The success of a company in the highly competitive environment of today depends on many factors such as choice of customers, choice of products and services, choice of the most effective sales channels for specific products, finding ways to boost the results of marketing campaigns, improving customer loyalty, retaining satisfied customers and improving the overall quality of customer’s experience (Fleisher and Blenkhorn, 2003). Business intelligence systems can provide keys to decision making in these crucial areas. BI systems can help track the pulse of vital performance factors. BI needs to provide information on demand and this is achieved by combining multidimensional data analysis and data mining techniques with advanced statistical and analytical functions in a real-time, integrated environment (Fleisher and Blenkhorn, 2003). Data collection methods, multimedia files and rapid-access tools that grow and adjust as needed are parts of this dynamic system which needs to be tuned and monitored with constant vigilance in order to have a sharp focus on overall enterprise effectiveness.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
How will business intelligence software help our business
Implementation of Business intelligence systems in a company provides specific and timely knowledge regarding customers, products and markets and this knowledge will help to increase profits, decrease costs and will support a more efficient management. The knowledge that is acquired through Business Intelligence systems is based on comprehensive, detailed and relevant information and hence they take decision makers to a higher level by providing them with a thorough understanding of a company’s operations. Business intelligence systems are capable of leveraging a company’s assets to optimize their value and provide a good return on investment. Some of the underlying concepts of business intelligence are data warehousing, data mining, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. The advent of the internet has revolutionized the ability of decision makers to find, accumulate, organize, and access business intelligence. The bottom line is that effective BISs give decision makers the ability to keep track of the changes in the business environment every step of the way.
What sort of information and analysis capabilities does it provide?
Business intelligence (BI) tools provide organizations with information regarding their internal and external environment through collection, analysis and interpretation of information. There are two sets of BI tools: one set helps to manipulate massive operational data and these include the decision support systems, executive information systems, online-analytical processing (OLAP), data warehouses and data mining systems while the other set, commonly known as competitive intelligence tools serve to collect and analyze information from the competitive environment to assist organizational decision making (Chung et al., 2002). The first set of BI tools is based on database management systems and is used to reveal trends and patterns in the operational databases while the second set is based on information collected from public sources such as the Web. BI tools provide different views of collected information and some advanced tools use text-mining and rule-based techniques to process collected information. Generally, BI tools integrate their reports with Microsoft Office products and present them in textual format. In the case of document visualization, business intelligence systems work through three stages: analysis, algorithms, and visualization. In the analysis stage, the user inputs his interests in the form of keywords which are then used to extract the essential features of a collection of text are extracted. In the algorithms stage, “an efficient and flexible structure of the document set is created by clustering and projecting the high-dimensional structure into a two or three-dimensional space” (Chung et al, 2002, 2). In the visualization stage, the data is presented to users and made sensitive to interaction (Chung et al, 2002). The information provided by BIS helps in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the companies.
What hardware and system software are required to run the application?
For business intelligence systems to be successful, there is a need to create an appropriate infrastructure to capture and create data, information, and knowledge, and store them, improve them, clarify them, and disseminate them to decision makers so that there can be a fuller understanding of a company’s operations for actionable results. This needs computers and data storing devices and reporting and printing tools on the hardware side. On the software side, BI systems make use of data mining and data warehousing tools, presentation tools, processing tools, databases for information storage, etc. Data mining tools allow organizations to gather and analyze all the fundamental facts about customers, suppliers, internal transactions, etc. Data warehouse applications are used to catalog, index, and cross-reference these raw materials. BI tools not only show trends based on historical data but also provide the capability to project different futures based upon changed inputs and provide for a thorough understanding of results. Related to these tools are the dynamic Web sites for business-to-business electronic commerce, or E-commerce.
Information requirements for the overall design of your BI system
Technologically, the term business intelligence includes:
- analytics – the use of data to analyze, forecast, predict, optimize and so on,
- the processes and technologies used for collecting managing and reporting decision oriented data.
