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How to Plan Out Your First BI Project

You’ve got your first BI project. Now what? Here are 3 key prep phases to keep in mind.

The 3 Key Phases to Your BI Project


The first project is always the toughest because there’s no baseline or prior experiences to draw from. There are three key phases to a project:

  1. Estimating time
  2. Organization
  3. Planning

Spending gracious amounts on these phases will help the stakeholder, your pm and yourself deliver an efficient and well-designed project.

1) Estimating Time

When you first get wind of a new project, its crucial to start estimating the time it will take for you to complete the tasks. Breaking this part in two phases generally makes everything run smoothly. First go through the scope and locate the tables and systems you will have to access to complete your project. This should give you a rough idea of the size of the development scope. Next go through the logic needed to complete the scope of the project, compare this to your technical aptitude and estimate the time it would take you to complete everything in the scope based on those two factors. Also make sure not to underestimate the complexity and a couple extra hours since this will be your first encounter with this project and there are connection/access/server issues sometimes based on getting access under your login.

2) Organization

Now that you have your time estimates in order the next order of business is to organize. Organization is a very important skill that will help you be a better consultant and help you multitask well. To start with, make a folder for your projects and keep all project related documentation in that folder for ease of access, moreover if that folder is on your OneDrive you will have access to it anywhere. Also try to save all queries and reports you generate in the same place so you don’t lose any work in case let’s say your computer restarts from windows updates (this happens once a week). Another good thing to do is take meeting notes, this will help make sure you are on the same page as everyone, a good way to do this is to save all meeting notes in OneNote.

3) Planning

The last phase to discuss is the planning and after the estimates be sure to set some time out to plan out how to implement your new project. Planning will help with the development part because you can stick to your plan rather than hop from task to task. A good plan can decrease development time but also it will help you keep on schedule as well as in tune with your PM. A good way to start a plan is to group tasks based on what is being accessed and the time it will take to complete. And at the end go over this with your PM to make sure they agree and think it’s a good way to move forward.

One last thing outside of this is to make sure you learn and get better with each project you complete. Make notes on the things that worked well and went bad so you don’t repeat your mistakes and further your successes.

Good luck on your first project!

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