Process Documentation: Why you need it for a successful BI solution
Building out a Business Intelligence Solution? Here’s what you need to do to make it a success:
Step one: Identify all the data sources within your business
Step two: Define, develop, and document all the data collection processes.
Why do you need to develop a data collection process?
Even if you currently have a business intelligence solution in place, it cannot bring lasting success until all your data collection processes are documented.
Not only will creating a data collection process standardize the way you collect data from all the groups within your business, but it will keep the integrity of your data very high. Processes will ensure that your actions are repeatable, reproducible, accurate, and stable. Think about it in this scenario: a business has an employee that is responsible for collecting critical data for the business, and only that employee knows how and what needs to be done. What happens if that employee leaves? How long will it take for the business to scramble and figure out how the employee was doing this? At what cost to the business? Could there be repercussions? I think you are understanding the point I am trying to make. Putting processes in place for your data collection and adhering to them will improve the likelihood that the data is secure, available, and clean. It ensures the analysis and measurements derived from that data will continuously help your business in the now and in the future.
There are many reasons why every business should be documenting the data collection process. If you are documenting, your processes become transparent and your data becomes more comprehensible for yourself and others.
Your documentation of each of the data collection process should include:
- Full descriptions and definitions of the data that is being collected
- Answers to the “who?”, “what?”, “why?”, “where?” and “how?” of the data
- Any conditions or confidentiality of the use of the data
- Any history around the project for collecting the data
- Measures and/or reports that will be built from the data