Date of Award



© 2017 Jason Todd

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carol Burbank

Second Advisor

Shelley McClure

Third Advisor

Steven Boos


Organizations are drowning in data and struggling to turn disparate facts into useful information. The technological capability to collect data has expanded faster than the ability to turn data points into useful information. Never before has so much data been available for users to leverage to make a decision. Data-driven metrics can help teams make informed decisions and provide a competitive advantage. When it comes to using data to answer business questions and make a data-driven decision, technology is only one part of the solution. Business Intelligence (BI) is a discipline that attempts to turn data into meaningful insights in order to make a better decision. In the last decade BI technology has evolved as the ability to process information has increased. There is a wealth of research about BI technology but less material on the human elements and skills needed to be successful developing BI solutions. BI skills and the best methods to teach those skills need to be further analyzed to improve data-driven decisions. Without a comprehensive BI strategy, data will continue to be used in a limited capacity and provide a fraction of its potential value. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to determine which BI skills professionals believe should be taught to enable better data-driven decisions. Five BI program components were categorized and analyzed during the course of this study. These components are: (a) data management, (b) calculation intelligence, (c) delivery output, (d) consumption device, and (e) business enablement. Within each of these components, skill variables were rated by importance and their effect on user adoption. Interviews and surveys were conducted to collect data and determine the skills that should be taught and the best practices on how to teach those skills. The findings highlight which skills are important and influence user adoption, ideal formats to teach the skills, and relationship dynamics between the skills that enable BI teams to be more successful.


Ed.D. Dissertation