InetSoft Information and Resources: What Is Business Intelligence?

Definition

What is business intelligence?

It's the field of turning data into insight that can drive improved decision-making and organizational performance. It includes the science of this process, the hardware and software technology solutions that people use in the process, and the professional services related to delivering BI capabilities, whether internal or external.

Below you may find useful resources about business intelligence:

Establishing a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC) - So now let’s look about how we most quickly enable an effective business intelligence solution. We want to step back into understanding what some of the best practices are for BI strategy. Outside of the fact that we need to have a very well defined and articulated BI strategy, we mentioned before that you need to have a high level executive sponsor. And you need to then use that sponsor to help your organization put an infrastructure in place to enable enterprise wide BI. The typical approach to really establish that is to look into or to establish a business intelligence competency center. So today we’ll discuss several different models as there is no one model that is right for every organization or single organization. Each organization is different, and they will have to take a slightly different approach or a combination approach to how they establish a BICC or a business intelligence competency center...

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ETL Tools - Do you assume you need ETL tools and a data warehouse for a BI solution? InetSoft offers Web based reporting and dashboard software that accesses disparate data sources directly...

Evaluating and Purchasing Business Intelligence Software - Today we’re talking about the ever more complex process of evaluating, purchasing, and implementing business intelligence software. Today’s BI platforms are a far cry from the basic query and reporting tools of years ago. These platforms are complex to implement. They’re not cheap. So organizations need to plan and carefully strategize. Adding to the challenge, the business intelligence market has seen acquisitions in the past, but is still quite cluttered. This leads to a host of questions for organizations purchasing business intelligence software. How is an organization to develop a BI strategy, buy the right platform and avoid being negatively impacted by a rapidly evolving and consolidating market? So today our topic is around the BI software market and some of the trends and challenges that listeners might encounter when they’re picking out business intelligence technology. So I’d like to start with what are some of the 3 or 5 trends in the business intelligence market, especially when it comes to technology? It’s a great question, and before answering it, I would like to start by defining what business intelligence is because there’s a lot of misconceptions in the world as to what it is...

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Evolution of BI Solutions with Mobile Devices - And it's going to be a constantly evolving adoption and adaptation of using those devices. There is a study that was done in 2011 and it was looking at the consumerization of general IT and technologies, but it was looked at across three countries, US, Japan and Germany. And of the 600 respondents, 56% of those respondents said that they favor their personal handheld devices, their mobile phones and their iPads, their Galaxy devices whatever they have to do their work on, like in meetings and travel, rather than using their standard technology tools that they have at their desk...

Evolution of New Business Intelligence Tools - So in the same vein, the increasing capabilities of computation and the evolution of new business intelligence tools provide us new opportunities, great opportunities to analyze data in a complex and evolving landscape and to gain multidimensional insights into the dynamic landscape business we’re operating in. Finally, I will discuss the importance of building capacity through knowledge development that incorporates complexity to enhance the ability of the decision makers to act confidently. Okay, so what is business intelligence? Business intelligence is a process of extracting insights from data. So as our operating definition of the topic we’re discussing, we need to discuss the components of the description. So first, insight, for our purposes, it is fundamentally distinct from information. If we can go to the next slide. We react to information but we build capacity with insight. Then we look to data, and we have to appreciate that as well as not a static representation of information. Data has become a dynamic stream of information that results from people’s activities that can be collected in real time and over time. So for example, we just don’t look at numbers but social networks, Web transactions, POS and credit card information. Next slide. The capacity of creating insight from data has accompanied the complexity of the environment that we find ourselves doing business in. So all types of business data are accessible thanks to the tremendous computational power present even in your laptop computer. We see people do it, developing maps and visualization tools and so on, simply on their laptops. We see rapid development of performance management tools, and methodologies for exploring relationships and properties of data within these steps. And systems are becoming more agile as BI evolves. So the pace of innovation is not slowing down but rather gearing up...

