In my first post in this series about the role of IT in Business Discovery (located here), I talked about how Business Discovery is helping IT professionals to become champions to the business once again because it liberates them from the mundane and - frankly - inefficient tasks associated with Traditional BI (such as constant report writing, for example). This 'Win-Win' situation is helping fuel the enormous expansion of QlikView's impact across thousands of organizations across the world every day.
In this, the secord part of the series, I examine the various business and IT roles specifically and their impact on a Business Discovery deployment.
Part 2: Business and IT: Sharing the benefits together by understanding everyone's role
IT professionals have varied roles to contribute within a Business Discovery deployment. It’s quite typical for there to be an ‘overlap’ point between the business functions and the IT group. Business Discovery fosters a closer and more productive relationship between the business and IT professionals because this overlap point promotes a very collaborative approach to data provisioning and application design and –ultimately – application usage.
The image above (click to expand) shows a simplified and generalized view of the various ‘actor’s' in a typical Business Discovery deployment, from both IT and the business. It’s worth remembering that the roles are often blended together, particularly in smaller organizations.
- CIO/VP of IT: Their interaction with QlikView is typically by means of a dashboard view of IT-operations data such as asset management and procurement, systems SLA KPI’s (Service Level Agreement Key Performance Indicators) and headcount. For the CIO or VP of IT, a Business Discovery implementation means more than just dashboard views however: They are charged with ensuring the IT function supports the business as efficiently and effectively as possible. In the provisioning of Business Intelligence, QlikView enables them to grow their BI throughput without growing the costs associated with this growth because of its speed of deployment, more efficient use of IT resources and the secure self-service nature of QlikView.
- Enterprise Architect: Once deployed, an Enterprise Architect will typically analyze usage, configuration and capabilities delivered by QlikView in the organization, ensuring that the correct infrastructure resources are being provisioned and that security policies are being adhered to correctly. The Enterprise Architect will also assess the integration capabilities between QlikView and other tools in the enterprise information chain. In the procurement process, the Enterprise Architect has a critical role in ensuring that QlikView will fit within the organization’s existing infrastructure and governance models.
- Data Analyst: Their role in a centralized, enterprise-wide deployment of QlikView is one of provisioning data models that meet the changing needs of the business. In typical organizations today, new data requests are frequent and the role of the Data Analyst is to ensure correct ETL (Extract Transform and Load) models are in place and that the data being provisioned is of high quality. Data Analysts will use QlikView Developer to build the ETL scripts, create –and maintain - the data layer and ensure that data is both relevant and current. They will also use the many free QlikView utilities to monitor and support the data layer within QlikView.
- Business Analyst: They have a critical role in any Business Discovery deployment: they are typically the ‘crossover’ point between IT and the business functions. In many instances – particularly in larger organizations – BA’s will be attached to the business directly. The BA will typically use directly, or change, existing data models based on their own needs (usually provisioned by a Data Analyst) and will build the applications that are ultimately used by the business users themselves. With the rapidly changing requirements of businesses, BA’s will often create new applications on a very regular basis. This is one of the key tenets of QlikView: the rapid application development process that allows businesses to react a ever-changing environment.
- Business Users: Rather than being ‘end’ users, business users are the start of the discovery process: with the applications that are built with QlikView, they can – themselves -- explore, interact and interpret the data using QlikView’s unique associative technology, without having to constantly return to the IT group to have a new report or query generated. QlikView even allows business users to build their own dashboards –from within the zero-install AJAX web client – using the high quality and secure data that has been provisioned to them from the IT group.
Existing IT Skills Transfer easily with QlikView
IT departments with existing traditional Business Intelligence deployments can re-use a large proportion of the existing skill-sets for a QlikView deployment. This ensures that QlikView deployments maintain a lower overall TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and also ensures that QlikView can sit side-by-side with those existing deployments within the same department or BI Competency Center. This topic was covered in the blog post “QlikView and IT: Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter”. Figure 4 highlights where there is significant skills overlap of general BI skills with those that are needed for large QlikView deployments, such as SQL scripting, data modeling, testing, integration and project governance models. The areas that require new skills training are relatively small and include a knowledge of the QlikView UI environment as well as – for system administrators – the QlikView Management Console. Both areas are relatively straightforward to get familiar with, especially for IT professionals.
The image below (click to expand) illustrates the various skill sets that are needed for QlikView deployment, and how many of them typically exist within an organization already:
In the next part of the series I'll look at what 'Self Service BI' means for IT professionals responsible for a Business Discovery deployment.