Thus the business intelligence architecture which is a subset of the overall IT architecture includes the entire set of systems, applications and governance processes that enable sophisticated analytics. These BI systems work by allowing data, content and analyses to flow to those who need it when they need it (Davenport and Harris, 2007). They can also provide reports in different formats such as traditional reports, ad hoc analysis tools, corporate dashboards, spreadsheets, e-mails, etc. Complying with legal and regulatory reporting requirements is also within the purview of the BI architecture. Business intelligence architecture can be said to be made up of six elements: “data management, transformation tools and processes that describe how the data is extracted, cleaned, transmitted and loaded to populate databases, repositories that organize data and metadata (information about the data) and store it for use, applications and other software tools used for analysis, presentation tools and applications that address how the users will access, display, visualize and manipulate data and operational processes that determine how important administrative activities such as security, error handling, audit-ability, archiving and privacy are addressed” (Davenport and Harris, 2007, 156). The first step in implementing a business intelligence software system is to what extent decision making must be automated or facilitated in a company. If there is a need for these aspects, there is a need for BI system. Next comes the “make or by” decision to determine whether to use a third party application or create a custom solution. Enterprise systems vendors such as Oracle and SAP are building more analytical applications into their products.
List some of the major vendors and your evaluation of their products: IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle
There are a number of current business intelligence software products and many vendors such as Microsoft’s PerformancePoint and SharePoint, Oracle’s Hyperion, IBM’s Cognos, and SAP’s OutlookSoft and Cartesis. Microsoft business intelligence offers a complete suite of business intelligence software package that can deliver information based on three important corporate metrics – information warehousing and database creation, user friendly reporting and accurate analytics, and delivery of performance measures needed to grasp the current corporate strengths and capabilities (Blokdijk, 2008). Microsoft introduced PerformancePoint, its BI system in 2007. The PerformancePoint suite was an integration of various Microsoft products such as Business Scorecard Manager, Excel, newly developed apps for planning and forecasting, and visualization and analysis technologies from Microsoft’s ProClarity acquisition (Weier, 2009). However, Microsoft, in accordance with its philosophy of “BI for the masses,” has recently introduced the SharePoint collaboration software, which will have some of the capabilities of PerformancePoint Server (Weier, 2009). Microsoft has said it plans to release a service pack for SharePoint to include planning and forecasting tools. IBM has recently launched the IBM Retail Performance Analytics system (Whiting, 2009). RPA incorporates retail-industry-specific data warehousing technology along with new front-end analysis software from IBM’s Cognos operation (Whiting, 2009). The BI system from the Oracle Corporation is based on Oracle Application Release eleven and is an easy to use, self-service Internet and intranet application that gathers information from the Oracle Applications modules (Thierauf, 2001). The system is designed to organize and collect intelligence to answer critical business questions. It has a standard set of performance indicators and analyses related to fundamental business issues and critical functions such as financial management, manufacturing, sales and marketing (Thierauf, 2001). Oracle recently announced the next-generation release of Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) System. This next-generation release is aims at helping organizations derive greater value from existing Oracle investments and is an evolution of the process of integration of Hyperion’s market-leading performance management applications and business intelligence (BI) technologies with Oracle Fusion Middleware, including Oracle’s scalable BI foundation, and Oracle Applications (Aggarwal, 2009). The SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) is a core component of SAP NetWeaver, and provides data warehousing functionality, a business intelligence platform, and a suite of business intelligence tools that enable businesses to attain these goals (SAP, 2009). Through SAP BW it is possible to integrate, transform or consolidate business information from various SAP applications or external sources. This BY system from SAP is flexible in its reporting style and the analysis tools of this system can both evaluate and interpret data as well as facilitate its distribution (SAP, 2009).
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Thus different BI software systems have different characteristics and depending on the needs of the company, they must be chosen so that they contribute towards crucial decision making in the company.
Aggarwal, Varun (2009). Leading through EPM. Express Computer. Web.
Blokdijk, Gerard (2008). Business Intelligence 100 Success Secrets – 100 Most Asked Questions: The Missing BI Software, Tools, Consulting and Solutions Guide.
Chung, Wingyan; Chen, Hsinchun and Nunamaker Jr., F. Jay (2002). Business Intelligence Explorer: A Knowledge Map Framework for Discovering Business Intelligence on the Web. The Computer Society. Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Web.
Davenport, H. Thomas and Harris, G. Jeanne (2007). Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning. Harvard Business Press.
Fleisher, S. Craig and Blenkhorn, L. David (2003). Controversies in Competitive Intelligence: The Enduring Issues. Praeger Publishers, Westport: CT.
SAP (2009). SAP Business Information Warehouse. SAP Library. Web.
Thierauf, J. Robert (2001). Effective Business Intelligence Systems. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Weier, Hayes Mary (2009). Microsoft Makes Sweeping Changes To BI Software Strategy. Information Week.
Whiting, Rick (2009). IBM Debuts Retail BI Package. Channel Web.