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Business Intelligence Tools Guideline

Policy Code: 
DIT-G001
Effective Date: 
July 23, 2007
Revision Number: 
1

Introduction

The Architecture Review Board (ARB) approved the recommendations of the Business Intelligence (BI) study team on August 8, 2006 and the recommendations were presented to the State IT Advisory Committee on October 25, 2006. The report included a series of next steps including determining a procurement strategy and performing a proof of concept. Based on the CIBER consultant study, an alternate procurement was approved.It was determined that North Dakota would perform a proof-of-concept (POC) with the Business Intelligence (BI) software applications recommended by the CIBER consultant. This document presents the result of that proof-of concept and the next steps recommended by the project’s Executive Steering Committee (ESC).

Initially, the plan was to have the POC include both the BI software and ETL (Extract Transform Load) tools. However, after consulting with the vendors, it was determined there was not enough time in our schedule to adequately cover the ETL tools so the scope was reduced to cover just the BI software. Both vendors did demonstrate how their own ETL tools operated to create the POC. As to the other recommendations presented in the CIBER study, several were generally discussed (such as how the applications worked with different data warehouse platforms) but were not evaluated as part of the POC other than the general flexibility of the application.

Guidance

Based on the additional knowledge gained from the POC, the committee makes the following recommendations regarding moving forward with Business Intelligence.

  • An Agency's BI software tool selection should be determined according to business needs and the availability of solutions that already exist to meet the business needs.
  • COGNOS should be considered as the preferred BI software tool; especially when integration with FileNet and PeopleSoft is a business need for the agency.
  • SAS should be considered when data mining, predictive analytics and integration with the ESRI GIS is a business need for the agency.
  • ETL tools will be evaluated and guidance will be provided in the future.  
  • As you are looking at BI software tools, consider the integration between the BI software tool and the ETL requirements.
  • Meta data information collected and utilized in these tools sets shall be evaluated and guidance will be provided in the future to facilitate the sharing of metadata between repositories.
  • Check the availability of any term contracts for any BI software tools. If none exist, contact procurement to initiate a process to establish a term contract for any tools being considered. 
 

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