There is one common factor in successful business intelligence projects: delivering business value. Your DW/BI team must embrace the goal of enhancing business value as its primary purpose. This seems like an obvious statement, and we almost always get a chorus of agreements when we state this principle to the DW/BI teams with which we work. But most DW/BI folks are technologists at heart. We like the certainty of computers and programming. It works or it doesnt; if it doesnt, we can debug it.
You cant deliver business value unless you work closely with business people. You need to understand their language and learn to see the world from their point of view. Youll be working in a non-technical, highly ambiguous, politically sensitive environment. Are you feeling queasy yet? Many of us went into the computer trade specifically to avoid such discomfort. But this unsettled environment is what the DW/BI system is all about. You must develop the business knowledge and people skills right along with your technical skills in order to meet the needs of your business users. We realize the entire team will not become smooth-talking MBAs. However, someone on the team must have strong business and communications skills, and everyone will be more effective if they work to develop some of these skills.
So, while many DW/BI teams and consultants pay lip service to business value, the reality of their day-to-day behavior is that technology rules. Do not let this happen to you. Technology is important; business value is mandatory.
As you read this book, youll encounter recommendations that may seem unnecessarily complicated or just plain unnecessary. Every time youre tempted to dismiss the authors as overly fond of their design methodology, or just overzealous, consider whether your reactions are driven by your technical convenience, or by the business users needs. Never lose sight of the business.