Sunday, July 29, 2007

Business Intelligence-Session3

To view the previous sessions click on the following:
Session 1
Session 2

Why BI?

Recent surveys and articles in a variety of magazines, both the USA and Europe, suggest that up to 25% of Enterprises are at some stage of a Business Intelligence deployment, and that the figure for those intending to deploy in the near future may take this up to more than 60%. Given the relatively sluggish levels of activity in the technology market these seem to be remarkable figures, so just why is there such interest and enthusiasm for Business Intelligence?

ITToolbox Survey:

The 2007 ITToolbox Survey on Business Intelligence & ETL Purchasing was conducted from March 19 to April 11, 2007.
IT and business professionals worldwide were recruited directly from the ITToolbox community to participate in this online survey.
Of the IT and business professionals who participated in the survey,
over 89% indicate that BI solutions are taking on a greater role in their organizations;
over 60% expect their organization’s BI budget to grow by 15% or more;
40% indicate that erroneous data is one of the most significant ETL-related challenges.


Business Intelligence Tools assist organizations to improve their overall performance by helping them to plan, track, monitor, analyze and report the business activities. These tools improve customer relationship management thereby increasing company's profitability significantly.


A Business Intelligence Dashboard visually represents the key organizational performance data in a near real time, user friendly manner that can be understood instantaneously. Technically speaking, a Dashboard is a visual representation that reflects the Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) of interest for managerial review and not only that it enables them to drill-down further. Business Intelligence Dashboard is similar in function to a car dashboard in that it displays and provides access to the powerful analytical systems and key performance metrics in a form enabling business executives to analyze trends and more effectively manage their areas of responsibility.

Features of Dashboard:

A typical web based Business Intelligence Dashboard encompasses the following features:
Web based Interface: Managers can gain broad visibility into the real-time key measurements of a business with the help of this multi-window, intuitive and interactive interface.

Role Based View: Executives can clearly track their organization's overall performance against its goals.

Reports: Configurable, user-level as well as management-level reports.
Charting and Graphing: Dashboards are better known for their easy one-click charts and graphs that gives instant access to complex solutions.

Pre-defined Performance Metrics: All the Dashboards are built with the common pre-defined metrics by default which eases the business user in tracking the regular yet important performance metrics.

Benefits of using Business Intelligence Dashboard:
· Dashboards quickly convert and communicate the complex corporate data into a meaningful display of charts, graphs, gauges and other formats concurrently. ‘
· A dynamic, intelligence Dashboard will allow the managers to drill-down data to go deeper into the analysis. It eliminates the need to go through several reports, in one shot
· Dashboard gives a clear picture about how a company is performing in its critical areas.


Scorecards are similar to Dashboards in a way that it provides easy-to-understand, summarized, at-a-glance data for the managers and top officials to tell them about their company's present and past performance. Scorecards thus help to monitor the Key Performance Indicators accurately and to communicate the goals and strategies across the organization in an efficient and elegant manner. In a Business Intelligence environment, Scorecards allows managers to set metrics or targets and monitor them to see their impact on every department.
Balanced Scorecards:

A methodology created by Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in 1992, is a management concept which helps managers at all levels monitor results in their key areas, including financial performance, customer knowledge, internal business processes and learning. It has been implemented in thousands of corporations, organizations and government agencies worldwide.


An electronic means to store a large amount of reference or historical data typically used to support the decision-making and information retrieval needs of an organization.

A data warehouse consists of three major components:
Tools to extract, transform, and load operational and external data sources, e.g., Oracle software and tools produced by Evolutionary Technology, Inc.
A warehouse in which to store the data.
Tools to reference and analyze the data in the warehouse.

Planning Process

There are several methods, techniques, and products that will take an organization through the data warehouse planning process. Each method is composed of four phases:

Phase 1 - Strategic Information Analysis.

Assess the scope of the system lifecycle effort by identifying its impact on the business. This phase defines the road map for subsequent phases.

Phase 2 - Planning and Design.

Effective planning relies on capturing the knowledge accumulated during the analysis phase. Armed with this information, system development team leaders can make intelligent design decisions.

Phase 3 - Constructing and Implementing.

Implementing a data warehouse is a tedious, labor-intensive effort. Close attention should be made on buy vs. build decisions to capitalize on commercial industry's knowledge. This phase articulates the delivery aspect of the data warehouse.

Phase 4 - Operations Support.

After the data warehouse environment is implemented, the tools must be tested and procedures developed to accommodate operation support. For example, this phase may consist of system management efforts related to systems growth, performance characteristics, and capacity requirements.

Next session we discuss Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing combined.....

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