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Helping users see the data warehouse as a trusted source of enterprise intelligence

I'm not sure if our BI implementation is a failure or a success. Users are still using Excel spreadsheets and they are still trying to "balance" the information in the data warehouse with the information in all the source systems. How do we show the managers that an organization can be more efficient and experience a greater return on their information assets based on the application of business intelligence? How do we show them that a BI project can have a bigger ROI and that one version of the truth (BI reports) is critical to the success of BI project? Is this just a cultural problem?
First, balancing the data warehouse and source systems shows up on every Top-10 list of things *not* to do. Why? Because both are probably incorrect. Users must be weaned off operational system reporting and learn to approach the data warehouse as the trusted source of enterprise intelligence. The availability of metadata (e.g. what data is there?, how did it get here?, what does it mean?) will help users make the change.

Second, aside from "nuggets of gold" popping out of the data warehouse (e.g. a company discovering it's under-billing customers or over-paying suppliers), use control groups to determine what value the DW is providing. That is, do not leverage the DW for a small percent of business decisions and compare their result to others. Otherwise, with all other changes going on in an enterprise, it may be hard to attribute business benefit directly and confidently to the DW.
Cheers,
Doug

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