How to Get Your BI Project Approved

Follow five easy steps to a better business intelligence solution.

Posted on September 22, 2017

You know how much your organization will benefit from business intelligence (BI). But now you need to get the project approved. And that means getting other stakeholders involved along the way.

That can be tricky—especially if you have to convince stakeholders who aren’t in IT. For instance, your CFO will want numbers. Or your VP of Sales will want to know how BI will help the sales team make better decisions.

So it’s up to you to strategically position BI. Use this checklist to make it a whole lot easier to move the project along in the process.


1. Identify Your Business Intelligence Needs

There’s an internal need for BI—otherwise you wouldn’t be here. To outline your requirements for BI, answer the following questions.

How many queries do you need to run?
Which systems and databases do you need to access?
What types of reports and/or dashboards do you need to produce?
Who needs to get information from data?
How many users need access to the software itself?
How do you need to distribute data and reports?
What other information do your internal groups need?


2. Build Your BI Project Dream Team

You need to get the right people on board for your project to succeed. The stakeholders involved will depend on the size of your organization and your organization’s BI needs. Here are some common stakeholders to include.

IT Manager
CFO (or other C-suite executive)
VP of Sales


3. Make Your Case

Any time you make a software purchase, you need cold, hard facts to back it up. Here’s where to find them.

Scrutinize potential BI software solutions to determine which has the features you actually need (so you’re not paying for unnecessary extras)
Take a critical eye to your current solution (e.g., if you’re using Query/400, what are you missing?)
Gather data from an ROI calculator
Read up on how others have used the software to find savings (customer stories are great for this)


4. Evaluate Your Shortlist of BI Software Solutions

Seeing the software in action will help you understand what you’ll be able to do with it. It will also help you get management on board with the project.

Get a software demo in IT
Demo the software to upper management
Develop a proof of concept (your vendor should be able to help you with this)
Try it on your systems


5. Get Budget Approval

Getting permission to evaluate BI software is not the same as getting budget approval. But the evaluation period should help you prove the value and get the buy-in you need to move it along.

Justify the costs of the project based on your needs
Get management buy-in by focusing on what the software will do for your business and why you need it

Tip: Bookmark this page and track your progress.

Get Help with Your BI Project


It doesn’t need to be a huge challenge to get your BI project approved. When you partner with Fortra, we’ll work with you to build your case for BI on IBM i.

We’ll arm you with tools like:

Take the Next Step

In your free software demo, we'll talk about your BI needs and how Sequel Data Access can solve them.