Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why Business Intelligence? 5 Business Purposes

Fundamentally, Business Intelligence (BI) can be applied for at least 5 business purposes:

  • Measurement – to inform business managers and leaders about the progress towards certain business goals.
  • Analytics – to arrive at more optimal decisions and to perform business knowledge discovery. This  typically involves techniques like data mining, process mining, statistical analysis, predictive analytics, predictive modeling, business process modeling, complex event processing and prescriptive analytics. 
  • Reporting – to provide strategic reporting to serve the strategic management of a business, not operational reporting. Frequently involves data visualization, executive information system and OLAP. 
  • Collaboration – to allow different parties or departments (inside or outside an organization to work together through techniques such as data sharing and electronic data interchange.
  • Knowledge Management – to make the company data-driven through strategies and practices to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences that are true business knowledge. Knowledge management leads to learning management and regulatory compliance.
Note that in all of these 5 areas, business intelligence can be implemented passive and more pro-active, such as when managers are warned or alerted via an alarm function. Such warnings can come  in many different shapes and forms. For example, if some business result is below a certain critical threshold value, the amount on a dashboard may be shown in BOLD, in RED, or even FLASHING to alert a decision maker. Sometimes an automatic alert (email) may be sent to one or more individuals.