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What is Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence is a form of business management that takes business forward by the proper use of available information and data. Getting ahead in the competition requires essential analysis of the factbased data associated with a particular industry then this suggests the necessary action for driving the business towards profit oriented. So it’s the ability to use existing information i.e. the data the company already owns in a productive manner. The operational system of a small industry or a vast organization deals with a huge amount of data related to product, market, customer, technology etc. etc. but they hardly exploit those data in a profitable way or giving a boost to their business. These data can be taken into strategic analysis and treated as valuable information input for better application in respective field. Data generally includes reports form government agencies, trade associations, business analysts, Internet, and many other sources but the hidden knowledge in these kinds of data needs to be explored and applied for developing successful corporate strategies. It assists in answering the following general but essential questions that every industry needs to know for improving corporate performance:

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Who are the best and worst customers? It is important to identify the needs of customer and categories them as best and worst and then concentrate on any particular section for increasing sales by taking proper measures. What are the factors responsible for increasing and decreasing sales? What more one can offer customers comparing to others? Which products or areas responsible for gaining or losing money?

Keeping in mind such questions the concept of Business Intelligence identify, analyze and monitor corporate trends, competitor and market status, and later point out basic requirements for improving the knowledge and performance of the enterprise as a whole. There are various application and technology including business management software available to generate business value that can be acted as catalyst for growth. Hence, it is the technology that transfers data into productive information for creating some innovative business ideas.

customer. Different business intelligence tools addresses different factors and aspects in different ways but all are useful in overall function of BI. 3. the innovation of new technology and concepts like BI made it easy to access and manage all kinds of information. This is so in the case of business as technological innovations like World Wide Web and Internet has provided a broad and open platform to the business conducted in all over the world. they are primarily relying on analytical database solutions like data warehouses. technology and communication age it’s important to have full knowledge about all the strengths and weakness of your business plan and that can be possible only by analyzing available data. sales. As developing any successful business strategy requires information and adequate knowledge about market status. Intelligence is the ability to learn and understand new situations by updating yourself with current information. These data generally include quantities of product. 4. Business Intelligence in Decision Making Today Business Intelligence is the primary tool to collect and analyze information for developing a successful business strategy. Business Intelligence Value Chain In competitive marketplace it is vital for every business enterprise whether small or big to cope with the pace of the market growth. in the entire process these information and later applying them in action describes a chain of methods called value chain. analyzing and presenting data. However. So.2. Business Intelligence Tools We have already discussed that Business Intelligence is a process to collect data and extract information and then analyzing them in developing new and innovative business ideas but the whole method is based on different computing tools. These BI tools are kinds of application software assist in collecting. Value chain is the process that converts data into information and then applies that knowledge in taking productive business decision. History of Business Intelligence The 20th and 21st century are known as the information and technology (IT) age where everything depends on the availability of information and innovation of new technology. . 5. This is the age of information. This is why organizations are becoming more dependent on data or information for improving development of product and services that can outsell their competitors. and the outcome is the ultimate value.

Privacy and Security Issues in BI With the growth of Business Intelligence market. 6. the adoption of Business Intelligence system is supporting to stay ahead from the market trends and expectation of the customer. Business Intelligence in Insurance Success in today’s business world is defined by the ability to access . Business Intelligence in Healthcare To make a profit driven business decision. Though. It is everyone’s right to control information about them and there are laws and policies to safeguard individual right but are ineffective. Growing number of consumers with varied demand and expectation make it very difficult to conduct any kind of business. Data analysis and decision making has made the use of BI inevitable and hence is going to be a major part of in all kinds of business.. Companies use BI to collect and analyze data for improving their performance. on one side technological developments make it easy to access information freely from various sources on the other hand it becomes essential to develop system that can secure that information from misuse by outsiders. sharing and extracting value from it so in the case of hospital management or health sector. the privacy and security issues are also growing concern over business community. Business Intelligence (BI) is solely offers solution to data warehousing and data analysis and hence is now the most talked about technology in the world business arena.market demand. therefore it becomes important to access and maintain secure information. every company depends on their strategic planning and decision-making ability and that depends on the kinds of information available and the ability to sort out the relevant ones for analysis. 8. The Future of Business Intelligence Information and communication technology has offered a single platform to world market irrespective of geographical position. However. and technical support system etc. To stay competitive. that are useful in critical decision-making. It assists in preparing business strategies keeping in mind the future events by analyzing available data. customer service. BI is now used in various sectors for increasing productivity by carefully studying data. meet customer’s needs are now the primary concern for every organization. 9. 7.

