The first step of building out a business intelligence solution is that you have identify all the data sources within the business. It is right after you identify the datasources is that you want to develop and document all the data collection processes. Why develop a data collection process? Not only will creating a data collection process standardize the way you collect data for all the groups from within your business but it will ensure the integrity of your data is kept very high. Processes will ensure that your actions are repeatable, reproducible, accurate, and stable. Think about it if a business had an employee that was collecting critical data for the business and the business had no idea how it was being collected and that employee left, well I think that would have some impact on the business. The business most likely will be able to figure out how the employee was doing this but after how long? At what cost to the business? Could there be repercussions? I think you are understanding the point I am trying to make. Ensuring processes are in place for your data collection will improve the likelihood that the data is secure, available, clean and the measurements derived from that data will help the business in the now and in the future.
There are many reasons why every business should be documenting the data collection process. If you are documenting, your processes become transparent and your data becomes comprehensible in the future for yourself and others. Your documentation of each of the data collection process should include:
- Give a good description behind the data that is being collected.
- Provide all the answers the who, what, why, where and how of the data.
- Provide any conditions of the use of the data as well as the confidentiality.
- Provide any history around the project for collecting this data
- What are the measures and/or reports that will be built from this data
Even if you currently have a business intelligence solution in place but do not have all your data collection processes documented, go back and start getting them documented as soon as possible.