Sunday, July 8, 2007

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing-Introduction


Organizations invest millions of pounds in technology and solutions to create, manage and store business data. The volume of data, in all of its forms, being generated is accelerating at an unprecedented level and consequently most organizations are finding it harder to harness this data so that people in their organization can act on it to generate real business value.

Without successfully harnessing the information in their data, organizations fail to realize opportunities for generating competitive advantage and critical decisions are often made on the basis of historical and often inaccurate data stored in innumerable spreadsheets and documents.

From Data to Intelligence
To help organizations plan their journey, we can follow a simple four-level model that can be used to both define organizations’ starting position and expected end position.

The model defines four sequential levels; Data, Information, Insight and Intelligence. An organization wanting to get to the top level Intelligence will need to progress, depending on its starting point, through the Information and Insight levels as a prerequisite.

Data –
It is uncontrolled and fragmented across processes and systems. Typically organizations at this level focus on data gathering but not on data analysis. They may have sophisticated CRM and ERP systems in place, but will struggle to easily
identify their customers, the true return on a new advertising campaign or service
initiative, or how many people they employ at a particular moment.

Information –
The organization and use of data is controlled. Organisations at this level have control and visibility of the data that is available in the organization and are able to confidently make decisions based on that data. They are able to answer queries such as identifying their customers or employees. But how do you turn your data into business-critical information that allows you to pursue improved business effectiveness, and guide strategic decision making? How do you turn your data into information and from there into insight and then intelligence?

Insight –
Data is used to generate insight and value and the organization is able to proactively respond to changes. Organisations at this level don’t suffer from excessive data; instead they have developed insight that gives them focus on key and relevant pieces of data. They are typically spending less on IT because they have simpler, transparent, more connected IT systems. They are exploiting data by embedding into core business processes.

Intelligence –
The organization is able to bring consistently and easily together a wide variety of data and use that data to drive both operational and strategic change. Organisations at this level will be Information-centric companies that have learned to decide on their information needs before any IT transformation takes place. They understand what information, people and processes are required to deliver strategic objectives or to add value to the organization.

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a terminology representing a collection of processes, tools and technologies helpful in achieving more profit by considerably improving the productivity, sales and service of an enterprise. With the help of BI methods, the corporate data can be organized, analyzed in a better way and then converted into a useful knowledge of information needed to initiate a profitable business action. Thus it’s about turning a raw, collected data into intelligent information by analyzing and re-arranging the data according to the relationships between the data items by knowing what data to collect and manage and in what context.

Performance Management:
· The performance management solution generally includes the establishment of metrics and the means to track them, and the development of dashboards to effectively communicate performance results.
· With a simple performance management solution that uses existing data to deduce performance, an organization can quickly determine if the organization is moving toward achievement of the stated goals and objectives and whether or not all of the organization is aligned with the strategic direction.
Enterprise Reporting:
Enterprise reporting provides all levels of the organization with the information needed to monitor and control activities and the related performance.
· The highlight of enterprise reporting is that the reports are populated with data from a single source, providing the often sought after "single source of the truth".
· The web-centric tools available today make it easy for users to develop reports and share them across the enterprise. In addition, the reports are dynamic containing the capability to "drill-down" to analyze the underlying data or explore other questions.
Data Mining:
· The use of Data Mining to identify trends or discover previously unknown relationships provides organizations with the capability to better understand their customers and the inter-relationships of organization performance and external factors.
· Data mining provides the means to investigate and understand the forces driving the enterprise and the tools necessary to feed the results back to the individuals most able to effect positive change based on the new information.

We continue the session tommorow......

1 comment:

Paul said...

Rajat....Could u give me some insight on the companies in this field..?....Also wanted to know about the ROI involved in Business Inteligence platforms

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