This is also true in insurance business that deals with rich and complex data structure and most of them are real-time. This makes insurance companies using Business Intelligence tools like data warehousing. In all these business. BI: Improving performance in financial service Financial service industry generally includes banking. Business Intelligence: Power to gain competitive advantage With the development of Business Intelligence technology companies of all sectors are increasingly depending on different Business Intelligence tools and software for better information management. commercial banks. Business Intelligence in Retail Today in every business the most challenging job is to make yourself efficient enough for surviving in this volatile market place. New regulations are making more and more pressure and creating avenues for new opportunities. Making the right decision for your company requires better analysis of the available data but discovering the right knowledge among those tides of information flow is the key behind the success of every corporation. The chief banking sector is the major field with savings. security exchange and international finance like currency exchange and foreign investment. 11. data mining and OLAP. consolidation. thereby advocating an intelligent business decision. Use of BI supports in targeting right customer and the reason for customer depreciation. the primary focusing point is management of finance. loans.sophisticated data and derive information that is now primary need to survive in the competitive market place. . credit unions and banks for mortgage. Revolutionary changes are taking place with acquisition. new regulations and most importantly privatization that make customer satisfaction the primary object of every service provider. 13. 10. Business Intelligence for Telecommunications The telecommunication market is growing rapidly with new technological innovation and new service providers thereby creating a competitive platform. 12. The only solution to this problem is to have as much actionable information of the respective field that gives an insight to the current market trend. So to compete in the volatile market place with high customer demand information is pre-requisite.

Excel Take a guess what's the most common business intelligence tool? You might be surprised to find out it's Microsoft Excel. it is still so popular that all third-party reporting / OLAP tools have an "export to Excel" functionality. and decreasing number of total users. the ability to export numbers to Excel usually needs to be built. In fact. Excel is best used for business operations reporting and goals tracking. increasing business intelligence complexity. It has most of the functionalities users need to display data. BI: Key for building profits in B2B In business you need to find out answers to questions like why one product is bought more by customer and others not? What is the best market for a particular product? What are the basic customer’s needs for a product? Here. Even for home-built solutions. Business Intelligence Solutions in India In this globalize world everything has just come into a single platform and so the business that has created an imminence competitive environment in every sector. The most common tools used for business intelligence are as follows. 3. This competitiveness has created a new kind of business arrangements with collaboration in terms of merger and accusation between companies. Business Intelligence can answer such questions effectively and this article throws light on some aspects that are vital for your profitability. increasing functionality. It's relatively cheap. They are listed in the following order: Increasing cost. There are several reasons for this: 1. 15. It's commonly used. You can easily send an Excel sheet to another person without worrying whether the recipient knows how to read the numbers.14. 2. Reporting tool .

as well as front-end flexibility. OLAP Tool Functionalities Before we speak about OLAP tool selection criterion. As such. OLAP tool OLAP tools are usually used by advanced users. The Reporting Tool Selectionselection discusses how one should select an OLAP tool. Those are typically difficult features for any home-built systems to achieve. I am including both custom-built reporting tools and the commercial reporting tools together.In this discussion. When user generates a report request. MOLAP: In this type of OLAP. OLAP Tool Selection Buy vs. they require a strong metadata layer. They provide some flexibility in terms of the ability for each user to create. . Build OLAP tools are geared towards slicing and dicing of the data. They make it easy for users to look at the data from multiple dimensions. OLAP tools are used for multidimensional analysis. and run their own reports. 1. MOLAP (Multidimensional OLAP) and ROLAP (Relational OLAP). a cube is aggregated from the relational data source (data warehouse). the MOLAP tool can generate the create quickly because all data is already pre-aggregated within the cube. Business operations reporting and dashboard are the most common applications for a reporting tool. my recommendation is that if OLAP analysis is part of your charter for building a data warehouse. we must first distinguish between the two types of OLAP tools. Therefore. schedule. it is best to purchase an existing OLAP tool rather than creating one from scratch.

