Boris Evelson By Boris Evelson

I get many requests from Forrester clients to describe job requirements for a head of BI team, department, solutions center, etc. While Forrester does not have a formal description of such requirements, if I map such requirements to all BI best practices that I write about, here’s what I come up with:

  • Champion and rally the organization around BI. Educate senior non-IT executives on the value of BI: without measurement, there’s no management. Be able to argue that business, not IT, should own BI.
  • Build and support BI business cases (BI ROI)
  • Understand Key Performance Measures and Indicators that drive company measurement, reporting and analytics across functions like
    • Sales  
    • Marketing  
    • Customer Service  
    • Finance  
    • Operations/Logistics  
    • HR  
    • IT/Systems  
    • Compliance and Risk Management  
  • Understand how these metrics and measures align and track against overall business strategies, goals and objectives.
  • Be proficient in all aspects of BI and Information Management processes, technologies and architectures such as
    • BI delivery mechanisms: portals, thin/thick clients, email/mobile phone alerts, etc  
    • BI tools such as report builders, ad-hoc queries, OLAP, dashboards, BAM (business activity monitoring), data mining and predictive modelling  
    • Dimensional data modeling principles (star and snowflake schemas, denormalized data structures, slowly changing dimensions, etc) necessary to support  
    • Physical data architecture options such as enterprise data warehouse, data federation, hub & spoke architectures, independent data marts  
    • Data integration tools and techniques such as ETL (Extract Transform Load), CDC (Change Data Capture)  
    • Relevant related areas such as data quality, master data management, metadata management, collaboration and business process management  
  • Ability to attract, hire, retain and motivate top BI talent: business analysts and technologists
  • Experience in working with BI hardware, software and services vendors. Ability to negotiate and structure contracts favorable to the organization

These are all obviously in addition to the standard senior manager qualifications such as communication, presentation, management, leadership, organizational and other relevant skills.

Did I miss anything? I am really interested in your feedback, comments and suggestions.