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Example of Applied Business Intelligence in Healthcare - So, if you go to the next slide, this is an example of applied business intelligence in healthcare and insurance. This insurance provider in the western part of New York, just like any healthcare or health insurance company, they have system after system that have different processes and different internal applications, and they needed a way to speed up the member enrollment process and the eligibility process, and so they used decision management, business intelligence, business rules and business process management to work across all these systems and to really speed things up, and they are able now to roll out new programs twice as fast as they used to because of this BI system. It is amazing, the amount of expertise then can be automated into a system that can then give you all that at your fingertips. I wrote a blog article about this actually. And you know what’s interesting about this application of BI, it's really a unique situation where you know the machine is taking data, you know maybe you’re not entering it in a computer, maybe you’re not writing a blog, maybe not filling out a questionnaire, but its collecting data in real time and pushing out actionable information, right. It’s processing the data automatically and analyzing that data that it takes in, and that’s what we are talking about really across the enterprise is whatever data you’re taking in, how does that become actionable data? It’s a interesting BI example, but you can think of the same sort of process in a bank, in an insurance company and any type of institution...

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Examples of Business Intelligence Usage - Whether you already have data management and analysis tools in place or are on the lookout for new software solutions as we speak, business intelligence (BI) systems can indeed have transformative effects for your company. According to Finances Online, 87% of businesses have a very low BI maturity and adoption rate while in 2018, 90% of marketing and sales teams expressed that BI was essential to their success. Both small-scale and international businesses can benefit highly from adequate BI systems which correspond with their operational needs with the right business intelligence platform to back them up. However, settling for the right set of analysis, tracking and management tools for BI can be tricky without guidelines or previous experience. Let's take a look at what makes BI so important, as well as several tools for business intelligence which you should consider implementing in your company going forward...

Examples of Geographic Business Intelligence - So now let’s talk about a few examples. First, let’s think about what a purely GIS example looks like. Take a forestry agency, for instance. They use GIS for a number of cases, including reporting to various stakeholders. So when they choose to plant or sell areas of the forest, they need to inform a number of other environmental bodies, other government departments, as well as the general public. So before they had this system they would take digital photographs of the landscape and doctor them in certain ways to show what the landscape model might look like after the planned changes. So naturally that’s a manual, albeit artistic process, that is done in one-off use-cases. With GIS, the process is much more efficient, and the communication can be more effective. The image is now generated from the actual organizational data. So in a way, this is already a form of business intelligence report. Take another example from the same organization. In this case, we’re talking about 2D mapping. They need to depict different areas of profitability of a forest depending on planting and harvesting cycles of the business plan...

Example of Intelligent CRM Interactions - For this example of intelligent CRM interactions, we will use Amtrak. Because of the fact that most of the time when people are traveling on trains, and they can’t use the Internet, they didn’t have all these Web capabilities so they stayed really call center focused. They have all the station agents where you can buy tickets. Now they have a great website that 85,000 people visit on a monthly basis. It's very impressive, and then you get partners like AAA or travel agents that sell tickets so what Amtrak has to think about is, is this information intelligence about the customer? If I don’t connect these different distribution channels together, I might lose the piece of information that I needed to go into that profile, so we are up to date, and we can use that information in my intelligent customer interactions. I will give another example of multi-channel interactions. I am going to flip between Amtrak and AAA today, I could give you a lots of example, but I just chose those so I am going to go a little bit in depth because that both customers but also interesting stories...

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Executive Program Management Dashboard - As an executive of a company, every work day is filled with a surplus of tasks. Finding time to track your company’s performance can feel hectic; however, there is a reliable, quick and easy solution to this. An Executive Program Management Dashboard is a visual representation that allows executives to view their company’s performance in real-time. Executive dashboards make it possible to prioritize time, resources and work necessary for success. Dashboards provide a current view of defined processes, as well as existing issues and potential risks that can be prevented. Although an executive dashboard shows a detailed analysis on big data, creating a dashboard requires no IT skills and minimal learning...

Executive Support for Business Intelligence Initiatives - What is some practical advice for companies that are seeking executive support for their business intelligence initiative? Are there key performance indicators that they should live by? Some of the essential KPIs are profitability analytics. In retailing, it would be never being out of stock on shelf, customer re-buying, customer sequential, versioning, buying product, buying whatever it may be. And if you take the top three railroads in America as an example, the kind of impact there directly affects the price of the stock. I know where the railcars are. I know what's in them. I know where a customer shipment is. I am tracking things by the minute and the hour. I am rewarding my employees for using less fuel in the case of Burlington Northern, saving some $50 million or more just this year in fuel costs by managing how the trains actually operate, using business intelligence on the data warehouse. And there are these unique kinds of impacts that executives are now looking for. They just don’t want reports, they want did that process actually change a lot of things for the better. And as we go into marketing and sales and operations and finance, the metrics and the KPIs are not only statistics anymore. They are actual abilities from the business intelligence and data warehousing system to say how should we change those processes...

