Who Are the BI Users in Your Neighborhood?
By firstname.lastname@example.org on May 11, 2010
Forrester's Boris Evelson recently wrote a blog titled "Who are the BI Personas?" that I enjoyed for a number of reasons. It's a quick read, easy to grasp and (refreshingly) focuses on the users of technology VS the technology. As Evelson admits, he meant to keep the reference chart at a high-level because there are too many different permutations and additional sub-categories to make such a chart useful.
For me, I wouldn't head into the technical permutations but more the contextual use of BI and the issues that users experience. My thoughts brought up more questions than answers such as:
- HOW: With the exception of the "Power User" persona--likely some sort of business or operations analyst?
- WHEN: Are they using the information to make real-time decisions on the front lines (a customer service manager or shipping/logistics VP) or are they using this information for cumulative analysis and business planning? Or both?
- WHERE: What areas of the business are more or less likely to rely on BI across an organization? Human Resources, Operations, Facilities, Finance--- and why are some more prone to use data-driven analysis than others?
- DELAYS & DRAG ON IT?: One of the persona characteristics Evelson calls out is a reliance on IT. Every persona except for the "Power User" has a heavy reliance on IT for support. What business issues or delays does that cause to users? What is the drag on IT resources who could potentially be creating instead of reporting?
- HOW MANY CLICKS: If BI is being used within the context of a transaction (sales manager looking for upsell opportunities as an example) is that person getting the information within the context of that action or transaction? Or are they minimizing screens, logging into another application or reporting tool, running queries, etc.?
Who are the BI Users in your neighborhood or line of business? Do Evelson's personas resonate--and do the tools that he calls out (he refers to it as "BI Style") resonate with what your personas have or need? Finally, I'm very interested if BI use is viewed as a bolt-on...or an integrated part of your daily enterprise processes?