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Business Intelligence Design Specification

Improve architecture and design process with David Bowman’s information management guidelines for business intelligence design specification

This site is designed for Information Technology professionals who need to improve service and want guidance and direction to help teams consistently produce error free results.

It provides information management guidelines for a business intelligence design specification and a template that can help jump-start a project.

What is a Design Specification?


The objective of a design specification is to specify reporting and analytics design so that development can commence.

Report Overview
  • Should specify project name;
  • Should specify report id;
  • Should specify interviewers;
  • Should specify report name;
  • Should specify report owner;
  • Should specify audience;
  • Should specify business analyst;
  • Should specify data access type e.g. traditional reporting,
    multi dimensional analysis/reporting, dashboard, scorecard, geospatial analysis or visualization, data mining etc;
  • Should specify subject matter experts;
  • Should specify data access tool; and
  • Should specify level of testing required.
Multi Dimensional Analytical Requirements
  • Should specify multi dimensional analytical requirements;
  • Should be needed anytime there is a multidimensional business intelligence tool involved, even if there are no specific reports delivered;
  • Should specify multi dimensional databases;
  • Should specify cube service level agreement;
  • Should specify refresh frequency and timeliness;
  • Should specify availability; and
  • Should specify data scope.
Dimensions and Measure Requirements
  • Should define facts and dimensions required for reporting/analytic purposes;
  • Should specify facts, dimensions and volumetric information;
  • Should specify a fact/dimension matrix;
  • Should specify measures;
  • Should document facts, dimensions and measures;
  • Should deliver a 1st draft dimensional model; and
  • Should be approved before finalizing requirements specifications.
Existing Measures
  • Should specify fact table id;
  • Should specify logical fact name;
  • Should specify measure id;
  • Should specify measure name;
  • Should specify measure type;
  • Should specify measure definition;
  • Should specify calculation; and
  • Should specify default display format.
Business Intelligence Design Specification for Report Deliverables

Report Prototypes and Mock-ups
  • Should specify prototype description e.g. a description is helpful if there are several prototype screen shots for the same report;
  • Should specify type of prototype e.g. full operational prototype or mock-up;
  • Should specify tool used for prototype e.g. MicroStrategy, Excel, PowerPoint; and
  • Should specify location of prototype e.g. include owner and folder details if in a full operational prototype in a business intelligence tool or, if a mockup, include storage location of files.
Report Rows
  • Should specify reference (or label) on prototype screen shot;
  • Should specify ID;
  • Should specify description e.g. dimension, dimension point, measure, or other non standard summarization or calculation; and
  • Should specify sort type e.g ascending, descending.
Report Columns
  • Should specify reference (or label) on prototype screen shot;
  • Should specify ID;
  • Should specify description e.g. dimension, dimension point, measure, or other non standard summarization or calculation; and
  • Should specify sort type e.g ascending, descending.
Report Measures
  • Should specify reference (or label) on prototype screen shot;
  • Should specify ID; and
  • Should specify measure,
Selection Parameters
  • Should specify parameter;
  • Should specify question;
  • Should specify selection values; and
  • Should specify default.
Initial Report Filtering
  • Should specify initial filtering required for the data set used as an input to the report; and
  • Should specify that a user will not be able to “drill” or “navigate” to  data excluded by this filter logic.
On-Demand Reporting Service Level
  • Should specify access and delivery method;
  • Should specify environment availability requirement e.g. data, report environment, portal environment, etc; and
  • Should specify performance and response requirement.
Batch Reporting
  • Should specify access and delivery method;
  • Should specify environment availability requirement e.g. data, report environment, portal environment, etc; and
  • Should specify performance and response requirement.
Users and Security

Should specify requirements for role-based security so that individuals have access rights in alignment with their job functions.

Report Testing
  • Should specify testing requirements;
  • Should specify what criteria defines successful testing; and
  • Should specify which users are required for testing.
Other Reporting Requirements
  • Should specify any dashboard requirements;
  • Should specify any scorecard requirements;
  • Should specify any data mining requirements;
  • Should specify any visualization requirements; and
  • Should specify any geospatial requirements.
Business Intelligence Design Specification Template

Under Construction  

Summary...

The objective of a business intelligence design specification is to specify reporting and analytics design so that development can commence.

This site provided information management guidelines for business intelligence design specification and a template that can help jump-start a project.