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Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071498517
ISBN-10: 0071498516
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In today's highly competitive global economy, actionable business intelligence (BI) is crucial to success. Yet while many companies have made substantial investments in BI infrastructure, few employees are taking advantage of the powerful BI tools they have at their fingertips. This is because technology is only part of a truly successful, company-wide BI strategy. Executive support, an analytic culture, and strong business-IT partnerships and collaboration are among the many other facets that make up a winning end-to-end BI initiative.

Written by industry analyst and BI consultant Cindi Howson, Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App reveals how to get the most value out of your BI investments. The book draws on exclusive survey data and real-world case studies of BI success stories at Continental Airlines, The Dow Chemical Company, Corporate Express, 1-800 CONTACTS, and other companies to identify proven BI best practices you can put to use in your organization, including:

  • Gaining executive support and aligning your BI strategy with business goals
  • Organizing BI teams and experts for success
  • Choosing the best BI tools to meet user and business needs
  • Improving data quality so decision-makers trust the BI solution
  • Finding the relevance of BI to all employees, including front-line workers
  • Using agile development processes to deliver BI capabilities and improvements at the speed of business
  • Measuring success in multiple ways

Business intelligence has the power to change people's way of working, to enable businesses to compete more effectively and efficiently, and to help non-profits stretch their dollars further. Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App holds the key to bringing technological innovations together with the people, processes, and culture of any organization in order to achieve a competitive and profitable BI strategy.

 

About the Author

Cindi Howson is the founder of BIScorecard, a website for in-depth BI product reviews, and has 15 years of BI and management reporting experience. She writes and blogs for Intelligent Enterprise, and is an instructor for The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI). Prior to founding BIScorecard, Cindi was a manager at Deloitte & Touche and a BI standards leader for a Fortune 500 company. She has an MBA from Rice University

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; 1 edition (November 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071498516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071498517
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Hackathorn on December 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Cindi Howson has impressed me as a thoughtful and knowledgeable professional who has contributed greatly to the BI field by living in the trenches, digging into the details, and teaching others about her experiences.

It is hard to find a comprehensive book on BI that is written without an impenetrable cloud of technical concepts. Ten years ago, successful BI depended on the expert execution of those technical concepts. However, BI has matured, increasing the importance of nontechnical factors for successful BI.

This book tracks this trend by clarifying the current success factors for successful BI projects. Oldies and goodies are covered, such as the necessity of executive support, data quality, and business-IT partnership. However, the real contribution lies in highlighting some of the new success factors, such as:

- Measuring Success: If you can not measure BI, you will not be successful. The book suggests numerous ways to measuring your BI effort.

- Role of Luck, Opportunity, Frustration and Threat: We hate to admit it, but BI projects are often successful (or not) for reasons beyond our control or even our imagination. Get over it! The book suggests ways of maximizing your success by making you aware of this dynamic.

- Agile Development: Do not build BI systems in the old traditional way. We all know this. But do we know a good alternative? The book outlines the Agile Manifesto to deliver early and continuous versions, embrace requirements changes, intensify person interactions, etc.

- Organizational Culture: Experienced BI professionals realize that some company cultures are so messed up that there is no way to have a successful BI project. Sad but true!
Read more ›
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Secrets to making BI a killer app would be better worded "Secrets for a successful BI initiative" (though that is far less interesting). Howson concentrates on the practical aspects of building demand for BI, working through the politics/sponsorship, and team organization. Most of the information was very high level and though reinforced with real world examples provided little in the way of practical and actionable examples.

If you are new to BI management and looking for a project overview, I'd recommend the book. If you are looking details, technical examples, detailed case studies and steps of MAKING a killer BI app, not just describing the project, development and business buy-in process, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Of worthy note is the authors frequent recommendation of involving business users early and often, securing a strong sponsor, speaking business-speak, short iteration deployments and making sure the tool fits the job.
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Excellent book defining BI best practices, how BI measures processes, BI for process improvement, defining what BI is, how to set up a BI strategy with real-life case studies.

I cannot tell you how many times I have referred to this book - it is dog-eared, post-it noted, and referred to many times in my daily life of working in Business Intelligence.

Cindi Howson explains what BI is, what agile is, what's worked well, what hasn't worked well, and there's a survey at the back of the book that I am anxious to use. For example, I have heard the term "agile BI" several times at trade shows but I never really understood it until I read this book.

This book is a must-read for those working in BI, managing BI, or those who need to strategize based on BI results. It is a fantastic book!
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As a long time programmer who is only recently moving in to the BI world, I found this book to be an easy and insightful read. It has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities beyond those currently implemented at my company. A must read for anyone looking to expand their BI horizons.
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I read this book in about 6 days on my phone using the kindle app. Just starting out in BI and it gives a fantastic impartial overview of the whole world. Cindi doesn't try to sell you anything in this book, just wants to let you know some of the successful and not so successful BI initiatives that have happened in BI. This book is well worth the money. It gives some great case studies and who knows, it might even turn your old busted BI app around.
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I finished this book in less than 48 hours, a definite page turner. The case studies were fascinating and directly applicable to further understanding and sparks additional questions for the reader! I highly recommend!
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