish:

  • The organizational areas involved.
  • The processes the new system will support.
  • The features and functionalities the system will incorporate.

In any case, two critical success factors play a fundamental role in estimating timelines and resources to be employed, and thus, in defining the project’s scope:

  • Minimum requirements, their establishment, and communication.
  • Clear division between the tasks encompassed by the project and those beyond its scope.

Both factors require the definition of key indicators allowing us to first understand where the organization stands, and then determine where to move forward. These indicators must undergo periodic reviews to detect deviations, enabling us to measure results and assess the project’s progress and alignment with expectations. Their criticality lies in the fact that they serve as the basis for setting objectives, which will subsequently be adjusted based on the results obtained.

One must not lose sight of the raison d’être of any information systems project, and consequently of business intelligence, which is not merely to meet set deadlines or resource forecasts, but to add value to the organization.

Success is related to alignment, and thus, if a project deviates from the organization’s objectives, it’s very unlikely to be approved (based on benefit criteria, risk level, and execution timelines). However, even more challenging is its implementation.

A business intelligence-based solution will allow us to observe and understand our organization’s environment, predict events that may directly or indirectly affect the company, create a network of collaboration among different company departments, and ultimately base strategic decision-making on objective information.

Launching a business intelligence project: the beginning

The project’s beginning coincides with its origin and lies at the core of its purpose. In this initial stage, the decision is made whether to proceed with it or not. Understanding limitations and objectives is progressing in the right direction.

Among the most common limitations in such projects are:

  • The required quality level.
  • The projected scope.
  • The available time for implementation.
  • The resources that can be allocated.
  • Technological constraints.
  • The budget stipulated.

Typically, very high quality levels require more time, more resources, and a larger budget. Obviously, unlimited resources are not feasible, so quality standards determine limitations. They must be established prior to commencement and reviewed during the project, if necessary, by proposing an audit system.

Regarding the objectives of the business intelligence project:

  • They must be defined based on the set indicators.
  • They must not only be quantifiable but also quantified to confirm the project’s success or failure.
  • They must be aligned with the organization’s strategy, demonstrating support through shared interests.

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