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What is Business Intelligence?

Need to know what is business intelligence and want some practical suggestions to reduce information management costs?

There are many definitions but really it is a sub set of information management, which includes the set of policies, standards, technology processes and skills required to ensure that an organization obtains the information needed to support information-based strategies and improve competitive advantage.

Some examples

You purchase a product on-line and before you “check-out” you are offered a list of other products that were purchased by customers who bought the same product you are buying—You may choose to buy something else and so this type of retail intelligence increased company sales and provided tangible benefits to both you and the company.

You apply for a loan on-line and your application is immediately approved or rejected because the software knew all about your credit history and your current spending habits and so this type of real time intelligence helped the financial institution make a credit decision and helped you gain quick access to credit.

You just made a credit card purchase at a store that you seldom visit and you get a call from your credit card company to ask if it was a legitimate purchase. In this case, the credit card company might have been using a business intelligence service, which looks at credit card purchases from many card companies and cardholders to determine fraudulent behavior.

A plant manager might want to look at some key performance indicators on to quickly see the health of a manufacturing facility. This dashboard could answer things like downtime, Units produced per shift and defects per million parts manufactured
What is business intelligence?

The following items should be considered:
  • A strategy that will outline how the company plans to use information to improve competitive edge;
  • A framework including the policies, standards ad best practices that will be used to manage the process and provide the roadmap to success;
  • Solutions that are based on a sound business case with clearly articulated return on investment (ROI);
  • An information management architecture that can support and incorporate vendor solutions;
  • Systems that integrate with other information management systems to ensure the right information is available at the right time to make the right decision;
  • Applications and software that can support dashboards;
  • Specialized information management jobs and trained staff or consultants to develop and implement solutions;
  • Commercial analytical software packages from established vendors such as Oracle, Cognos, and SAP; and
  • Perhaps data mining to glean patterns of behavior.
Summary...

Business intelligence is a sub set of information management, which includes the set of policies, standards, technology processes and skills required to ensure that an organization obtains the information needed to support information-based strategies and improve competitive advantage.

Successful implementation requires a strategy, framework, architecture, systems, staff and vendor applications to provide complete coverage and answer what is business intelligence.




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