The Big Bang BI Project – Timeline Strategy

Your birthing into BI world can look something like the scenario below:

(Scenario assumes that the evaluators for the BI project in your organization are not working full time on this potential BI project.)

  • Weeks 1 to 3
    • Identify the reports you would love to see visualized in your own company.
    • Allow your Tableau partner to work with you in creating some reports. Usually Tableau partners offer some level of complimentary services when it comes to this aspect.
    • Sample a small volume of data and play with the possibility of visuals which are numerous. Do not just rely on your Tableau partner consultant to visualize the data for you, as you the customer knows your data best and at the same time work with your consultant to know your options and limits of the system. Value is already created here in your first few days/weeks of use already!
    • Culture may play a factor, so work with resources at the intradepartmental level to create quick wins on using the product before going into inter-departmental consolidation intiatives.
    • Since Tableau makes it easy and fast to play with data, this makes it a great tool to see if your data needs unrealized cleansing because you are connecting to the data and seeing data patterns and making observations through the use of this tool. Sometimes doing a report requirements gathering in the Traditional BI strategy (I talked about in part 1 of this series) does not capture all scenarios or intricacies in data (because you don’t have the Tableau tool to help you yet).  By using Tableau ahead of time, this can help give advanced feedback to the Datawarehouse/database team to be aware of these issues and can speed up the implementation of the middle layer.  This reduces costs due to “reworks”.
  • Weeks 4 to 5
    • By now if you love the samples of BI interactive analytics, that Tableau has produced, you can assign key users/IT staff to take advantage of the free online learning videos… Potential customers can download and utilize the 2 week free trial of Tableau Software.
    • And at the end of this period, you ought to see the value that Tableau will offer to your organization and are ready for purchase the minimum number of Tableau Desktop Licenses needed.
    • Still not 100 % sure on Tableau yet, but are confident? Well Tableau offers subscription pricing that makes this premium tool affordable!  Contact your Tableau Partner for a price quote, as their pricing may differ from published online rates

Weeks 5 and Beyond

  • At this point, you have seen a good amount of potential of Tableau. And you are ready decide whether you are ready for the Datawarehouse layer to be implemented. Typically you want the Datawarehouse to be implemented in order to perform more advanced ETL functions and more complex consolidation of data especially when you need to combine data coming multiple source systems…

On a final note:

Going “big”, forces you to spend big upfront and having full faith in ALL of your data (volume and complexity) and its possible imperfections… So here are my summarized recommendations:

  • Start using Tableau first before implementing the middle layer
  • Use Tableau at the departmental level before using it at enterprise-wide level of consolidation. This phased approach allows the learning curve to take place before investing in more advanced options such as a datawarehouse.

What to do next? Let Kaisa, a Tableau Partner of the Philippines help you with a demo and guided evaluation to get you kick started.  Let’s prototype BI for your data without going Big Bang! You can decide that later!

– Dustin Guiyab, Subject Matter Expert in Business Intelligence and Analytics

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