Business Intelligence Project Goals

Business Intelligence Project Success: Setting the Right Goals


Setting goals is an important part of any Business Intelligence project. By identifying the problem you’re trying to solve, defining KPIs, setting SMART goals, and tracking and evaluating progress, you can make sure your project is successful. Remember, it’s important to keep your goals in mind throughout the project and adjust them as needed

Starting a Business Intelligence project can be exciting, but it’s important to have a plan in place to make sure the project is successful. One of the most important parts of that plan is setting goals. 

Goals help guide the project and make sure everyone is working towards the same focus. In this post, we’ll talk about how to identify and set effective goals for your Business Intelligence project.

Data has become one of the driving forces behind every successful business, and business intelligence engineers are the experts who help organizations harness the power of their data

Business Intelligence Project

Business intelligence (BI) projects are structured efforts to gather, process, and analyze data for the purpose of informing business decisions. 

BI projects can involve a wide range of activities, such as extracting data from various sources, cleaning and transforming the data, creating dashboards and visualizations, and performing statistical analyses. 

The goal of a BI project is to turn raw data into actionable insights that can help organizations make better decisions and achieve their strategic objectives.

4 Elements Of Setting Goals For a Successful Business Intelligence Project

From our experience, these are the 4 key elements of defining and setting the correct goals for a business intelligence project

Business Intelligence Project Goals

Let’s start with the most important one, identifying the correct problem to solve. Even if you have some initial thoughts about what your BI project will result in, it’s essential that you have understood your core needs and what you really should be focusing on

Identifying the problem for a business intelligence project

Identifying the Business Problem

The first step in setting goals for your Business Intelligence project is figuring out what problem you’re trying to solve.

This might be something like “Our sales are down, and we’re not sure why,” or “We’re having trouble keeping track of our inventory.” Once you know the problem, you can start thinking about how to solve it.

Importance of Understanding the Problem in Order to Set Effective Goals

As for all problem solving, it’s so easy to just dive in and start trying to solve the problem before you fully understand the key question.

Understanding the problem is essential in order to set effective goals for any business intelligence project. Essentially, it brings

  • Right path: Having a clear understanding of the current state and desired state of a business allows goals to be established that will help drive the project in the right direction and deliver desired outcomes. 
  • Potential challenges: Having an understanding of the problem helps to identify possible obstacles that may stand in the way of success. This understanding can be used to structure the project in such a way as to minimize any potential risks or difficulties. 
  • Needed resources: Understanding the problem also helps to ascertain what resources are required to complete the project and develop a timeline for achieving the desired outcome

Examples of Business Problems BI Projects Solve

Business intelligence projects can provide solutions to a variety of business problems. Examples include: 

  • Uncovering trends in customer behaviors that can be used to improve marketing efforts, identifying opportunities for cost savings, improving operational efficiencies, and developing new insights into a company’s target market
  • Predictive analysis that can help to forecast future demand, monitor performance across teams, and make sure that strategic plans are being implemented accordingly
  • Improve decision-making abilities by providing access to real-time data
KPI in a BI Project

Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Once you know the problem you’re trying to solve, you need to figure out how you’ll know if you’re making progress. That’s where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in

KPIs are specific numbers or measurements that you can use to track progress. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, a KPI might be the number of sales made each month.

How to Define Kpis for the Project Based on the Identified Business Problem

  • Identify key issues: Start by understanding the problem and the desired outcome. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure the success of the project. These KPIs should be measurable, relevant, and actionable. 
  • Available data: Consider the data sources available and the data points that will be used to measure the KPIs. 
  • Tracking: Once the KPIs are identified, create a plan to track and monitor them. This plan should include the frequency of data collection, the methods used to collect the data, and the methods used to analyze the data

Examples of KPIs For a BI Project

Selecting the right KPIs to measure progress and success. Below are some examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) a business intelligence project may use to measure progress:

  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Customer Retention Rate (CRR)
  • Conversion Rate (CVR)
  • Average Time to Purchase (ATTP)
  • User Satisfaction Rate (USR)
  • Employee Productivity

And many many more. Our experience is that you should select the most important ones, rather than going for as many KPIs as possible. The old saying quality over quantity is a good rule of thumb here.

If you want to learn more about business intelligence (BI), we recommend our post Introduction to business intelligence (BI), or check out all of our posts related to business intelligence

SMART goals for a Business Intelligence Project

Setting SMART Goals

Now that you know the problem you’re trying to solve and how you’ll measure progress, it’s time to set some goals. But not all goals are created equal – some are more effective than others. That’s where the SMART criteria come in. 

SMART goals are 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

This means they’re clear, you can track them, they’re realistic, they’re important to the problem you’re trying to solve, and they have a deadline.

