There has been some chatter on social media following our Sydney and London Summits about Gartner declaring the Business Intelligence Competency Centre, or “BICC”, to be dead. Ahead of our next Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit in Dallas next week, it’s probably a good time to blog about this little nugget…
The world of business intelligence has drastically changed. Big data brought a whole new level of science to the process, and a whole new set of technologies, and a whole new set of skills. Often, the big data team, because of its different way of working, isn’t even part of the BICC. At the same time, all straightforward BI activities, like dashboards, diagnostic analytics, etc. have gone “self service”.
This put the traditional, centralised BICC in a “squeeze”.
When Gartner started to cover BICC as a trend over 10 years ago, it turned out to be one of the biggest success factors for BI programs. Consolidation, focus and centralization were key themes. Create critical mass for BI. And of course, the technologies were in a stage of evolution where they really needed an IT develop team to make anything happen.
But as we stated in our Summit keynote: “all good things must come to an end”. So if the BICC is dead, what comes in its place?
Well, it certainly means that the role of a BI and analytics team changes. At the minimum the BI team focuses more on producing governed data sets (for self-service), than producing all the dashboards, reports etc. So supporting the self-service environment.
The analytics team also becomes less of a center for delivery of BI and reporting output, but the thing-formerly-known-as-BICC evolves to focus more on facilitating the wider analytics community. Connecting and leveraging the various activities and resources throughout the organization. Sharing best practice, brokering sharing of data between different lines of business, and collaborating on the shared semantic meaning and interpretation of data.
And BI technology in still evolving quickly, with all kinds of more predictive and prescriptive analytics becoming popular. The link through prescriptive analytics with business process management has become more important. I already mentioned big data, and the increased complexity of the analytics. Teams being separated likely is a transition phase.
So the BICC needs to evolve into some kind of Analytics Community of Excellence. The “rules” or “best practices” for that are not fully clear, and we will monitor that through the continued research. Clear in the meantime are a number of key traits:
- Very much self-service based, supporting citizen analysts throughout the business through training, education, and coaching.
- Core functions focus on enabling business value through curating the information assets, master data management, information governance etc.
- A much wider variety and level of advancement of analytics, less aimed on standardization, more aimed at concrete business outcomes
- Sometimes having P&L responsibility through data and analytics monetization.
- In strategic cases, led by a new function under the Chief Data Officer (CDO).
- Part of a wider analytics strategy around digital business, customer engagement or operational excellence.
(With thanks to my esteemed colleague Frank Buytendijk for authoring the core body of this blog post!)