Business intelligence implementation: 
key steps, team, and tech options

Business intelligence implementation: key steps, team, and tech options

Business intelligence implementation is setting up practices and technologies to collect, aggregate, and analyze business information. Itransition delivers effective BI solutions to help companies make data-driven business decisions, improve operational efficiency, and drive more revenue.

the projected global business intelligence market by 2028

Fortune Business Insights

of the global workforce have access to business intelligence tools

Accenture

of large enterprises plan to invest more in their business analytics initiatives

MicroStrategy

Why choose Itransition

15+ years in business intelligence

20+ years in enterprise software development

Solid experience in delivering custom, platform-based, and embedded BI solutions

Strategic partnerships with Microsoft and AWS

40+ successful BI projects 

Our selected BI projects

Cloud BI for vehicle manufacturers

70%

faster time-to-market

We migrated the customer’s legacy BI system to the microservices architecture to achieve a 15-20x higher system throughput, 100% process predictability and transparency, and 50% higher productivity.

Benchmark dashboards for ad campaign optimization

7x

reduction in spending

We developed an analytics optimization suite for a leading digital media company to make realistic forecasts based on the results of marketing campaigns and monitor advertising campaign performance.

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Our business intelligence implementation guide

While the process can differ from company to company depending on their needs, objectives, and BI strategy, some business intelligence implementation steps are typical for most projects. Below, we’ve formulated a common implementation roadmap for an enterprise BI solution based on our experience:

1.

Analyze your business needs

A BI implementation project starts with the elicitation of business needs and goals, expectations, risks and concerns, as well as existing issues and bottlenecks from stakeholders, including C-level executives, department managers, data analysts, business consultants, and users.

At this stage, your goal is to get a clear vision of what business problems you want to solve with the BI implementation. You can do this using a combination of various techniques, such as interviews, brainstorming sessions, workshops, observation sessions, questionnaires, and business process audits. Based on the findings, you can define the overall trajectory of the BI implementation project and use them as the foundation for a BI solution conceptualization. You can also break down the defined business needs into KPIs to measure the company’s BI implementation progress down the line.

Common sourcing models for business intelligence implementation

All in-house

The internal BI team carries out business intelligence implementation

Pros
  • Total control over the business intelligence implementation project
  • The development team has a clear vision of the company’s specific needs
  • Minimized communication barriers between the development team and key stakeholders
Cons
  • If you lack the required expertise, you have to hire specialists yourself
  • High risks of resource overprovisioning after project completion
  • Total responsibility over the project
  • Possible delays due to resource unavailability
  • Knowledge loss due to employee turnover

Common composition of a business intelligence implementation team

Business solution consultant

  • Identifies new ways to increase efficiency and optimize business processes through improvement or automation
  • Recommends business process changes based on industry best practices
  • Creates a strategic vision for the company’s technological needs, including hardware, software, security practices, and data storage solutions
  • Creates training materials for employees

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Best off-the-shelf BI platforms

Before we outline the most popular BI software options, here’s a checklist of must-have BI functionality:

Best off-the-shelf BI tools
  • Support for structured, unstructured and semi-structured data located on-premises and in the cloud
  • Integration with the existing systems and applications, third-party apps, etc.
  • Security and compliance functionality
  • Support for different types of users
  • Data visualization capabilities (dashboards, data storytelling, low-code/no-code visualization)
  • Collaboration and sharing (emails, alerts, content sharing, commenting, etc.)
  • Mobile support
  • Flexible pricing options (per user, enterprise subscriptions)
  • Training and customer support
  • Free trial

Key features
  • Pre-built connectors for 150+ data sources, including Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure SQL database, Azure Machine Learning Studio
  • Support for DAX, Power Query, SQL, R, and Python
  • Self-service data preparation, analysis, reporting and visualization
  • NLP capabilities
  • Real-time data streaming
  • Pre-build customizable visuals
  • Data storytelling capabilities
  • Team commenting and content subscriptions
  • Row-level security
  • Mobile-ready
  • Embedded BI
Category
  • BI and interactive data visualization software
Platform pricing
  • Power BI Desktop
  • free
  • Power BI Pro
  • $9.99 per user/month
  • Power BI Premium
  • $20 per user/month or $4,995 per capacity/month with an annual subscription and an unlimited number of users
  • Power BI Embedded
  • from $1.0081/hour
  • Free trial

Business intelligence implementation costs

BI implementation costs

The cost of implementing a full-scale BI solution depends on multiple factors, including:

  • The data you want to analyze – a number of data sources, data volume, data structure and format, data quality
  • Complexity of data analysis – the need for real-time analysis, self-service analytics and ML capabilities, the number of analytics users and their roles
  • Complexity of data visualization and reporting – NLP support, number of custom reports/dashboards, self-service capabilities
  • Data security and compliance requirements
  • BI software costs

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Why implement business intelligence

Single source of truth

Consolidation of all business data into a central database helps break down data silos and ensure data consistency across business departments.

Faster and smarter business decisions

Accurate and timely reporting, personal data views, and an intuitive user interface can encourage business users to make data-driven decisions, regardless of their tech expertise.

Improved organizational efficiency

A 360-degree view of the business allows decision-makers to assess corporate performance against the set goals, identify inefficiencies, and spot growth opportunities.

Enhanced customer experience

Data-driven insights can improve customer-facing activities like pricing, churn prevention, promotion optimization, cross-selling and upselling.

Decreased operational costs

Business process transparency can optimize internal processes such as supply chain management, fraud prevention, demand planning, procurement management, and more.

New revenue opportunities

Solid analytics capabilities can help discover emerging trends, study competitors, and quickly spot changes in demand, market capacity, and investment environment.

Overcoming business intelligence implementation challenges

Challenge

Solutions we offer

Challenge

Analytics insights across different departments can appear inconsistent, outdated, or irrelevant.

Challenge

Solutions we offer

Poor data quality may jeopardize the successful BI implementation, resulting in wasted time and resources and business stagnation. To avoid that, we help companies adopt a solid data quality management approach, which involves:

  • Data set curation by data experts and IT teams before or during the upload into the data warehouse or other analytics repositories
  • Overall awareness of high-quality data importance and its assurance
  • Easy-to-track data lifecycle

Challenge

BI adoption levels are not as high as expected.

Challenge

Solutions we offer

Here’s how companies can mitigate BI adoption issues:

  • Set key performance indicators in strict adherence to business needs
  • Start the deployment with a use case that clearly demonstrates the tangible benefits of a BI system and motivates users to embrace it
  • Deliver BI reports and dashboards that are relevant to employees at different positions
  • Adopt intuitive self-service BI software
  • Conduct training for users across different business departments
  • Monitor users’ activity and requests to identify adoption problems and timely solve them

Challenge

Deployment of self-service tools across different business units results in a chaotic data environment and overlapping KPIs.

Challenge

Solutions we offer

Self-service data analytics and exploration should be regulated by robust data governance standards and policies, which should be established before the BI deployment.