BI Lifecycle

In BI there are a few particular check points to focus on.

Data Sources - where does the data originate?: servers; databases; flat files; what frequency is the data collected? in real time?, who owns each data source? what credentials needed to connect with, etc.

ETL - what business rules are applied to the data? what are the keys to join on? etc.

Data Model - how is the data put together in a structured fashion to allow easy consumption by multiple tools? etc.

Distribution - how will users consume the data? what application types? what security needed? what data can user see? mobile / portable / disconnected data? self service or canned reports?  Dashboards / Scorecards / KPI's needed? etc.

This should get you thinking of the full life cycle for a BI project.

The world has changed.  No longer IT sits in the castle, lets the gate down for the User to enter, submit request and come back in a month for a product that may or may not be accurate, limited flexibility and might not match the other reports in the organization.

Users want data, they want it now, it better be correct and you better be able to provide it in half a dozen formats / sources / self service options.

That's if you want to stay competitive.