As data grows in size and complexity and organizations struggle to meet the ever-increasing demand for analytics, BI 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% BI adoption rate. Including an effective 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 BICC, also called a BI Center of Excellence, is part of a BI Strategy Framework. It incorporates


governance, program management, BI strategy roadmap and milestones, education and training, and support. Business Intelligence Competency Center (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.

BICCs are also part of an overall BI Maturity Model but also have their own maturity development.

They evolve from:

  1. No BICC, to
  2. An IT/technology driven BICC (usually focused on architecture and products), to
  3. A business-driven BICC (business needs driven), and ultimately, to
  4. A mature 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 the BI Governance area of the maturity model.

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

Read more: Reporting All the Way…