Posted by Gnana Krishnan
July 30th, 2012

Business decisions are the cornerstone of a successful BI implementation. Cataloging the decisions taken by the key stakeholders in an organization is the first step in understanding the information requirements for a data warehouse. Capturing business decisions – strategic and operational, is not a simple task as most business decisions tend to be complex requiring diverse data points. Further, when all decisions are collected, how will we know the decisions that have the most impact on the business?

Here’s a simple framework based on the six primitive interrogatives that Hexaware has effectively used while assessing information requirements. This framework helps systematically uncover important dimensions of information and organize them in a format that is easy to comprehend.

Question Description Comments Example
Who? The decision-maker Stakeholder Service Delivery Manager (SDM)
What? The decision A decision requiring supporting data / information Resourcing for a project
Why? The motivation for the decision The significance of the decision to the business Getting the right project team is critical to the success of a services project.
When? When is the decision made frequency (or) a point in time Made during the planning stage and reviewed at periodic intervals
How? The basis for making the decision – KPI / metrics / a logic the metrics and datasets required for making the decision By comparing the skill set requirement and project schedule in the Project plan to the  availability of resources (HR and PMO databases) with the right skills (skills database) and good track record (appraisal database)
Where? The place where the decision is made Specifies mobility /  additional access requirement This information needs to be accessed through extranet

Depending on the stakeholder (mostly), the decisions could be strategic or operational. A manager responsible for carrying out a business process will have an operational view of information and will be making operational decisions relating to his/her sphere of operations.  Decisions taken by top management personnel with longer-term business responsibilities tend to be more strategic.  The above framework helps capture both strategic and operational decisions along with the datasets required to make the decisions.

Successfully capturing the decisions and the relevant metrics and the datasets is only half the story in the assessment for a data warehouse. Let’s reserve the other half for a subsequent blog.

Hope this information was useful. Please do share your comments/suggestions.

Comments (0)