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of a Shared Services Model for
Business Intelligence & Analytics



repositories and analytical management services.
WHAT It has contributed to the complexity and
confusion as different interest groups within the
enterprise try to make sense of data that affects
WHY various areas of business operations.

If you glance a little at history, you will realize

WHAT that for most organizations, across virtually all
industries, the Business Intelligence function was
HOW born as a specialized area to support, enable and
sustain narrow areas of investigation. The need to
gather and understand data captured by the
enterprise was often driven by executives from
the office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO),
involved in annual strategic planning activities.
Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A)
Executives would ask their IT departments to
applications have the potential of creating
query enterprise systems to identify key trends
enterprise-wide value. However, in a large number
and correlations that would in turn strengthen the
of instances, BI&A implementations do not
strategic planning process. It often took weeks for
secure the outcomes business leaders and their
a response to the analytical request to be
stakeholders seek from BI&A investments.
fulfilled. This is because the processes for
n WHY do Business Intelligence & Analytics capturing and analyzing data sets from enterprise
implementations fail to deliver resource planning (ERP), customer relationship
expected results? management (CRM), supply chain management
(SCM) systems and other assets were manual.
n WHAT strategy should you adopt to maximize The reason: systems were not integrated, and
returns from BI&A investments? therefore could not talk to each other.

n HOW do you build a common and centralized Business unit analysts often took the reports that
hub of business insights the shared services the IT organization pulled out of the native
BI CoE? systems, and engaged in their own analysis of
data sets using spreadsheets that could not be
This whitepaper answers these three basic, yet
easily shared, and which were often of
complex questions.
inconsistent analytical quality. For many
organizations, the trend still continues
Business Intelligence &
WHY Analytics Implementations In an effort to stay on top of markets and trends,
different decision-makers across departments
do not Always Deliver within enterprises have begun improvising and
developing their own ad-hoc Business
as Expected Intelligence and Analytics solutions that cannot
The answer to that is, in most instances, be leveraged, and which are not validated to
Business Intelligence & Analytics provide accurate insight and ensure successful
implementations are fragmented and siloed. The outcomes. Many organizations are wrestling with
conventional fragmented approach can primarily a crisis of a corporate context because executives
be attributed to the emergence of new low-cost do not have access to a comprehensive single
point solutions for data analysis that have version of the truth across structured and
encouraged executives of each business unit or unstructured data environments. A fragmented
department to implement their own Business approach to data mining and analysis often leads
Intelligence & Analysis tools and methods. This different executives within the same organizations
democratization of BI&A has resulted in the to end up working with different versions of data.
uncontrolled proliferation of tools, local data In turn, conflicting conclusions about the nature

of key market dynamics emerge, with A shared services BI&A CoE serves as a
contradictory opinions about the best actions to central hub of business insights for the entire
take going forward. organization. The shared services BI CoE is
created by breaking the data silos, leveraging /
sharing the best practices, standardization and
Strategy Should better alignment between technology and
WHAT Organizations Adopt business. A shared services model can help an
organization to significantly increase its
to Maximize Returns
competitive position, better leverage and unlock
from Business Intelligence & value of its data assets, enhance organizational
Analytics Investments? capability to generate and action insights to meet
its customers changing demands and needs.
The issue of conflicting assumptions based on It also provides senior management with the
inaccurate or out-of-context data analysis tends visibility necessary to monitor decisions and
to become aggravated as more business units and improve accountability.
geographical areas of operation become involved
in BI&A activities. As the market place has An effective BI CoE optimizes the interplay of the
become more digital and global, two key three most crucial elements in any business
imperatives have emerged: people, processes and technology.
n There is a need to engage in Business
n People An effective Business Intelligence
Intelligence and Analysis more frequently
CoE serves as a common resource center that
ideally in real-time. A growing group of
can be used by executives from a variety of
executives across a range of corporate
backgrounds and expertise to accomplish
disciplines (from finance, and marketing, to
departmental objectives. Moreover, because
sales and operations) now need access to
it is a shared services hub, the analysis and
accurate business intelligence to support day-
insights developed by one group can be
to-day decision-making not just annual or
shared with other departments and
quarterly strategic planning processes
disciplines throughout the enterprise to
n The need to coordinate decision-making and enhance analysis and accelerate the
strategic planning across the enterprise on a development of new insights. A proficient BI
nearly real-time basis requires that executives CoE will make it unnecessary for executives to
share a unified vision and version of data. It is take data out of native BI&A environments.
also important to adopt a common system of This will in turn reduce the use of individual
analytical processes that allows different parts spreadsheet analysis that can create confusion,
of the organization to compare apples-to- inconsistency and unnecessary complexity.
apples even though they bring different
n Processes An effective Business Intelligence
functional perspectives
CoE introduces standard operating procedures
Achieving these two crucial business imperatives that greatly enhance the data mining and
cannot be driven by the conventional fragmented analysis processes across the enterprise.
and siloed approach towards BI&A. The need of Additionally, it can play a critical role in
the hour is to establish a flexible, accessible, identifying opportunities to improve inefficient
intuitive and centralized shared services business operations. BI CoEs can play a vital
Business Intelligence & Analytics Center of role in ensuring that both analytical
Excellence (BI & CoE) that can be used to methodologies and business process
support a variety of enterprise-wide improvements achieved in one area of the
analytical needs. business can be shared with and adopted
by other groups with similar challenges
and situations. 02
Laying the Strategic Foundation ? The first step

