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BI Blueprint: How to Map Your Project


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A BI Blueprint is a comprehensive product roadmap for your BI initiative. Get best practices for creating a blueprint and using it to launch your analytics project.

Learn more with The Definitive Guide to Dashboard Design at

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BI Blueprint: How to Map Your Project

  1. 1. BI Blueprint: How to Map Your Project Rebecca Gow
  2. 2. #Logi16 Rebecca Gow Solutions Architect Professional Services ABOUT ME 2
  3. 3. Matt Dwyer, VP Product Management BLUEPRINT IN THE WILD:
  4. 4. #Logi16 The Blueprint is a comprehensive product roadmap for your BI initiative. Why do you need a map? …if you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there... You may not get there without one. BLUEPRINT IN A NUTSHELL 4
  5. 5. #Logi16 When you are:  Launching an enterprise-wide BI initiative  Introducing analytics into a current product offering  Rolling out the next phase of a BI project  Re-designing a current analytics offering WHERE CAN I USE A BLUEPRINT? 5
  6. 6. #Logi16 THE BLUEPRINT METHODOLOGY 6 Talk to the right people Your target audience, not just your business stakeholders Find out how they use information How you ask matters for the answers that define your solution Connect the dots Steps 1 and 2 give you everything you need for your roadmap
  7. 7. WHO NEEDS INFORMATION? Defining your audience and project support
  8. 8. #Logi16 Your audience comes first ahead of all other stakeholders. If you don’t design for them, you risk building a product they won’t use. To identify and prioritize your audience, ask:  Who needs this?  Why do they need it?  How urgent is the need? WHO ARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE? 8
  9. 9. #Logi16 Break your audience down to highlight user personas and help identify who you’ll need to interview. Consider:  Distinct teams or groups of users – does this solution need to serve departments in an org? Teams by shift on a production floor?  Unique roles – these often become your user personas by default  Types of use – are there “power users” in your audience accustomed to self- service options? Administrators who control data inputs? WHO ARE YOUR USER PERSONAS? 9
  10. 10. #Logi16 Include anyone who may be impacted by your product – whether they’ll use it or they support the people who will. Talk to:  Technical SMEs – IT, architects, DBAs, development operations, QA  Business SMEs – people with deep knowledge of an area of the business that needs the solution  Project sponsors – not only official sponsors, but also people from whom you’ll need resources to launch the product successfully OTHER KEY STAKEHOLDERS 10
  11. 11. #Logi16 Two to three days of interviews with your project sponsors, audience personas, technical SMEs and other stakeholders – in that order – usually yields what you need to compile a Blueprint. Sample Agenda: ALIGNING INTERVIEWS Day 1 Session Participants 9 – 11AM Project Overview Project owner & sponsors 11AM – 5PM User Interviews 2 – 3 people from each user group Day 2 9 – 11AM Technical Interviews IT, DevOps, technical SMEs 3 – 4PM Initial Findings Project owner & sponsors 11
  12. 12. HOW DO THEY USE DATA? Learning what BI means to your audience and how to provide it
  13. 13. #Logi16 Keep questions broad & non-technical. Some starter questions: 1. Describe your role. 2. What’s an average hour / day / week on the job like for you? 3. Who do you interact with most often? What do they need from you? 4. What systems / reports / sources do you use? 5. What metrics do you need? How do you measure performance? 6. What are some challenges / frustrations in your job today? GETTING TO KNOW YOUR USERS 14
  14. 14. #Logi16 Getting good info out of your interviews is key to a clear Blueprint. Three tips for a successful interview: 1. Keep an Open Mind – if you go in with an agenda, you’ll miss critical info 2. Ask Open-Ended Questions – this gets you the most information possible 3. Limit Your Interview Audience – you’ll typically get better results with a smaller, focused group (2 – 3 representatives of the same persona or role) than with everyone from the team in the room INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE 15
  15. 15. #Logi16 Once you’ve completed interviews, review your notes for:  What metrics & key insights each of your personas uses  Databases & systems they access today for data  What they are and aren’t allowed to access  What they like today – and may be worth keeping in the new solution  Frustrations & obstacles – slow performing reports? A specific insight they need has to come from another team and takes weeks? DIGGING UP THE GOLD 16
  17. 17. #Logi16 REFINING YOUR SOLUTION: Architecture 18 DW DB1 DB (future) ANALYTICS PORTAL / PARENT AUTH Draw it up and socialize:  Data Sources  Application  Integrated Systems  Security Frameworks  Interactions
  18. 18. #Logi16 REFINING YOUR SOLUTION: UI Mockups 19  Keep It Simple – concept, no detail  Start Your Design Here – mockups serve as the basis of your design  Iterate
  19. 19. Completing your Blueprint and plotting your route to a successful launch CONNECTING THE DOTS
  20. 20. #Logi16 What you need for your roadmap:  Key Problems / Needs – what’s driving the project?  Target Audience – who needs this and why?  Key Goals – what should the completed product have accomplished?  Key Functionality – what features “make” the solution?  Solution Design – what is your solution stack and architectural design?  Timeframe – when is this needed? WHAT ARE THE DOTS? 22
  21. 21. #Logi16 STRUCTURING YOUR PROJECT Two common approaches to balance data access with application development: 23 ANALYTICS DATA TIER ANALYTICS APPDATA TIER Milestone 1 Milestone 2  More Time for Dev  Balanced Resourcing  Less Time for Dev  All Hands on Deck Parallel Dev
  22. 22. #Logi16 Key considerations for your project schedule: involve your users, allow for design iterations and start data validation early. DEFINING YOUR SCHEDULE 24
  23. 23. #Logi16 Staffing a BI project for success:  Data Development Team – data architect, developer, DBA for modeling data, developing data stores, designing ETL and tuning for best performance  Data Validation – business SMEs, potentially your user representatives for defining source data and validating numbers  UI / Design Team – especially for embedded products where seamless style and UI is required, also for designing visualizations for global audiences STAFFING YOUR PROJECT 25
  24. 24. #Logi16 Common risks and how to mitigate them: X Nice Dashboard, No Data Don’t let your app get ahead of your data – structure your project to ensure there’s always something to show and validate at each review X User Count = 0 Involve your audience early and often, starting with the solution design and through frequent reviews during development X User Count = The World Monitor and tune for best performance! Log enhancements and iterate using the Blueprint method for future phases BUMPS IN THE BI ROAD 26
  25. 25. #Logi16 A completed Blueprint delivers:  Requirements Analysis – detailed analysis of the problems / needs driving the project, the goals of the solution and its target audience  Solution – architecture and its components: data sources, security considerations, integration points and conceptual user interface designs  Implementation Plan – delivery plan including milestones, development schedule and resourcing WHAT DO YOU GET? 27
  26. 26. Matt Dwyer, VP Product Management BLUEPRINT IN THE WILD:
  27. 27. ANY QUESTIONS?
  28. 28. Interested? Contact your sales rep for more information or to schedule a Blueprint:
  29. 29. Learn more with The Definitive Guide to Dashboard Design