Business Intelligence guru, analyst and author, Wayne Eckerson, and I had great times when we worked together at The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). Although we have both moved on to other ventures, we remain in touch and I still like reading his books and articles.

I particularly enjoyed the first chapter of his most recent book, Secrets of Analytical Leaders: Insights from Information Insiders, where he talks about the concept of “purple people.” But before I explain that, read this concept from Wayne in his book.

The success of any company is becoming more and more dependent on unlocking the value of data and turning it into trusted information for critical decision making. The ability to deliver the right information at the right time and in the right context is crucial. Today, organizations are bursting with data, yet most executives would agree they need to improve how they leverage information to prevent multiple versions of the truth, improve trust and control and respond quickly to change.

If you are an IBM customer, it is very likely you have received some level of education about IBM’s Information Management solutions platform, which includes IBM’s Big Data strategy.

The total cost of operations (TCO) of Business Intelligence (BI) systems is often measured in three categories: time-to-completion of projects, on-budget completion of projects, and cost per user of BI applications. There is a key process in every project that impacts all three categories: Business Requirements Engineering.

An effective requirements methodology ensures that project scope is clearly understood and costs accurately estimated. At the same time, when we deliver what users want, usage and adoption of the solution increase the user base. Why then do so many programs not take a closer look and the effectiveness of their approach to this key part of the process?

Another great blog by my good friend, Wayne Eckerson. This opening paragraph should grab your interest…

“I’ve met quite a few BI professionals who privately–and sometimes publicly–confide that they can’t move fast enough to keep their business clients happy. They secretly hope that I’ll wipe away their shame, frustration and guilt by saying they aren’t to blame for this discontent. They want me to indict the business people, saying they are too unreasonable, impatient, cheap, and short-term focused. Now, it’s true that the business people are all these things, and more! But that doesn’t mean the BI team is not at fault.”

When a company makes the decision to transition to a more BI-centric environment, a key piece to the puzzle is often overlooked: buy-in and support from the business users, someone we refer to as the “Gatekeepers.” As consultants we are very sensitive to engaging in the right manner so that everyone in the project comes out a winner. This article discusses some of our philosophy for that team effort.