The Use and Importance of Business Intelligence
Before we can proceed on this topic, we need to know what business intelligence is and its importance and trend in our organizations. The word Business Intelligence can be defined as the technologies, applications and collections, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. Business Intelligence is motivated by the drive to provide a better business decision making. Importantly, the designers of Business Intelligence systems proposed for it be data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS). Occasionally business Intelligence is switched with briefing books, report and query tools and executive information systems. The Business Intelligence systems strategy is expected to deliver past, present, and projected views of business operations from using the data gathered into the data warehouse or the data mart, and sometimes it works from operational data to achieve its course. In the recent time organizations are beginning to understand that it is out of order to consider data and content as an isolated parts of information organization, instead it should be managed in a combined enterprise method. Thus, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management are being combined by an Enterprise information management. For this cause many organizations are now moving towards Operational Business Intelligence which now is under served and accepted by vendors. Traditionally, Business Intelligence vendors are only aiming for the top level of the pyramid but now, there is a pattern shift it is now moving towards taking Business Intelligence to the bottom level of the pyramid whereas the emphasis on self-service business intelligence. The self-service business intelligence involves the business systems and data analytics that give business end-users access to an organization’s information without direct involvement of the IT, and even as an end-user without a technical skill can still do more with their data.
However, to get a good grasp of business intelligence process/system. We need to know what the categories of business intelligence are such as internal and external categories. These two classes give the companies leverage to spy on their competitors in business atmosphere, and some countries and their competing counterparts. The internal business intelligence is concern with the companies keeping or protecting their information from the competitors to stop them from gaining a competitive advantage through the espionage activities, “Industrial Espionage” as defined by the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. An external business intelligence involves company trying to gain information about a competitor to further gain an advantage, and this is called “Corporate Espionage” by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The important backbones of Business Intelligence are: data warehouse is referred to as the storage compartment of the business intelligence process and it is subdivided into smaller components called data-mart. Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) is the method of moving data from the separate sources e.g. data warehouse and data mart. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), is process of carrying out the complex searches and queries. These backbones of the business intelligence system play a major role in the business intelligence system operational mode.
Business Intelligence System is vital to any organization that uses transaction data to make better decisions, to develop a system that controls inventory costs in an industry. In a system that crosses sell to customers better, system or organization that tracks employee productivity and it can be used to implement system that reduces fraud. The BI system can be applicable in any company that customers’ feedbacks are very crucial to its productivity, it can as well be used for a local sales data, the system a good system that is used to develop a reliable financial system. In some retail food stores or restaurants, it can be used to build their food cost avoidance system and can be used to implement a system for labor and staffing information. Business intelligence make a reliable source management system for any organization in general.
Business intelligence system helps with decision making in any organization that participates in the present technology trend. The advent of business intelligence allows the creation of objectives for decision making in a discreet way, and at a well-planned level and after their achievements. The system produces diverse relative reports, and then the performing growth imitations and a projecting view for the next result base on some used assumptions. At a point crucial, the business intelligence system would provide the basis for making marketing, sales, finances, income or management decisions. Business intelligence systems help organization optimize the future events and performance modifiers based on an organizational feature, financial or technology for helping the enterprises to reach their planned and proposed target in a more efficient way as possible. Importantly as regard to the operational level, business intelligence systems as solutions are used to create the ad-hoc analyzing and answering questions appertained to supplier’s cooperation, customers and the operations that is already in a developing phase inside each section. In today’s technology, Business Intelligence systems are being developed into different software packages that are well-matched with knowledge desires and methods of artificial intelligence that are allowing simulation of decision-making in business.
Business intelligence being solutions in the competitive technology climate of this present time, it is important for an organization to provide a faster access to information, and at a minimal cost or rate in a large number and in diversity for the users. Business intelligence systems have established to be the solution to these problems and thus provided a set of technologies and software products that give the users the anticipated information to respond to the questions that appear in unravelling business problems like; the need to increase the profits and reduce the costs. The managing and planning of the activities with monthly reports and IT organizations which usually takes a long time to implement new applications is a thing of the past now with the advent of Business Intelligence Systems. Companies nowadays need to quickly develop applications to offer their users a faster and easier access to information that reflect changes of the business environment. Business intelligence systems focus is on how users’ access to information and the delivery is faster. Another concern that business intelligence has also salvaged is the need to manage the complexity of the business environment. It becomes harder to comprehend and achieve a complex business environment and to maximize the investments. But with that Business intelligence systems offer more than queries and reports solutions, they offer analyzing instruments of complex information and data mining. Cutting down on the IT costs is another point of consideration, reason being the investment in IT systems constitutes a significant percent of the organizations’ costs and therefore it is not only necessary just to reduce these costs, but also to get maximum benefits from the information managed by the Information Technology (IT) systems. The new IT technologies like the Intranet and 3 level architectures reduce the cost of using the business intelligence systems by a large variety of users, especially managers.
Business Intelligence systems are useful systems in the fields of electronic marketing, electronic trading, electronic banking, stock, exchange, reservation systems and other fields. Some companies like Oracle, IBM and Microsoft offers tools necessary for the usage of business intelligence and providers such as SAS, Cognos, Business Objects and Micro-Strategy provide users with tools for the usage of platform for business intelligence systems. Also, the Cloud Business Intelligence and the Mobile Business Intelligence that allows users to use BI on mobile devices have been developed. Business Intelligence System today is evolving in the field of industry, education, industries, energy and utilities, healthcare, media, banking, manufacturing, and investment services, insurance, retail, security and risk management, sales, mobile business intelligence, business process etc. “According to Terry (http://www.informationweek.com/) and Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/)”, an IDC Health Insights survey of 40 hospitals and 30 insurers showed that the goals of top hospitals in healthcare are identifying at-risk patients (66%), tracking clinical outcomes (64%), performance measurement and management (64%) and clinical decision-making at the point of care (57%). According to Ivan and Velicanu (2015), a Real-Time Healthcare Analytics Solution for Preventive Medicine, developed by SAP, is one of the best solutions in the present healthcare industry. This solution helps saves time in healthcare analytics and can be easily customized for any medical case, this is an invention of BI system. It is also becoming clear that Business intelligence is being used to fight against the spread of epidemics. For instance, in Africa, mobile phone location data is proving to in efforts to track population movements to help predict the spread of Ebola and provides treatment centers for sick people. The same Big Data is also being used to find cure for cancer.
In conclusion, in future most companies will be forced to rely on business intelligence systems completely to be able to keep up with the competition that is increasing daily. Invariably, the present changes around is a result improvement in IT and Cloud computing business via the internet and which means more data for the companies. Today’s BI systems are still in the stage of development and we do not know for certain or have a clue how exactly our future will be like. Many questions considering business intelligence still need to be answered.
Hippenmeyer, P., Morgan, R., & Ouellette, D. (2004, December 3). Business Intelligence: Overview and Case Reports [Scholarly project]. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
S. Pavkov, P. Poščić, D. Jakšić: Business intelligence systems yesterday, today and tomorrow – an overview Zbornik Veleučilišta u Rijeci, Vol 4 (2016.), No. 1, pp. 97-108.
NEDELCU, B. (2013). Business Intelligence Systems. Database Systems Journal, Vol. IV, pp.12-20. Retrieved November 9, 2018. University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania