business intelligence reporting?
business intelligence reporting requirements for an information
management requirements specification and want practical timesaving
Business intelligence reporting can mean a
lot of different things e.g.
information management projects?
- The ability to perform ad-hoc queries on
previously unavailable data;
- The ability to analyze product sales by region,
sales territory, sales representative and customer;
- The ability to see a “dashboard” of key
- The ability to show on-line customers what
other customers bought; or
- The ability to provide analytic capabilities to
sales representatives so they can respond to client questions on sales
There are many types of information management projects with varied
projects have no reporting requirements?
- Build a data warehouse and consider reporting
as a second phase;
- Integrate data from several source systems,
consolidate it, and feed a downstream system, with no reporting
- Synchronize master data between applications,
with no reporting requirements; and
- Provide reporting capabilities, including
extracting data to spreadsheets for additional analysis purposes.
Yes and no! Almost every information management project will have some
information usage requirements. Information might be required to
support reporting or it might be required to support the operation of
How do we
gather business intelligence reporting requirements?
Frequently, business owners are not aware of the capabilities
of business intelligence tools and are unsure how to define
A business intelligence analyst usually works closely with the business
team to establish common understanding of capabilities and
requirements. Each analyst will have their own way of defining
requirements. The following suggestions provide some things to consider:
questions to consider
- Review the business objectives stated in the
business case e.g. if the objective is to analyze product sales, then
focus on product, customer, and sales territory and ignore
non-essential items such as work effort required to produce the product;
- Review the logical data model—This is a
starting point to form analysis questions. It shows the logical
relationship of data and is a big help with providing insight to facts
- Review the corporate metrics lexicon to become
familiar with key performance indicators;
- Determine what metrics are considered
critical to the success of the project. Ask questions such as:
- Is this a base metric i.e. is the metric at
the most ‘atomic’ level possible?
- Is this metric dimensional
specific i.e. is the metric derived based on a categorization
involving one or more attributes?; or
- Is the metric derived or calculated i.e. is
the metric derived based on a mathematical formula?
- Agree on facts e.g. is the invoice amount for a
product considered the correct fact or is the order amount the required
- Agree on dimensions e.g. ask how the facts and
measures will be analyzed and what is important to the business team.
- What day-to-day analysis/reporting/monitoring
- Will data be used to monitor real time
- Does the required data exist in a
- How soon does the data need to be available,
e.g. next day, real-time, or some other interval?
- Will existing reporting need to be modified?
- Are there any data issues that currently exist
related to this system/project and are they documented?
- How long will the data need to be kept?
- What new data elements have been defined to
meet the business requirements?
- Are there user specific access conditions that
need to be established?
- What system monitoring will be required?
- How will data quality be measured, monitored or
- What are the requirements for data warehouse
- What query and reporting functionality is required?
- How will reporting and business intelligence be
- Are there any operational reporting requirements?
Business intelligence reporting is the key driver for most information
management projects. It determines data movement and structure and
design requirements. It is essential that an experienced business
intelligence analyst, and the business team, develop requirements early
in the project.