In this latest installment on best practices for cloud business intelligence, we examine a critical requirement before committing to a long-term cloud analytic partnership: proof of concept (POCs).

A good starting point for substantiating a proof of concept is by selecting an application that addresses a real business or operational need. For instance, leaders of a retail bank that place customer profitability as a top business goal may want to use a cloud analytics platform to help decision-makers identify customers and prospects who are most likely to generate profitable relationships for the bank, including the likelihood for cross-selling or upselling additional products and services.

Since proof of concept is intended to justify that a cloud BI platform can meet your organization’s business and technological needs, the test application selected should represent a clear use case that can be completed in a relatively short period of time (e.g. 30-to-60 days).

The application selected for your proof of concept can also help to gain buy-in and support from key stakeholders. While a POC application that meets a specific need for a particular business unit (e.g. distribution) may signal compelling returns, a broader POC application that addresses more extensive enterprise requirements will likely have greater influence on top decision makers – both for platform approval and end user adoption.

A well-reasoned proof of concept can reduce risk by testing business and technological requirements accordingly. In our next installment, we’ll examine the essential aspects of training to meet your organization’s project needs and cultural fit.

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