5 key stakeholders

One of the main functions of the Business Intelligence (BI) team is to provide the right information to the right people at the right time. 99% of the time, this comes in the form of well-designed, structured, and built reports and/or dashboards. There are a lot of challenges in getting that deliverable right in the minimum amount of iterations (with or without working in an agile environment). I won’t cover those here as that’s not the scope of the article.  One of the factors contributing to the success of delivering these reports/ dashboards is the overall stakeholders of the project. Here are 5 key stakeholders you should have for a report/ dashboard development project.

1. Owner

Arguably the most important stakeholder, as without ownership there can be a lack of accountability, direction, risk mitigation and potential scope creep.


  • Understand and approve the requirements which define the overall scope of the project
  • Provide final sign-off of the report/ dashboard
  • Make decisions for change requests
  • Recommend which business stakeholders to participate in testing sessions
  • Act as the decision maker when risks, assumptions and scope creep that need to be addressed

2. Analyst

The Report Analyst, who can often be a Business Analyst or even a System Analyst, creates the conduit between the business requirements and the technical requirements.


  • Elicit the business requirements and project deliverables
  • Provide input on requirements priorities
  • Design report/ dashboard mock-ups
  • Define project requirements by identifying milestones, deliverables, and resources
  • Monitor and report on progress
  • Compile test cases and conduct testing sessions

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3. Developer

One or more individuals tasked with successfully developing and deploying the end deliverables, based on the need business requirements and specifications. This one should be obvious, but I’ve included it in this list as it’s a critical stakeholder to have.


  • Develop, test and deploy the report/ dashboard and any supporting data artifacts (ex: data mart, ETL, table views, etc.) and documentation (ex: code commenting, ETL rules, data model, etc.)
  • Provide input into test cases and data sets to be used
  • Provide input into any risks, assumptions, dependencies and deliverables resulting from the business and project requirements

4. Business stakeholder

Most of the time, this is the primary end user of the report/ dashboard.


  • Review business requirements to ensure nothing is missed from their perspective
  • Provide clarification on
  • Provide input on requirements, the drivers behind them, and the requirements’ priorities
  • Provide test cases and participate in testing sessions
  • Send feedback on issues, usability, accessibility, etc. of the report/ dashboard

5. Subject matter expert

A subset of the business stakeholders, you should at least have one go-to subject matter expert to get inputs from and clarifications.


  • Provide detailed input and clarification on test cases, key requirements and risks
  • Review business requirements to ensure nothing is missed from their perspective
  • Raise any risks, assumptions, dependencies they might be aware of, which relate to the scope of the project


In my oppinion, these are the 5 types of stakeholders that are key in having in order to ensure the success of developing and deploying the right report/ dashboard for the right people, in the right way. What do you think? Do you currently have a dedicated Tester or a Project Manager or do you pair those responsibilities with one of the stakeholders mentioned above?

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About the author 

George Firican

George Firican is the Director of Data Governance and Business Intelligence at the University of British Columbia, which is ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. His passion for data led him towards award-winning program implementations in the data governance, data quality, and business intelligence fields. Due to his desire for continuous improvement and knowledge sharing, he founded LightsOnData, a website which offers free templates, definitions, best practices, articles and other useful resources to help with data governance and data management questions and challenges. He also has over twelve years of project management and business/technical analysis experience in the higher education, fundraising, software and web development, and e-commerce industries.

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