march 08, 2023

The simple 5-step BI strategy plan

The right business intelligence strategy is the path to your company’s growth and success. BI helps transform data into meaningful information. The right business intelligence tool can help you collect real-time data from disparate sources, organise it and present meaningful insights.


Establish a vision

Having a vision is the first step of any BI strategy. Ask yourself why you want to implement BI in your company and what your expectations are. A business intelligence strategy should be built into your business processes and aligned with your goals.


Analyse your current situation

To develop an accurate roadmap, you need to know where your business currently stands in terms of business intelligence:

  • Do you currently use data for any of your decision-making processes?

  • Are there any dashboards in place?

  • How equipped is your IT team to set up a data centre?

  • Do you use any database solutions or tools? If so, which ones?

  • Do you use any paid BI tools? How do you currently manage your data and is there any data analysis team?


Establish the BI governance

BI governance primarily consists of BI teams, tools, support, and KPIs

Once you understand your current situation, you can tackle the team, tools, support and KPIs to realise your vision.

The BI team

You should have a pool of resources known as the Business Intelligence Centre of Competence (BICC). This includes not only a team of business intelligence experts, but also people at different levels and departments, including end users. They define data requirements, create data management structures, monitor data quality and data inclusion processes.

Business intelligence tools

At the start of a BI implementation, it’s best to use tools such as Power BI. This BI tool is easy to use, can collect data from multiple sources and understand natural language.


You’re introducing something new, so you may encounter frustration from employees. Be sure to develop a data culture through training, open discussions and support. Choose a mentor in each department who can guide others on data points and the use of BI tools. Even end users need training, otherwise they will not be able to get meaningful information.

Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Since KPIs are the most important aspect of growth, getting them right is essential. KPIs demonstrate whether a business is on the right track and what needs to be improved. Prioritise carefully, keeping in mind the purpose of the business.


Document a strategic business intelligence plan

What should it include?

BI strategy’s alignment with your business plan

Elaborate BI’s value addition, how it will help solve current problems, and how it will benefit the employees performing their roles — state out every point.

Scope and requirements

  • Required budget and staffing

  • Tools you plan to use

  • Will you employ in-house staff or work with a business intelligence consultant


Identify the team members who will be leading the project. A clear structure helps everyone know who to contact for any data-related query. It also reduces confusion. 

Assign roles

Stakeholders outside the BI team will also have a role to play. Some may be the end users and others may be the source of the data. In any case, everyone should know what is expected of them and why. 

Reference point

Prepare a document for reference, e.g. guidelines on how to use the tool, meanings of different terms. And any other details you haven’t already mentioned in the roadmap.


Analyse your business intelligence strategy

 Evaluating your strategy and how effectively it contributes to your ROI will help you stick to your vision. 

So, check: 

  • Is BI delivering the expected value?

  • Are all your data access requests being met?

  • Has the productivity of your employees increased?

  • Are deadlines being met better than before?

  • Is your BI team working optimally?

  • Are the tools meeting your requirements?

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