The ROLAP tool typically comes with a 'Designer' piece. where the data warehouse administrator can specify the relationship between the relational tables. ROLAP vendor recognize that users want their reports fast. Right now. There are. In such cases. especially for ROLAP implementations. MOLAP vendors recognize that many times it is necessary to drill down to the most detail level information.  Security Features: Because OLAP tools are geared towards a number of users. For these cases. attributes. however. ROLAP: In this type of OLAP. the ease of front-end customization becomes an important factor in the tool selection process. making sure people see only what they are supposed to see is important. instead of pre-aggregating everything into a cube.  Performance: In addition to leveraging parallelism.2. the tool itself should be quick both in terms of loading the data into the cube and reading the data from the cube. so they are implementing MOLAP functionalities in their tools. there is a convergence between the traditional ROLAP and MOLAP vendors. levels where the traditional cubes do not get to for performance and size reasons. and hierarchies map to the underlying database tables. . OLAP tools often can be used as a reporting tool. This is because in many cases. as well as how dimensions. the ROLAP engine essentially acts as a smart SQL generator. all established OLAP tools have a security layer that can interact with the common corporate login protocols. having a seamless integration between the tool and the in-house authentication can require some work.  Customization efforts: More and more. So what are the criteria for evaluating OLAP vendors? Here they are: Ability to leverage parallelism supplied by RDBMS and hardware: This would greatly increase the tool's performance. By and large. I would recommend that you have the tool vendor team come in and make sure that the two are compatible. cases where large corporations have developed their own user authentication mechanism and have a "single sign-on" policy. OLAP tools are used as an advanced reporting tool. and help loading the data into the cubes as quickly as possible.

 Metadata support: Because OLAP tools aggregates the data into the cube and sometimes serves as the front-end tool. It is a 5-step process to run your business smarter. even large ones. collecting the data from multiple sources. Popular Tools • • • • • • • Business Objects Cognos Hyperion Microsoft Analysis Services MicroStrategy Pentaho Palo OLAP Server Data mining tool Data mining tools are usually only by very specialized users.Business Intelligence? BI is an abbreviation of the two words Business Intelligence. The figure below shows these steps. bringing the right information at the right time to the right people in the right format. there are usually only a handful of users using data mining tools. starting with registering the right data correctly. transforming. and in an organization. combineing and storing it in a data warehouse. This data should be reported. it is essential that it works with the metadata strategy/tool you have selected. . Data mining tools are used for finding correlation among different factors What is BI . analysed and distributed to the right people at the right time in the right format.

collects all the customer data that a organisation registers. we measure and analyse also market shares. Different applications and tools may exist in a business intelligence infrastructure. brand awareness. of the organisation. and vice versa. in perspective of each other. customers should be considered and treated as the most important business partner. for example to measure the relationship between ads and the revenue by product. key result indicators (KRI's) and performance indicators (PI) are defined in order to see how things are going. this will not be an overkill. The successfactors of business intelligence are described in our research paper 'Making business intelligence successful'. With this application we can get a clear view of the contribution of marketing to the other activities of the company. In a fast changing environment. often implemented side by side with a Customer Relationship management system. These are all covered in the BI Tool Survey Report. combine it and display it to the users in different formats.Business Intelligence is about connecting people using a proper information infrastructure and performance driven culture. Once you have this type of application running. This BI application. the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and product portfolio. Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) . Corporate performance management (CPM) An application used to optimise the business processes of an organisation. used for operational purposes. Because of that. and the operational results. Key performance indicators (KPI's). Customer Analytics / CRM For each organisation. Marketing intelligence An application to measure the effectiveness of the marketing activities. Basic Business Intelligence This type of application is mainly used to understand the business processes. enabling them working more closely together towards company and personal goals. including reporting tools. many organisations understand that to be fully customer oriented. they should have a 360 degree view of the customer. With marketing intelligence. you can alter and execute strategies more quickly. This basic application contains often just a collection of reports. and more importantly to align strategy with execution. market growth.