in establishing a BI CoE is to begin with the

end in mind. This means identifying and
aligning the needed functional capabilities of
the BI CoE with the mission-critical objectives
Fig. 1: An effective BI CoE optimizes the interplay of the enterprise.
of people, processes and technology.
Highly effective Business Intelligence &
n Technology While there are a growing Analytics capabilities are now considered a
number of point solutions that provide strategic requirement for most organizations
excellent capabilities for discrete problems that wish to be successful in todays fast
in specific situations, the key to success lies moving global digital economy. It is therefore
in orchestrating each technological element important to have a clear understanding of
(data capture, harmonization, presentation what senior executives and the Board of
and analysis) with a thorough understanding Directors believe the organization should look
of the various internal requirements across like over the short-, mid- and long-term time
the enterprise. An effective Business frames. In other words, executives must
Intelligence CoE provides a framework for understand the relationship between analytics
identifying the right tools for the right and the ability to achieve each Target Operating
applications in the data gathering and Model (TOM) in an organizations
analysis processes across the enterprise. planned development.
$ $ $
do you build a $
HOW Centralized Hub of $

Business Insights By leveraging an $
optimum mix of
the Shared Services Business people, processes and
Intelligence CoE? technology, BI CoEs can help:
While there are a growing number of point n Establish enterprise-wide
solutions and providers that offer excellent
governance frameworks
capabilities, the key to success lies in applying
an optimized mix of Business Intelligence & n Guide BI application development
Analytics expertise with best-in-class throughout the enterprise
technologies and applying them with a thorough
understanding of internal enterprise equirements. n Capture and disseminate best
practices as they are discovered and
In addition to addressing the requirements of validated
various lines of business, a BI CoE in a global
company must address the specific needs of n Provide company-wide training and
operations in specific regions or countries. It is education for BI and analytics
important for senior leadership at the corporate processes
level to provide active input into the various n Centralize and optimize vendor tools
domains, data sets, languages and operational
and resources for the entire
nomenclatures in the Business Intelligence &
Analytics CoE.
n Streamline cross-departmental
A step-by-step approach works best for designing
coordination and collaboration
a shared services model. This approach analyzes
important design elements that are crucial in
designing any shared service model.

Design Elements Relevance Organization design implication

Career path Employee motivation, engagement and retention

Engender skill/domain depth

Training Up-skill, reduce learning curve, motivation, retention

Skill sets Availability of relevant skill, level of analytical maturity Enhance organizational
Talent mobility Motivation, retention, innovation talent capabilities

Knowledge Knowledge retention and reuse, productivity, Practice experts / Competency leaders
management reduce learning curve, reduced business risk with clear and measurable objectives
Best practices Reuse, productivity, reduce learning curve, ability to perform Foster communities - visibility to best
sharing higher order analytics, consistency, free flow of ideas practices and incentive to embrace them

