Part 1BI competency centers (BICCs) are in the spotlight once more. Ironically, despite the projected 80% annual growth in data and the projection of 50% of enterprise employees use of analytics by 2014 (and 75% by 2020), most organizations today only have a 10-20% business intelligence (BI) adoption rate. Including a business-driven BI competency center as part of your overall BI strategy is a critical element in increasing BI adoption, enabling BI self-service, and ensuring that your organization has the right analytic capabilities to deliver analytic business value.

What Is a BI Competency Center?

A business intelligence competency center (BICC), sometimes also called a BI center of excellence (CoE), is part of a BI strategy framework. It incorporates governance, program management, BI strategy roadmap and milestones, education and training, and support. BICC is a cross-functional team with specific tasks, roles, responsibilities, and processes for supporting and promoting the effective use of business intelligence across organizations (Gartner 2001).

BICCs are largely engaged in the organization and implementation areas of a BI strategy. They are key in addressing all five pillars of the strategy as illustrated in the SAP’s BI strategy framework:

 BI Strategy FrameworkFigure: BI Strategy Framework

BICCs are integral in the governance part of an overall BI maturity model but also have their own maturity development. They evolve from:

  1. No BICC, to
  2. An IT or technology driven BICC (usually focused on architecture and products), to
  3. A business-driven BICC (business needs driven), and ultimately, to
  4. A mature, dynamic, enterprise-wide and integrated BICC.

The BICC development process involves continuous improvement and should be a key element reviewed at least annually as part of your overall BI strategy review and update. Business needs change and new capabilities are needed to adapt to business and enabling technology advances.

You can see a BICC’s evolution in this governance excerpt of the SAP’s BI maturity model:

BI Maturity ModelFigure: BI Maturity Model

BICCs can take a number of organizational forms or models depending on your organization and culture. In my next blog of the series, I’ll discuss the different types of models and benefits of a BICC.

Participate in the BICC Survey

Compare where you are vs. other organizations on your BI governance. Whether you already have a BICC or are just looking to create one, participate in our new BICC Survey.

Other blogs in this series: