The implementation of Business Intelligence by a company is one that is exciting and difficult. It must be approached with utmost care and given the highest possible consideration.

A lot can go wrong but to understand BI implementation here are the steps taken to integrate a BI system, which may vary depending on the needs of the clients, but the main parameters that are common across the board are:

Analytics requirements

This determines the needs for the BI system to be implemented. The tools and services which are necessary to achieve the goals set forth by the company are outlined in this stage.


The requirements outlined in the first step are broken down into manageable portions.


Choose which company segments require BI more urgently and figure out which departments would benefit sooner from BI so as to know which portions to give priority.

Validate data

Since data has to be collected to instigate the BI implementation process, the data collected has to be verified with regards to its accuracy and its relevance.

Parallel integration

When rolling out the BI system, ensure it is implemented as the old system is phased out. The BI system will eventually upgrade the old information system being used. As users are slowly introduced to the new system they will find it easier to adapt it.

While the steps above aren’t the exact science when it comes to BI implementation, the steps mentioned are common in all implementation practices. The integration of a BI system company-wide isn’t always smooth sailing.

So what could go wrong when implementing BI?

Failure to consider scale

When getting a BI system, sometimes companies don’t make any arrangements to ensure that they get a model that will fit the extent of their data.

Failure to consider adaptability

This is when a BI model is chosen that can’t adapt to the future or isn’t flexible enough to meet your business needs.

Choosing the wrong BI tools

This could be as a result of unclear objectives or selecting a BI tool that users feel is incompatible to them and won’t benefit them. The BI investment will be wasted as the system won’t be utilized.

Failed integration

Often companies fail to integrate their BI tools with Office or Outlook. Forgetting integrating capabilities with enterprise applications like ERP is also a common mistake made by companies when they implement BI solutions.

Data governance oversights

Some companies will sometimes give free range access to their business data. This is not recommended. To protect the privacy of the information, it is advised that companies ensure their data is governed in accordance with their security policies and regulations.

Information misuse

Valuable data may be collected but not shared for analytics.

In leveraging business data and applying the insight gathered from it, companies can make data driven decisions to gain a competitive edge. Complacency about Business Intelligence reporting, refusing to adapt to an ever changing business environment and failing to invest in the training of employees to fully understand BI could lead to a company having no functional benefit from their investment.

Use Pathways International to ensure that you are applying the best BI practices.

Email: info@pathwaysinternational.com


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