Businesses are going at breakneck speeds to keep up in this highly competitive market. They are doing anything that they could possibly do to get the edge over their competition. A lot of data and great Business Intelligence strategies are what can help your business truly get a competitive advantage. But even with great data, implementing business intelligence in the most efficient & effective way is crucial. And that is where BI governance comes into play. But what is business intelligence governance?
Business intelligence governance is a collection of all the strategies and processes such as staffing and tools used (hardware and software) that ensure the investment in Business Intelligence is generating true value. It also ensures that the implemented BI system has the necessary security, data privacy, content management & engagement, and access controls. Now that we know what BI governance is, let’s find out how you can achieve business intelligence governance in this blog.
How effective is BI Governance?
Effective BI governance is at the foundation of every successful BI strategy. Usually, the BI team creates and deploys the report for the organization. Here BI governance is important and is effective only when it properly balances out all the engagements, content management, and access control as well. It is most important to maintain the report most efficiently and safely.
Being one of the leading business intelligence consulting services providers, we understand that BI governance should extend well beyond security and basic data governance. It is the best approach that focuses on BI resource optimization while also building trust with the users. So we’ve listed a few points that will make your business intelligence governance more effective.
- Content should be secure and it should not be hidden from the business user while reporting the same in the BI platform.
- Data quality is more important as users have to trust BI reporting.
- BI tools are very effective and prominently used for day-to-day decision-making.
- It should be a user-dependent workflow
- Reports and dashboards should be constantly updated wherever it is posted.
- Self-Service BI should be achieved as business users will be able to access and explore the data in the BI environment.
- Teamwork should be there to maximize the business value.
Achieving Business Intelligence Governance
- Access Control or Audit Control
- Maximize User Engagement
- Displaying Essential Metadata
- Optimizing License Management
- Business Intelligence Governance Committee
- BI Governance Framework
Access Control or Audit Control
Access control or Audit control is maintaining the balance between Discoverability and Data security to achieve maximum collaboration. Without proper discoverability, users will not be able to see all the datasets and reports in the dashboard. So users who might need it might not even know that such data exists and might end up wasting their time creating another similar report.
But discoverability should be done in a way that sensitive data doesn’t fall into unauthorized hands. So you have to make sure that the appropriate content is discoverable but not accessible to all users. By keeping sensitive data on a need-to-know basis, discoverability can be achieved without compromising data security. Here are a few tips to achieve this.
- Create different roles based on the level of access needed.
- Limit the administrative abilities of regular users by limiting their access to create, edit, and delete data.
- Create user groups to easily map different users based on their roles.
- Create a Centralized Catalog of all the reports to improve discoverability.
Maximize User Engagement
The entire point of Business Intelligence is to identify the most important data from the clutter to make the right decisions. But having a cluttered dashboard that users don’t engage with is of no use. So business intelligence governance has to be implemented to observe how users engage with different data assets to identify opportunities for improvement. By doing so you will be able to maximize the value a business can attain by investing in Business intelligence.
- Make sure to track the usage pattern of important data assets.
- Look into data assets that have low engagement & identify the cause.
- Review existing dashboards and remove data assets that you retrospectively don’t find to be effectively improving the business process.
- Identify high user engagement data assets and look if they can be included in other dashboards that might benefit.
Since an organization will have different business units that require different reports, the centralized catalog of reports will also help in increasing user engagement.
Displaying Essential Metadata
Visual representation of data without proper context can make it very hard to understand the dashboard or report. So without the proper use of metadata, the entire point of using visual representations will go to waste. Explaining this with the help of an example would be much easier.
If you look at the image, It is clear that the lack of metadata makes it almost impossible to comprehend anything from the visuals. That is why displaying metadata is an important aspect of Business Intelligence Governance. But at the same time, excessive metadata should also not be used as it might create additional confusion. Though there are different types of metadata, the 3 primary categories when it comes to an organization are Descriptive, Administrative, and Structural metadata.
It is the information about the resource such as titles, dates, and other keywords that will describe the asset and help with easy identification & understanding.
It is information that specifies the technical source of the digital assets such as license, rights, and file type.
It specifies how the digital asset is organized. This includes data such as pages, tables of contents, chapters, and indexes.
Optimizing License Management
Most of the BI tools such as Power BI, Tableau, and SAP licensing costs depend on the number of users at different levels. So you will be able to cut costs by managing the license of the users based on their usage; making it an essential part of Business Intelligence governance. The following points will help you optimize License management.
- Implementing an auto-provisioning technology to grant access to users who do not have a BI Tool license.
- Check and deallocate the license which is unused by the users.
- Identify the under-utilizing license user and downgrade those.
Business Intelligence Governance Committee
When the number of reports is high, it is likely that we might face discrepancies between them. One report might suggest that the sales were great, whereas a different report might say that sales have gone down. How will you be able to solve such differences? That is why you’ll need to assemble a business intelligence governance committee keeping the following points in mind.
- The BI Governance Committee should have members from all the departments in the organization. (From the Senior management level to the end user.)
- Each team should bring their perspectives and priorities to predict which project is going to peak and to identify projects that need more concentration.
- Make sure to identify redundancies and think of ways to combine efforts to get better results.
- The BI governance committee should ensure that the organization stays aligned with the business goals.
- It should include people from IT to be the Subject Matter Experts that will help us make the right decisions.
BI Governance Framework
Using the right framework is very important when it comes to Business Intelligence Governance as it involves the entire BI lifecycle. It will be instrumental in implementing an end-to-end process to create a BI report which supports the end-users and business users. So let’s now explore all the aspects that make a BI Governance Framework.
Selecting the right tool is at the core of the BI process as it directly influences the success of a project. Make sure the tool you choose supports the type of data you’ll be handling. But it is important to keep in mind that creating various reports isn’t the only purpose of the tool. The user must be able to interact with the report with ease as the tool acts as the end user’s interface. Since an over-complicated tool can cause issues for end users, make sure the tool has data presentation tooltips, drill-down actions, accessible functionality OLAP, etc.
Once you have chosen the right tool, the next step of the Business Intelligence Governance framework would be to analyze the quality of the data and its relevance. If everything is of the expected quality and in the format that fits your BI tool, you can go ahead with data integration. But if you have opted to use a tool that doesn’t support the data format you have, you might need to invest in a data acquisition project.
Once the data has been integrated into the tool of your choice, the natural next step would be to present the data to the users. There are primarily three main stages involved in analyzing the data, and they are Data Mining, Data Cleaning, and Descriptive Statistics. Once the analysis is done, we need to work on the data modeling process that will help us present the data in an accessible form (or) workable form to the users.
The next step in the BI Governance framework would be to analyze if the data we’ve presented is effective or not. So checking the User Acceptance of the completed BI product will help us understand if the users are engaged with all the processes, steps, and challenges involved with the implementation. The end users are the best people who can test out the product as they will be able to effectively review if the data and tool functionalities deliver the expected results.
End-user support is the help desk that helps a user when they encounter a problem with the BI product or any functionalities in the tools. In addition to that, this team will receive feedback from the end-user or business user to keep the user and the IT partners on the same page. This will improve the overall BI process and empower the BI community as well.
We hope you found our blog to be informative and now have a clear understanding of why Business Intelligence Governance is important and how to achieve it as well. Constructing a well-organized framework for BI governance is one of the key factors that will help improve organizational performance. Being one of the leading Business Intelligence companies, we understand this fact very well and use it as a base upon which we build the other discussed factors.