Before implementing a Reporting and Business Intelligence project you will need to undertake the following steps to ensure it is successful:
- Establish your data requirements – What makes your business tick? How will you measure success? How will you know if you are on target or not? What do you need to change to make things better? These and other questions need to be answered before finally deciding what data needs to be in your data warehouse.
- Check you data landscape – Get an understanding of what data you have and how you are capturing it. How accurate is it, are there inconsistencies, inaccuracies, holes or missing data that could otherwise skew the results shown in your final reports. How are you capturing it, are you using all the features and functionality available to you in your ERP solution, do you need better processes to capture the data? Once you have solid processes capturing the data at source as part of your staff’s everyday activities and you are happy the data is fit for purpose you can then look to use this data to drive your Reporting and BI solutions .
- “Fix” your data – if the data needs to be “fixed” then employ experts to re-code or re-structure your data to align it with your current business requirements and get your data fit for purpose. Once the data has been fixed you need to ensure you have a solid data governance strategy in place. Ensure that the processes whereby the data is captured and managed, together with methods of monitoring and control of these processes, are all in place and being undertaken correctly.
- Transform your data – Once the data in your ERP system is clean and ready you will to manipulate or transform it before you can deliver end user data analytics and dashboards. ERP transactional databases are different to Reporting and Business Intelligence databases. The the data will need to be either summarised, collated or simply have an end user friendly naming layer applied to it in order to allow end users to consume the data and create their own reports and dashboards.
With your data requirements now established and the data collated, cleansed, rationalised and transformed you can now start to build your end user reports and dashboards that will help drive your Business forward safe in the knowledge you will be basing your decisions on a single version of the truth.