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Who should the business intelligence team report to?

We are a business intelligence (BI) team of two, building a BI platform for a bank. We are currently under the IT section in the organizational chart. My question is, what is the best section or department that the BI team should be under or reporting to?

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I'm wondering a bit about your real charter. You say you are building a business intelligence (BI) platform for the bank. I think it's obvious that a bank can use BI and that there are many leverage points in having some centralization of BI architecture, tool selection, standards and processes. If you are indeed building a single BI application, which is likely given that the team is two people, you will want to consider it the beginning of the BI journey at the bank -- and make decisions that will scale to the next application. While it's important to be highly integrated with the business unit(s) interested in the application, that can be accomplished from IT. I always recommend some of the BI organization be in IT. Over time, as BI grows, it can become a smaller percentage of the overall BI (virtual) team, but starting out, as you may be doing given the team is two, it needs to be in IT.

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This was first published in July 2008

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