One of the key factors in successful business intelligence is a sound infrastructure. You are not going to be successful in operation BI unless you have a sound infrastructure to deliver data on time so your business can analyze that data in a timely way.
So I think what InetSoft's BI solution brings to operation BI is a sound infrastructure that ties together disparate data sources via our proprietary data mashup technology. This also includes different ways of dealing with high workloads which becomes critical for delivering responsiveness in operational BI.
How important is operational BI to predictive analytics? If we look at some of the applications in operational BI such as risk management, fraud detection, which are good examples of operational BI, money laundering would be another one, you have business rules that define potential problem situations.
And predictive analytics is used to create those rules. When they’re loaded into the operational monitoring system, you’re able to detect fraud, for example, almost in real-time. So rigorous analysis and data mining is very important.
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Critical BI Success Factors
What are some of the critical success factors when you’re implementing a business intelligence solution? From an operational BI viewpoint, you need a good infrastructure to support the kind of data volumes that are involved. You also need operational BI to coexist with other kinds of business intelligence applications such as tactical BI. Therefore you need good, strong load management capabilities that support both operational BI and strategic intelligence requirements.
What is one of the biggest growth areas in operational BI? There are a number of different industries that have taken advantage of operational BI. One of the more interesting ones is Internet commerce. I think that sector of the marketplace, web analytics, will grow dramatically over the next few years. The kind of analytics going on there is mind-blowing compared to anything that has been done before. These companies are providing good examples of where we are going with operational BI.
Another factor in long-term success of a BI implementation is scalability and workload management. You have to be able to support the kind of workloads that operational BI needs. There are different ways of doing operational BI within an existing data warehousing environment. Certainly there are some very good case studies.
We’ve done several studies. One interesting one was a railroad company that was tracking shipments and service levels for customers that are important for customer satisfaction measurement and a competitive viewpoint. It is important that those shipments arrive on time and meet certain service levels. Inevitably issues impact the service of the railroad, mechanical failures or weather, for example.
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Frequent Shipment Monitoring
They are monitoring on a daily or intra-daily basis shipments, and if delays occur, they can look for ways of rerouting shipments to ensure they meet service level goals. That is a very good example of the use of InetSoft in operational business intelligence.
Why else might I recommend InetSoft to companies looking for an operational BI solution? In today’s tough economic environment, I think business intelligence can be used to help reduce costs and improve efficiency. I think in the past, BI has tended to be used to increase revenues, to become more competitive. That is still important in today’s environment. BI can also inevitably be used to lower costs.
I think looking for quick short-term solutions focused very much towards specific business problems, you can actually optimize cost structures. InetSoft's role here as a very flexible quick to implement and easy to use solution can be applied in a new department, for example, to tackle a new problem quite easily. This way the subject matter experts can focus on specific business processes to analyze how to make them more efficient.