Most of the companies now have good enterprise resource planning, supply chain planning, revenue management systems etc.in place. In addition to these packages, companies also tend to have many in-house developed solutions. While IT groups in many companies are now busy developing business intelligence capabilities, it is very important to understand that we give due importance to the data itself.
Following are top 5 characteristics that are important to keep in mind about the data itself:
1. Data Availability / Integration: As data sources will be in multiple systems (BTW: spreadsheet is not a system), ability to receive and integrate data from these multiple sources is critical. We in IT call it ETL (extraction transformation & loading).
2. Data Integrity / Trustworthiness: Otherwise, don’t even bother starting with the project.
3. Timeliness: Stale data is of no use. Frequency at which fresh/updated data will be available should be carefully planned.
4. Security: Obvious point…
5. Granularity: Once users see high level graphs and charts, they want to drill down into details.
Last but not the least, those of you who are implementing new ERP systems and plan toimplement business intelligence/reporting “later”; think again