The Value Of BI Competency Centers

Simran Kohli

A business intelligence competency center (BICC) or center of excellence has always been a key component of BI success.

“It has been one of two major recommendations for an effective BI strategy, the other being an executive business sponsor,” says Pat Saporito, global COE for BI and SAP’s BI strategy program leader. However, with the growing demand for business user self-service fueled by Big Data and the Internet of Things, organizations are either creating new BICCs or retooling existing more technically oriented BICCs that were more shared services or project management offices.  “We found that BICCs and information governance were the two hot topics companies wanted more information on as a follow-on to a BI strategy discussion or workshop,” added Saporito.

To address this renewed interest and gauge the value of BI competency centers, SAP used the survey-based performance benchmarking approach and created a BI Competency Center survey. Below are the aggregate findings to date from the assessment:

  • More than 40% organizations currently have a BI competency center in place, and approximately 60% of them are less than 5 years old.
  • 33% organizations follow a best-practices-driven model for managing their BI competency centers.
  • Only 12% organizations have more than 50% business ownership or engagement in their BI competency centers.
  • Almost 85% organizations find “increased BI usage/adoption” as one of the top 5 benefits they have attained or seek to gain through BI competency centers.
  • 57% of BI competency centers are funded from corporate or IT and have CFO as an executive business sponsor other than the CIO.

These findings substantiate the fact that many BI and analytics leaders now are looking at redefining the BICC to support more impactful use cases aimed at improving business performance. It may be an intuitive step, but it underscores the reality that developing a BICC strategy holistically across an entire organization is a critical first step in operationalizing your BI strategy, and is the key to business alignment and BI success.

To learn more about BI Competency Centers, visit our BI Success website and download the BICC eGuide.