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My Takeaways from Learning about BI at Stylight

November 24, 2015

This is a selection of my key takeaways from interviewing Konstantin Wemhöner, the Head of Business Intelligence at Stylight, about his first year of building a dedicated BI team. You can read the complete interview here.

One year of BI effort can save over 120 hours per week. Every week.

According to Wikipedia an employee in Germany averages at 1371 hours of work per year. This means, that the BI team saves one year of work every 11.4 weeks.

Don’t work in a vacuum. There is much to learn from peers.

One of our assets is the fact that the founders are deeply rooted in the tech scene in Munich and throughout Germany. Their connections with other internet companies makes it easier for us to get in touch with our peers in the BI area. I can’t stress enough how helpful that is.

Start to network and communicate as soon as possible. Find out what others in the field are doing and what works for them.

People may be working with data in a company already, but it’s hard to get an overview of the data across the company without a conscious, focused effort.

Making the connections across important pieces of data were not possible on a day-to-day operational point of view. Too much manual work was involved when handling data. Making connections across the boundaries of departments or even seeing the opportunities to link data for a better view was challenging.

In the beginning, you should not focus on a single part of the company for too long. There are many opportunities that can have a big return on the effort.

Get an overview of what low hanging fruits there are across the company and helping each department to achieve at least one quick win. That would have resulted in everybody getting a bit of relief as soon as possible.

Data should be kept centralized. Having people pass a well defined and groomed part of their data on to the BI team is a favourable approach.

It’s about defining “until here you are responsible, and starting from that point we take care of things and expect them to look a certain way.”

Successful BI work means that others are enabled to achieve more. It’s best understood as an ops and service department.

That has to do with how I see BI: you have to have a certain service mentality, because you are basically working to support others. Your impact on their work is what makes your work become good work.

You don’t see the results right away. You may have created a new kind of report, but you will not be the one who uses it to achieve an increase of 100k Euro in revenue – only indirectly.

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