Strategic insight Competitive advantage, value tracking Strong alignment with organizational goals
Standardization Productivity, analytical driven organization, cost optimization,
Competency based alignment
release bandwidth to enable higher order analytics
Innovation Proactive trading and capturing market trends (Social Media, Objective assessment of current
Big Data) capabilities and gaps, design
appropriate KPIs to measure innovation

Data silos Speed insight, analytical depth, competitive advantage Competency based alignment to better
Tool set Speed to insight, analytical maturity harness available data tool set
and technologies
New technologies Speed to insight, competitive advantage

In turn, this requires BI CoE designers to n Choosing the Right Business Intelligence CoE
understand: 1) the types of executives who Architecture? While a Center of Excellence may
will be using the BI&A systems; 2) the types conjure up a single point of management, the
of questions that are going to be asked; BI CoEs should be viewed as a concept that is
3) the frequency with which they will be asked; developed around the strategic objectives and
and 4) the level of complexity that will have to evolving structural organization of the
be managed to address those questions. enterprise. In this context, successful shared
services BI CoEs can be established to support
Once that is done, it is possible to assess the decentralized TOMs that are organized to
skillsets that are currently available within the support specific Business Intelligence needs
organization to support a strategic BI&A initiative, of discrete departmental functions.
and lays the foundation for determining what
must be done to field the experts, analysts and However, they can also be consolidated to
technologists required to support an agile and support broad requirements across the
responsive BI CoE that supports the enterprise. Finally, hybrid models can also be
evolving TOM. deployed to deliver BI&A capabilities for
general and department-specific requirements.
Depending on the structure of the TOM, There is no single recipe for success.
executives must decide if they require a
centralized, decentralized / functional or hybrid Each architectural model, however, carries
BI&A infrastructure, and then ensure that the with it implications for the skillsets and
proper incentives, processes and technological domain expertise that must be possessed by
tools are in place for analytical teams to support the BI CoE team, the types of processes that
the short-, mid- and long-term data gathering and must be in place, and the sophistication of
analysis needs of key corporate constituencies. tools needed to ensure that a single version
of the truth is maintained in a disciplined
It is important to think of the BI CoE as a journey manner across the organizational
and not a destination. The structure and key decision-making process. Enterprises must
elements of the BI CoE must keep pace with therefore carefully plan, establish and manage
the evolution of the interests and objectives of
the enterprise.. 04
the key elements of the BI CoE to ensure important to give careful thought to the
enhanced business impact from it. organization of the operating structure that will
tap an array data storage resources processed
n Establishing an Effective Operating Structure? by multiple analytical tools to ultimately
The purpose of a BI CoE is to provide deliver meaningful insight in real-time.
enterprise-wide context for managing the
complexity associated with data, information There are several layers of technology and
and knowledge management across a process management steps that must be
heterogeneous stack of technologies. It should administered by an extremely competent
serve the information gathering and analysis and widely respected Chief Business
needs of a diverse inter-disciplinary group of Intelligence Officer who is supported by
executive decision-makers. It is therefore sophisticated technology management and
analytics leaders.

Chief BI Officer
Level 5 BU Leader Generic / Common Functions Leader BU Leader
Bu1 Bu2 Bu3 Marketing HR Risk Finance Bu1 Bu2 Bu3

Level 4
Competency Leaders
n Insight generation (Qualitative analytics)
Level 3
n Action

Level 2 Competency Leaders

Data Extraction

Information creation ( Aggregation, cleansing, structuring and reporting

Level 1
Descriptive Quantitative Analytics (Modeling , automation, analysis)

Analytical Representative Tool Stack - SAS, BO, IBM Cognos, SPSS, Amazon Redshift, Tableau, Teradata, Unica, Profit, Emblem, ResQ
Data Store Leader
nData definition
nData capture, Manage consolidated data repository

Data Base 1 Data Base 2 Data Base 3 Marketing External Data HR Data Financial Data base n
Data Data

n For the BI CoE to be successful, it is critical to makes it possible to execute a federated query
have in place the ability to access, integrate for information across the multi-vendor
and rationalize structured and unstructured storage environment.
data from a broad variety of internal and
n Once data from multiple sources are
external data stores. Before data can be
rationalized, it is necessary to engage in
presented for the first level of analysis, a Data
accurate enterprise-wide descriptive analysis.
Store Leader must develop conventions for
An effective BI CoE can help ensure consistent
defining data elements from a variety sources
reporting on the state of current operations by
and either establish a consolidated data
tracking key internal metrics and external
repository, or create a middle-ware map that
market trends.