How to Use the SMART Criteria to Set Effective Goals for the Project

Make sure the goals are clear and concise, and that they can be measured and tracked. Consider the resources available and the timeline for the project so that you set realistic goals that are achievable within the given timeframe of the project. 

Example of SMART Goal in BI Project

An example of a SMART goal in a business intelligence project could be: “Increase revenue by 15% over the next 6 months through improved customer segmentation and targeted marketing campaigns.” 

This goal is specific (increasing revenue by 15%), measurable (tracking revenue over the 6 month timeline), achievable (given the resources available), relevant (improving customer segmentation and targeting campaigns) and time-bound (set for 6 months).

Tracking progress in a BI Project

Tracking and Evaluating Progress

Once you’ve set your goals, it’s important to track your progress and see if you’re on track to meet them. This might involve creating reports or dashboards to show how you’re doing. It’s also important to evaluate your progress and make adjustments if necessary

Tracking and Evaluating Advancements in Order to Determine Whether Activities Are Being Fulfilled

This process involves monitoring the progress of the project and assessing whether the activities are being completed as planned. This can be done by regularly reviewing the project plan, tracking milestones, and evaluating the results of activities.

The project manager has a key part of these parts of the project as the project manager should track the progress of each activity and compare it to the timeline outlined in the project plan.

This will help to identify any delays or issues that may arise. The project manager should also review any changes to the project plan and ensure that they are being implemented correctly.

The project manager should also evaluate the results of each activity to determine whether they are meeting the goals outlined in the project plan. This can be done by comparing the results to the expected outcomes and assessing whether they are meeting the desired objectives.

If any activities are not meeting their goals, then the project manager should take corrective action to ensure that they are completed as planned.

Different Methods for Tracking and Evaluating Progress

Business intelligence projects can be complex and require careful tracking and evaluation of progress. Different methods can be used to track and evaluate progress, such as using project management software to track tasks, setting up regular meetings with stakeholders to review progress, and using analytics to measure performance

Some examples: 


A dashboard is a visual display of key performance indicators (KPIs) and other important data that can be used to quickly see how the project is progressing. Dashboards can be customized to show different data sets and can be accessed by stakeholders to track progress in real-time.

Example of a dashboard in Microsoft Power BI

Tracking progress in a BI Project with Dashboard

Reports are detailed documents that provide a more in-depth look at the data and progress of the project. Reports can be generated on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly, and can be used to evaluate progress over time 


Surveys can be used to gather feedback from stakeholders, such as customers or employees. This can be useful in understanding how the project is impacting the business, and gathering feedback from stakeholders can help in refining the project

Steering Committee

Steering Committee (Steerco) meetings are used in a Business Intelligence (BI) project as a way for stakeholders to stay informed about the project’s progress and provide guidance on its direction.

In simple terms, a Steering Committee is a group of key people from different parts of the company who come together to oversee the project and make important decisions. 

They meet on a regular basis, for example, on a monthly or bi-weekly basis, to review the project’s progress, identify any issues that need to be addressed, and make decisions about how to move forward.

During a Steerco meeting, the project team will present updates on the project’s progress, including any accomplishments, current challenges, and upcoming milestones.

Conclusion: Goals In a BI Project

Setting goals is an important part of any Business Intelligence project. By identifying the problem you’re trying to solve, defining KPIs, setting SMART goals, and tracking and evaluating progress, you can make sure your project is successful. Remember, it’s important to keep your goals in mind throughout the project and adjust them as needed

Summary Goals and Aims for a Business Intelligence Project

FAQ: Business Intelligence Project Goals and Aim

What is the most important aspect of setting goals in a business intelligence project?

The most important aspect of setting goals in a business intelligence project is to ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis framework helps ensure that goals are clear and actionable, making them more likely to be achieved.

How do I get buy-in from stakeholders for my business intelligence project goals?

One way to get buy-in from stakeholders is to involve them in the goal-setting process and clearly communicate the benefits of the project. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eAdditionally, aligning the project goals with the overall goals of the organization can help gain support.

How often should I review and adjust my business intelligence project goals?

It is important to regularly review and adjust goals as necessary. This could be done on a monthly or quarterly basis, or whenever there is a significant change in the project or organization.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when setting business intelligence project goals?

Some common mistakes to avoid include setting unrealistic goals, failing to involve stakeholders in the goal-setting process, and not regularly reviewing and adjusting goals.

How do I measure the success of my business intelligence project goals?

Success can be measured by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the project goals. These could include metrics such as increased revenue or improved efficiency. It’s also important to have a clear definition of success and to track progress towards it.

Eric J.
Eric J.

Meet Eric, the data "guru" behind Datarundown. When he's not crunching numbers, you can find him running marathons, playing video games, and trying to win the Fantasy Premier League using his predictions model (not going so well).

Eric passionate about helping businesses make sense of their data and turning it into actionable insights. Follow along on Datarundown for all the latest insights and analysis from the data world.