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Organizations are flocking to modern BI to empower more people in their business with faster insights through visual, self-service analytics. You may be completely sold on the benefits of modern BI, but you’ll want to look carefully at your reporting and analytics to ensure you modernize for maximum value.
Many organizations are also wary of the migration process and how to escape the maintenance dilemma—if you move too late in an annual maintenance cycle, you could risk not completing your transition before renewal; if you migrate too early, you pay more for overlapping BI systems.
Sometimes, replicating certain reports in a modern platform may be as simple as copying and pasting the SQL behind them, and from there, users get the benefits of further analysis with a self-service tool. In other cases, there may be more work to realize analytics value or cost savings. Ultimately, you may risk stalling your adoption if the business doesn’t see value one way or another. Identifying the right use cases to modernize is critical to secure wins that demonstrate a return on investment—whether it’s reducing spend on BI technology, time savings, or new insights that impact the bottom line.
Ideal migration situations in which modern BI provides great analytics value:
More complex migration scenarios where modern BI adds analytical value:
Situations in which there may be little or no analytics value with modern BI, but there could be cost benefits to consolidate or migrate:
It’s also important to be aware of how the perspectives of those in a traditional reporting pipeline may influence the scoping for modernization. If IT typically executes on report requirements that inform the report’s look and feel, they may not be aware of the capabilities of a modern platform to perform the same analysis but with a different design. (They may have employed certain reporting layouts for years simply because it was the best way to print them.) Casual business users viewing dashboards and reports may also need to warm up to new layouts until they see firsthand how the modern platform satisfies their needs and enables them further with self-service analysis. Initial apprehension may feel like a roadblock, but on the other side of the coin is a great opportunity.
The costs of supporting multiple platforms is a typical concern for organizations looking to migrate to modern analytics—especially for those who plan to sunset the traditional system. The perfect timing will vary from organization to organization based on which traditional platform you’re using, where you are in your maintenance contract, and how complex your data pipeline and environment are.
Some organizations see immediate benefits of self-service analysis through a proof of concept and proceed with a migration even if they are early into a renewed maintenance contract with their traditional BI vendor. For others, reducing costs is the only way to make the move possible.
If your migration absolutely hinges on spend, you may want to kick off an assessment now, and identify a timeline that makes the most sense for your organization financially. While less common, another option may be to ask your modern BI vendor about a maintenance contract buyout or credit. This may be an option with a multi-year enterprise agreement, and if you’re confident enough in the value of modern analytics and solution provider.
You’ll need to carefully scope the work and establish a phased migration timeline that accounts for the proper training and testing to validate your new solution and optimize this period of overlap to minimize spend. Here is an example of a high-level phased approach:
When determining a deployment scenario and strategy, it’s not uncommon that organizations start small. Depending on which BI systems are centralized or used across multiple departments, the modern migration may begin with a certain department or an implementation for a specific use case that spans a few departments. The deployment can evolve and expand from there once initial successes are captured and communicated.
If it’s not viable to take internal resources away from their work or you don’t have the right skills to confidently manage the migration, you may decide to work with an SI or consulting partner during the migration and leverage their expertise in modern BI migration. With the right understanding of your needs and a solid framework, an industry expert doing the heavy lifting may prove to be a better option for your organization for overall costs and timing.
For more considerations when moving to modern BI, see our webinar series Embracing the Modern BI Evolution.