BI Acceptance criteria: what is important?

by Arwold Koelewijn on July 7, 2010

Accepting a BI system can only be properly done when acceptance criteria have been specified and tests have been conducted to verify if these criteria are met.
There are several ways of determine the acceptance criteria, i.e. product risk analysis. For a BI system, on a high level, the acceptance criteria can usually be grouped under the following 6 categories I will describe below.

  1. Data consistency: is the data in the BI environment consistent with the data in the source system?
    Obviously, this is the most important one. If the data is not consistent, then the report cannot be trusted and will not be used.
  2. Report completeness: are all the fields available as specified (parameters, values, etc)?
  3. Authorization: is the right level of authorization applicable for the report?
  4. Accessibility: is way the reports can be approached by the user intuitive?
    Also, it can be required that multiple users at the same time can access the report. How many of them should be able to do that?
  5. Report lay-out: is the lay-out of the report as specified and does it make sense?
    For the report lay-out it usually makes sense to have guidelines in place which are applicable for all the reports.
  6. Performance: is the performance of executing the report and navigating within the report acceptable?

In conclusion, BI acceptance criteria will be about data consistency, report completeness, authorization, accessibility, report lay-out and performance. These criteria help in testing the reports and accepting them by the users. They have to be made specific and measureable in order to be tested.

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