Business Intelligence – What, When And Why?

Increasing competition and over flowing data can sometimes be tough on the decision-making system. The need for filtering and using relevant data is an integral part of targeting any business strategy. Compiling huge data from various sources and setting boundaries for relevancy is the primary necessitate of most business types like banking; retail marketing; hotel industry or information technology.
What is Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence is a set of applications and technologies which facilitate gathering, analyzing, filtering and storing relevant data for an organization. This fact-based information is further used for several decision-making support systems in a business enterprise. The decisions made can be for mission-critical operations; individual departments or generated on user demand. Business Intelligence applications are hence designed based on the nature of desired output.
Consider a business scenario for a textile retailer. This organization has to bridge databases from various departments in order to produce a rich data source for generating analytical reports for all decision-making exercises of the company. The data could be coming from divisions like sales; customer relationship; supply chain management; human resource and others. The challenge is to use the right data at the right time!

Key Stages of BI
BI tools simplify the data gathering process by providing precise information packets relevant to a particular user or group of users. Following are the key stages of a BI application life cycle:

Data Sourcing: Gathering data from different sources like databases, media files, images, text documents and web pages.

Data Analysis: Deriving useful information from the gathered data through various analyzing techniques.

Situation Analysis: Forming relevant information packets depending on the type of decision-making requirement.

Risk Analysis: Weighing the data on various risk factors to derive at a decision.

Decision Support: Implementing the BI software for good decision making.Significance of BI applications

Helps the managers to understand the new market trends; analyze the changing customer needs and derive savvy service or product based on the study.

Enables to gather and analyze large unstructured data and transforms them into relevant information cubes supporting "use only what you need" concept.

Provides data for multi-dimensional analysis helping the managers to visualize various economic trends, changing market share and probably anticipate the competitor's action.

When do you need Business Intelligence

Lack of business analysis or standardization processes

Lack of skilled staff or inefficient optimization of skill

Absence of effective project management system

No understanding of garbage-data and business development relationship

Absence of distributive work methodology

Business Intelligence provides fresh and updated information for all cross-organizational initiatives making critical business decisions possible across all domains.

Source by Sanjay Mehta

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