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Our Presentation to the IBI Chicago User Group - What's With ROI?

Mike and I presented at the Information Builders Chicago User Group meeting a couple of weeks ago, where we discussed the many considerations for a successful implementation of IBI's WebFOCUS application. (Here is the agenda for our upcoming encore in Milwaukee http://bit.ly/ncJtRI !).

Our theme seemed to be well-received, as we lightened up the topic by comparing a successful BI implementation to a successful Chicago BBQ.  While I admit that some of our points were a bit of a stretch (like, is coleslaw really a key ingredient to success??), but the points hit home with the crowd as we drew comparisons between ingredients and requirements, equipment/resources to software/hardware applications and project team resources and drew a parallel between a recipe and an effective project plan.

Other highlights of our discussion that resonated with audience were our thoughts about the importance of an engaged senior management representative and effective communication between all stakeholders (business and IT).

We had a few questions at the end of the discussion about our view around BI and ROI.  As we have discussed with many participants, our view on ROI is two-fold. On the one hand, a good ROI calculation can and should help substantiate any major investment.  But, on the other hand, ROI calculations can also be influenced (through formulas and assumptions) to achieve a certain result.  That said, our belief is that ROI should be used to inform a major BI Investment, but shouldn't be the only deciding factor.  With any ROI calculation, be sure to identify areas of hard and soft savings and back up your calculations with as many facts as possible.

Please let me know if you are interested in learning more about our presentation.  Or, if you can get to Milwaukee on October 6, 2011, you can see us at the Milwaukee User Forum for Information Builders.