Thanks to BAM. because you expect that these will integrate better with each other. an essential factor for success. you can create easily a shortlist of two or three solutions. By doing so. The BI Tool Survey Report is designed to help you perform the selection quickly and efficiently. and you decide to buy a BI tool from the same vendor. and in which steps this attribute plays a role. Often organisations find it difficult and labour intensive to execute a software selection process in order to gather all the necessary data. Sometimes there is a corporate standard you need to comply with. you can define the business critical selection criteria. is often put into a metadata repository. we make a clear connection between the criteria and the business strategy. or a decrease of the stock of some specific medicins. 1. . Or. for example the size of the order identifier (id) is changed. Another example: one of the business strategies is to exchange more critical information with customers and vendors. It can support better vendor management. Metadata management Information about all the data that is processed. monitor stocks in the entire supply chain. Choosing and selecting a BI tool It is fairly common in many organisations that there is no software selection process at all. Mostly used to report sudden deviations in critical business processes from the standard patterns or norms. makes it possible to discover real-time or near real-time what is happening in daily operations. you will be able. will be the same as buying a very nice and expensive car. 3. to enable a more smoothly running supply chain. for example a sudden increase of the back log. and a on-demand supply chain. from source systems to target reports and dashboard. having a robust infrastructure with load balancing and clustering. Create a short-list Once you have all the criteria in place. Define criteria in business terms Once the strategy is clear. you want to know what the impact of a change will be. Create a business intelligence strategy Choosing and selecting a BI tool is a process that begins with defining a business intelligence strategy. with the information in BI Tool Survey Report be able to decide which tools match your criteria. people can get alerted before things are getting real worse. give more flexibility to connect new vendors in the chain. Without a proper bi strategy. like 'Our business people want to keep track of history'.This application. BI for the supply chain Pivotal in this application is integration of information with your business partners in a very structured way. calleddata lineage. You need a BI tool that performs well with a huge number of users. The entire process can be 'managed' with metadata management. which runs on a type of fuel which is not available in the country where you want to drive it! 2. In that case you need an BI Tool that has standard support for slowly changing dimensions out-of-the-box. or you may have a database or reporting tool in place from a specific vendor. From there. a database containing all the metadata. buying a BI tool. enhance the speed and reliability of deliveries. using the internet. compliant with the overall business strategy and requirements. for example one can query how a specific key performance indicator (KPI) is built-up in the process. There are many more reasons why to buy the report. often called BAM.

you want to close the deal with the vendor that has the best support for your business intelligence strategy. please feel free to contact us. We recommended that you prepare this meeting in detail with the vendor. support. you will invite the vendors on the short-list for a live demonstration of their solution. Put all the different prices and terms in a spreadsheet. To keep negotiation options open. to avoid demonstrations by PowerPoint. If possible. If you want help with above. usability and performance of each BI tool. Close the deal Finally. So you can test the solution in your own IT environment. Negotiate with BI vendors The last step before the end of the selection. 7. maintenance. 6.connectivity. that the data in your source systems are accessible. and calculate the costs over at least three years to see which vendor has the best conditions over a longer period. and get a idea of the functionality. Perform a proof-of-concept (PoC) Doing a proof-of-concept (PoC) is essential for choosing a BI tool that suits your organisation. a proof-of-concept. Define beforehand what has to be done. is to negotiate with the BI vendors about the contract. provide the vendors with some company data. Be sure. training and terms of use. it is recommended that a PoC is performed with at least two vendors. . Invite vendors for a live demonstration In this phase of the BI selection process. In general. Many software vendors require you to buy a runtime as well as a development license. including prices. so you can easily see the relevance of what is demonstrated and judge how well it functions. 5. and has the lowest costs. can be done in three to five days. what the results should be and what data should be used.4.