Firms advised to phase in business intelligence

“Penetrate then radiate” is the approach companies should take when implementing business intelligence (BI) solutions for the first time, suggests Michael Langton, a partner at the Toronto-based consulting firm Newcomp Solutions Inc. The key is to find a discrete yet important problem to solve, he emphasizes. Rather than adopting an enterprise solution initially, a company should keep a narrow focus on its objectives, choosing a small problem with full access to data, and should work with a select team, a business executive sponsor, an IT executive sponsor and a data analyst. In less than a week, a prototype application can be developed and implemented, from which the organization can be educated to get approval for a departmental solution, he suggests. Only then can a long-term approach to enterprise-ready solutions emerge, he says, stressing that it’s best to “penetrate then radiate”, to grow gradually and connect medium-sized applications to a single platform for the entire business.