n The availability of accurate reports from the
market and across the enterprise makes it
...Conclusion: Expertise and
possible to engage in diagnostic analysis to Effective Partnerships are
determine the impact key trends captured in
reports have on internal business operations as Critical to Building
well as external competitive dynamics. Business Intelligence CoEs
n By capturing critical dependencies in the
The volumes of data that organizations collect,
diagnostic impact analysis, higher-level
manage and analyze will grow exponentially in
analysts can apply tools and algorithms to
the months and years to come. Companies that
engage in predictive analytics that provide
can develop a shared framework to capture
insight into the most probable outcomes of
comprehend and act on this explosion of
unfolding trends and developments.
information will be best positioned to thrive
n With insight into probable outcomes, strategic in the dynamic, global digital economy.
planners can apply analytical processes to
n Most organizations sit over highly fragmented
develop prescriptive scenarios of activity that
sets of siloed repositories of structured and
senior horizontal (discipline-specific) and
unstructured data. As a result, many
vertical (business unit) leaders can evaluate to
departments within global operations are
chart an appropriate course of action.
engaged in ad hoc data analysis to support
day-to-day business decisions. Disparate data
...To Build, Buy or sources coupled with disparate analytical
procedures can have negative consequences on
Rent...That is
the ability of organizations to achieve strategic
the Question mission objectives.
Speed, quality and cost are among the
n For this reason, there is a growing need to
key issues that must be managed as
develop a shared services Business Intelligence
executives evaluate their options for
& Analytics model that offers an enterprise-
implementing an enterprise-wide Business
wide capability to engage in complex data
Intelligence CoE. Those options include:
management while delivering tailored
n In-sourced Strategies? Are aimed at allocating analytical services for short-, mid- and
internal human, financial and technical long-term decision support.
resources to develop a dedicated internal
n An effectively designed and managed BI CoE
shared services that is optimized to address the
can provide a global framework for delivering a
specific Business Intelligence & Analytics
BI&A capability that is responsive and
needs of various constituencies
constantly evolving to support many use-cases
n Outsourced Strategies? Focus on leveraging the within an enterprise.
growing variety of cloud and managed service
Organizations must work in close partnership with
providers that have created repeatable
experienced service providers that have developed
solutions to address the constantly evolving
and are constantly evolving BI&A CoEs that
requirements and demands for BI&A
are relevant, intuitive and widely accessible in a
n Hybrid Strategies? Tap the best of both worlds secure and compliant manner to key
by developing and integrating a mix of internal enterprise constituencies.
and external resources that allow the
organization to harvest the cost-benefits
of shared solutions available in the market,
while retaining control of critical capabilities
for ensuring quality, relevance and control of
sensitive information. 06
Copyright 2014 WNS Global Services

About WNS
WNS (Holdings) Limited (NYSE: WNS) is a leading global
Business Process Management (BPM) company. WNS
offers business value to 200+ global clients by
combining operational excellence with deep domain
expertise in key industry verticals, including Banking and
Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance,
Manufacturing, Media and Entertainment, Consulting and
Professional Services, Retail & Consumer Packaged
Goods, Telecom and Diversified Businesses, Shipping
and Logistics, Travel and Leisure and Utilities. WNS
delivers an entire spectrum of business process
management services such as customer care, finance and
accounting, human resource solutions, research and
analytics, technology solutions, and industry-specific
back-office and front-office processes. WNS has delivery
centers world-wide, including Australia, China, Costa
Rica, India, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, UK and US.

WNS is a leading provider of business intelligence and

analytics solutions. WNS's award-winning proprietary
framework, the WNS Analytics Decision Engine (WADESM)
is a predictive analytics solution framework to inspire and
enable an organization to scale the analytical maturity
curve and become fact-based in the way it thinks and
acts to achieve its long-term growth targets. With
extensive experience of setting up multiple delivery
centers round the globe, having led hundreds of
successful transitions and set up shared services centers
for many clients, WNS is well-positioned to support the
shared services needs of clients for their BI&A needs.

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