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Experimental Business Intelligence App - Maybe there are some change requests, and we are supporting this as an experimental business intelligence app in a limited way or in a piloted way. Now, out of those, maybe some of those solutions become quite valuable, and the way we have integrated this data and analyzed it. It’s so useful that we want to publish this as system of record content to a wider audience. And with each tier, there is more and more rigor and sanctioning of this information as yeah, this is valid consensus information. We just kind of go from conjecture at the bottom to consensus at the top and eventually we get to content that is published and ready to be disseminated. And I think this is a real key, is real training and impress upon your users and your stakeholders the rule of an engagement that goes along with using information at each level or each tier. You might want to train users to be able to qualify them to build prototypes that can be subsequently promoted to further levels of consensus information...

Features and Benefits of InetSoft's Business Intelligence Software - If you are looking for business intelligence software, here's why you should evaluate InetSoft's Style Intelligence. It is robust enough t: appeal to executives meet advanced needs of power users scale up for all sizes of organizations and is easy enough to be deployed in weeks, not months learned by end-users with minor training used with no BI expertise required and flexible enough to adapt to changing data structures and business needs support maximum self-service through ad hoc and visualization analysis...

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Financial Business Intelligence - What does operational business intelligence mean? Historically people viewed enterprise data warehousing and BI environments as a resting place for data. Now, operational is added to differentiate those types of business intelligence from a real-time environment that is aimed at driving data and analytics and ad hoc data exploration where in the organization that it needs to be, when it needs to be there. That may be in real-time, or really what is better called near-real-time. It may be to data delivered to event-driven systems and systems that require analytics and/or ad hoc queries. Is the trend towards operational business intelligence accelerating? It is, especially in financial industries like banking with everything from risk analytics to being able to drive real-time decisioning for credit applications for mortgage or retail loans, for instance. A lot of things banks have done in the past have been driven by lines of business or regulatory compliance issues that they were trying to address. For instance the banking industry you have Basel II, for the insurance industry you have Solvency II...

First Business Intelligence Was Production Reporting - The first business intelligence was just production reporting. It was something that landed with a huge loud bang on your desk, or arrived into your email inbox as an attachment. There was so much information there that you looked at and you said, you know, I think, I need to go and get a cup of coffee because this makes my head hurt just thinking about it. It was just a data dump. You’ve got to have data in the right format so that it is delivered in the way that the employee can use it in some appropriate to them, in the application that they want to get it, that is appropriate to their function and to their activity and their role. Let’s go to the next slide. So, we are going to talk about some specific examples of business intelligence for a minute. I just want to spend about 90 seconds talking about how to get started with this, because when you look at manufacturers who are having some success with this they don’t start it with saying, okay, we’re going to rip everything out, and we’re just going to not do anything until we have a single version of the truth and perfect business intelligence. Typically, what they do is they try to find an issue that they know is important to the organization, and that they also know is going to make a difference in costs and profitability...

Four Ways to Use Business Intelligence for Writing Services - Every large writing business and most middle-sized ones are faced with the problem of providing management with inaccurate data on the state of affairs of the service. The reasons may be different, but the consequences are always the same - wrong or untimely decisions that adversely affect the effectiveness of the service's financial transactions. To help cope with such a situation, a professional business intelligence system (BI) was designed. This high-tech technology helps to build a system of management control of every aspect within the writing business. The purpose and capabilities of a BI At its core, BI is advanced analytical software for writing service analysis and reporting. The software can use data from various sources and present it in a convenient fashion. As a result, the management gets quick access to complete and transparent information about the state of affairs of the writing service...

Future for Business Intelligence - The simple answer to that is that the future is here today. As I said before, the data volumes these days are in petabytes, or thousands of terabytes. Requirements change way too fast. The world moves at lightening speed. So I think the two key areas that we discussed and addressed throughout this discussion and presentation, agility and self service for business users are going to remain key trends for the foreseeable future. Luckily, we do have some next generation technologies to address them and our advice to all of the enterprises that are faced with these challenges is not to fight them. Sure, there are definitely some concerns on part of IT traditionalists. They are concerned about relinquishing control into the hands of end users. They are concerned about the single version of the truth. But guess what? The genie of end users trying self-service for their BI needs is out of the bottle, so everybody needs to address it. They need to embrace it, and they need to take a very hard look at today’s fast moving environments and see how this next generation BI technology can address them...

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