As I have remarked before Business isn’t run by the IT Department it is run by the people who hire and fire the IT department i.e. the Finance Director (FD). Given the current economic climate now would be a perfect time to see what you can do to help, so I have spent the morning listening to my FD (.. of Microsoft UK), Toby Wilson at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAEW). He joined a round table on Business Intelligence hosted by Andrew Sawers the Editor of Financial Director. I thought some of the discussions although often repeated would be worth repeating because these are straight from the men with the cheque books, and their number one priority is:
One Version of the Truth. Often repeated mantra perhaps because it is so rare in many organisations. Toby deals with this in a two key ways:
One really obvious point is the need to snapshot your data at point in time so all reports from it are based on the same set of data. Several technical approaches can help to achieve this
My other top tip is to ruthlessly ensure that every reports contains a header with the all the details of how filters are set the date it was published and by whom etc.