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7. Get Creative With BI

When it comes to business intelligence (BI), Tran has two pieces of advice: Keep it simple, and don't be afraid to think outside the box.

He said BI initiatives tend to go awry when they become too complex, are bogged down with massive data sets, or are trying to answer too many questions at once. Instead, Tran said, try to answer one question at a time.

"What policy question are you trying to answer? What problem are you trying to solve? That is a critical thing that folks need to [ask] when it comes to business intelligence," Tran said.

Secondly, he added, don't be afraid to get creative with BI, and try not to limit yourself to a single BI or analytics tool. You may be surprised what's out there. "There is no one silver-bullet [BI] solution," Tran said.