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CFOs the leading sponsor in BI projects: Gartner

CFOs the leading sponsor in BI projects: Gartner

CIOs no longer the number one choice with CFOs holding the purse strings

CFOs are in a greater position of authority than CIOs when it comes to building a business intelligence (BI) dream team, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Analyst Mark Beyer told the audience at the Gartner BI Summit in Sydney today that when building a team to carry out the creation of a business intelligence competency centre (BICC), CFOs are in a better position to be an effective sponsor.

“The CIO doesn’t have authority, the CFO or the CMO has the real purse strings and they have more authority to give resources to the team,” he said.

“A sponsor has to have both authority and responsibility... they’re usually a C-level person in the business.”

Beyer said that he has seen a shift in BI project leaders to seek support from CFOs in recent times due to the level of risk they hold in the enterprise.

“We’ve been seeing a huge trend for the CFO to be the sponsor on business intelligence,” he said. “A sponsor is at risk. You have to pick the [person who holds the] right level of risk in your organisation.”

One reason why a BI project sponsor should have a high level of investment in BI endeavours is so that the project is pushed to succeed and because of their business acumen.

“The reason you want a sponsor to be at risk will pull strings to change the resource model to get you what you need," he said. "They’re at risk, too.

"The sponsors’ skill set lives in knowing the business and being responsible for co-ordinating teams... you don’t need IT skills to necessarily be the sponsor.”

Beyer said another key part to forming a BI team is to focus on the interaction between employees rather than individual skill sets.

“You’re going to take the knowledge and skills and match them. You’re not looking for the best person – you’re looking for a team that when they work together they work well,” he said.

“You can have the best team in the world but unless they work in an environment that works, they will fail.”

The insights come as fellow Gartner analyst, John Roberts, said at the summit that CIOs are still trying to perfect BI in 2011, and as CFOs are now being viewed as the top decision makers inside companies.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

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Tags GartnerGartner BI Summit 2011Mark BeyerCFOs

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