Eight out of 10 BI Projects Fail. Why?

Mico Yuk, CEO  & Co-founder of BI Brainz, explains the importance of requirements gathering for project success

“When I first entered the BI/analytics world, I was not aware that the probability for me to fail was very high,” said Mico Yuk, CEO  & Co-founder of BI Brainz, at the start of her presentation on day 2 of SAPinsider’s Virtual Conference Experience, “How to Gather Effective Dashboard Data Requirements.”

In 2018, said Yuk, the projected BI global software spend for 2020 was $187 billion. The average BI adoption rate was 30%, and 7/10 BI projects failed. Today the 2020 stats have been updated to reveal a projected BI global software market spend of $274.3 billion by 2022, the average BI adoption rate is 26%, and 8/10 BI projects don’t deliver.

“The spend is going up, the adoption is hardly moving, and project failure is going up,” Yuk said with a laugh.

Early in her career Yuk said she became obsessed with user adoption, and her obsession led her on a journey to try to figure out why most BI/analytics projects fail. “Based on my personal experience what I found was pretty simple. In a lot of the projects that were failing, 80% of the investment was in tech, 15% in process, and only 5% in people. After doing some research it became clear that most of these BI projects were being done by gut analysis.”

Yuk asked attendees if they were familiar with a common scenario where someone says, this number just doesn’t feel right to me. Yuk joked, “If it doesn’t feel right, do you need a Tylenol?”

But, the commonality of the phrase makes sense. “It has been proven that humans use emotions first to make decisions (meaning their gut or intuition), and then they use logic in order to justify it,” Yuk said.

She found that projects where the investment was more evenly distributed among technology (50%), process (30%), and people (20%) were more successful. “The most successful projects are where people/processes are the focus and technology is secondary.”