New training division to buff up BI skills

Microsoft Corp. solution provider, IS Partners, has launched a training division specifically aimed at analysts and developers.

The division, says the company, will address areas of business not directly addressed by traditional training, with Business Intelligence (BI) being one such area, and training in BI methodology a key component.

Caron Mooney, director of IS Partners, says BI implementation is not as easy as people would like to think. "Many organizations want to do BI in-house, but do not realize that, while the technology might seem simple enough to implement, design techniques and methodologies involving users' needs should be at the heart of any BI implementation for it to be done correctly."

The company believes that BI solutions that are purely data-driven do not address user issues, while user implementation without ICT involvement results in information silos and many versions of the truth. "Finance departments are a good example, where financial BI reporting tools are often implemented independently of the ICT department. The upshot is that these users are functioning in isolation, with risk introduced in terms of data security and back-up," Mooney says.

"It is not up to ICT to tell business what information it can or cannot have, nor what its key measures can be, based on the data in current systems. ICT will identify costs, and, armed with this knowledge, business people need to make their own decisions as to the value of information.

"The unfortunate truth is that ICT departments often control the organization when business has to participate in any application implementation. This introduces the need for a well-defined methodology. Our training aims to provide a better understanding of business needs in order to ensure successful BI implementations," Mooney concludes.

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