Businesspeople in a MeetingBICCs are critical to the success of an organization’s analytics; they are the glue between business and IT. They are chartered to align business-driven objectives with information, applications, processes, training, policies, and technology regardless of the size of an organization. Their capabilities span human capital, knowledge processes, culture, and infrastructure. Yet many organizations struggle with what skills and roles are needed in a BICC.

In a prior blog, I addressed BICC organizational models. Regardless of the model, certain skill sets, key roles, and responsibilities are required in a BICC for it to be successful.

BICC Key Skills

Skills needed by effective BICCs fall into three key broad areas – business, IT and analytics. The capabilities needed within each of these areas are:

  • Business Skills: Linking to business strategy, defining priorities, leading organization and process change, and controlling funding. These often sit in the business, but IT needs to develop as well.
  • IT Skills: Defining vision, maintaining programs, establishing standards, creating the technology roadmap, providing methodology leadership, maintaining an adaptable infrastructure, and improving data quality. These are traditionally technical skills, but business users need an awareness of these skills, especially standards and roadmap, which play a key role in data quality.
  • Analytics Skills: Developing user skills, defining business rules, identifying and extracting data, creating business views of data, discovering and exploring data, and enabling advanced analytical skills like statistical and text mining. Analytic skills are needed across the organization both in business and IT areas.


Figure 1: BICC Skills Requirements (Source: Gartner Grou                                             Figure 1: BICC Skills Requirements (Source: Gartner Group)


BICC Roles and Responsibilities

There are a myriad of roles required by BICCs. But they don’t all need to reside within the BICC. Some can be virtual roles that actually reside in the business, such as business analysts and data stewards. I’m purposely omitting development roles (programmers, data modelers, architects) that reside in an IT BI development team or in distributed business BI development areas. I’m also leaving out the role of business analyst, which is critical to an ongoing program and may reside in the business, IT, or BICC.

The key roles that do need to exist within a BICC include:

  • BICC Leader: Manages overall BICC program and BICC as well as vendor relationships, licensing, internal user groups, and metadata. Leads analytic adoption. Ensures business alignment. Sets and monitors BICC key performance indicators. Secures funding. Aligns with executive and BI steering committee.
  • Chief Data Steward: Manages overall data governance and related initiatives, for example, metadata management. Works with the data architect/data manager to develop the data architecture. Identifies issues and recommends actions to address data quality and integrity. Chairs data governance committee and is a member of BI steering committee.
  • Knowledge Management Leader: Manages the overall KM practices, policies, and procedures to maximize adoption of BICC capabilities. Includes BI standards, templates, etc. Identifies new training programs needed as well as “currentness” of existing training programs.
  • BICC Support Leader: Manages overall BICC Support, and ensures that user support issues are addressed.
  • BICC Technical Leader: Manages technical environment for analytics. Ensures correct technical setup of BI solutions and advises on any connectivity, security, or other technical capabilities required. Secondary support for BICC service desk. Often includes managing analytic application selection and license administration.
  • BICC Communication Leader: Communicates activities, plans, and progress on current project. Creates intranet, community, or other vehicle to communicate and build awareness of BI program progress and success.

Understanding the key roles and responsibilities needed for BICCs is critical to the success of your BICC and your overall BI strategy. It’s also important to understand the skills needed for these roles and to either look for them during your hiring process, or include them as part of professional development for existing business and technical staff.

BICCs need to be creative, adaptive and use low risk, high impact “guerilla” tactics to get off the ground and to sustain ongoing visibility. I’ll address some of these guerilla tactics in an upcoming blog.

Participate in the BICC Survey

Compare where you stand relative to your peers.
Whether you have a BICC or are thinking of creating one, you can participate.

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Other blogs in this series:

Part 1: BICC Series- The Key to Operationalizing Your BI Strategy
Part 2: BICC Basics – Models, Benefits and Challenges
BI Competency Centers Help “Big Data” Deliver Big Value