Canadian Tire Case

Michael Eubanks of Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) is in charge of the implementation of a business intelligence (BI) system for the company. This implementation began in 2003 and was to be completed in 2005.

In 2006, the project is only in the 2nd of 3 phases. He is now faced with a problem. The implementation is going much slower than he anticipated. His goal is to implement BI as soon as possible, so what does he need to do so that he can reach this goal? In order to reach his goal, there are many issues that need to be addressed.The first issue is that in order to ensure that the data in the data warehouse is correct, there needs to be strong data governance by all users. The 2nd concern is that users of the current systems will not use BI; they might stick to what they’re comfortable with.

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Another problem he came across was that one of the key sponsors of the project had left the company, which brought the project to a halt in 2004. In order to keep the project moving, it is critical that there is buy-in from the Company’s upper-management.Another crucial issue was that data was inconsistent, due to the fact that data was collected and managed differently.

If this data were loaded into BI in its current state, it would be useless. Garbage in will always result in garbage out. An issue in the company culture was also present.

Users were concerned that there were not enough resource to dedicate to cleaning the data. Executives were reluctant to move away from the tools they were currently using. There are many options the company can take to resolve this issue.The first option is to continue working on the project in the manner it is now. It will eventually get done and it will not put a strain or pressure on current users. However, because this is a reactionary form of BI Maturity, much time is spent resolving issues and has little time to focus on the future of the project. Another option would be to take a strategic approach of BI Maturity. This approach would have the project manager take a step back from the current problems.

He would map out the project as a whole.He would anticipate any issues that could arise in along the process. He will then assign business partners and specific resolutions to each potential issue so that if one of these problems occurs, there is already a plan in place to resolve it.

This is a more proactive approach to the BI implementation. The only drawback here would be that there would need to be business partners available to tackle these problems. They would need to be taken away from their day-to-day responsibilities without any notice.This could result in business interruption, if a backup is not assigned. Another option is to decide which type of Master Data Management (MDM) initiative to use. They can use the Analytical MDM, Operational MDM or Enterprise MDM. The Analytical option addresses BI only.

The Operational option addresses the business operations. Enterprise addresses both. The Analytical option is the least intrusive and most straight forward to implement, whereas the Enterprise option is very complex and time consuming.I would recommend that CTC use the third option which is to decide on a type of MDM initiative to use. Specifically, I would recommend the Analytical MDM approach.

It seems to me that the main focus of the implementation is Business Intelligence; as such the Analytical approach is the most appropriate. It is the most commonly adopted approach and the most simple of the three. Since their goal is to implement BI as soon as possible, they should use the analytical approach. If they later decide they want to also focus on operations improvements they can easily leverage operational MDM.

Author: Cathy Edwards


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