Best Advice: Set Clear Requirements for Embedded BI Success

By February 28, 2017Embedded BI
Izenda integration specialists help clients understand what exactly that they need to deliver with their requirements.

Succinct requirements can make the difference between successfully embedding a functioning self-service analytics platform into your application and missing your release date.

If you want to add analytics to your application, you’ll need to know what functionality it needs whether you build it yourself or buy it from a third-party vendor.

If you need to add an analytics solution to your application, the first step will be to understand the specific needs of your users.

Before meeting with an analytics platform vendor, your business team and software developers should have an outline of the data needed and the types of reports, charts and dashboards required to meet your needs.

Every vertical is not the same, some applications simply require a handful of stock reports while others require a full suite of self-service analytics. Outlining your needs in advance gives you a checklist of must-have items to review with each vendor.

The biggest problem with requirements is assumptions.

“People make a lot of assumptions based on functionality they have envisioned. If it is not written down or mocked up, it’s still an assumption,” according to our integration team. You can create detailed functionality and workflows while brainstorming. But if it is not documented, these items rarely match expectations.

Izenda integration specialists help clients understand what exactly that they need to deliver with their requirements.

Our Izenda team shares some of the miscommunications they’ve encountered with various projects. Some of these include:

  • Industry or company specific expressions without clear definitions of what these items mean
  • Restricted access to areas of customer applications required to complete a task
  • Missing data elements required in the specifications or calculated elements which are not defined
  • Leaving critical employees off the integration team, such as failing to include the company’s DBA
  • Breakdown in communication plans
  • Late submission and approval of requirements
  • Delay in review and sign off for completed items

Izenda has provided some clients with templates to help them write their requirements. Our team has even tried to create requirements for our customers. “But even when completing these, if they are not reviewed thoroughly, there are differences in expectations,” our team member said.

The lack of clear and finalized requirements has delayed projects. We can see a clear correlation between a lack of requirements and project success.

Tips for ensuring a successful integration

  • Understand your needs and wants.
  • Communicate your goals effectively. Use cases can help get a vendor positioned to achieve those objectives quickly with the correct use of the application.
  • Get the right people involved. For example, if data preparation requires changes, bring DBAs into the conversation.
  • Understand your user’s needs and wants and the intent behind each item scoped. Many times these clarifications can lead to a more effective design and delivery.

Our developers need to review the requirements before reaching an agreement on deliverables. Some items are easily implemented and others may not be possible without additional feature development. Knowing this up front will save a considerable amount of time and frustration.

Before limiting your project’s scope, learn what’s possible with the Izenda 7 Series embedded BI platform.

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