Business Intelligence Application
Definition of business intelligence
Business intelligence is a set of techniques, theories and technologies that businesses use in order to transform large amounts of raw data into meaningful and useful information for the purposes of improving the business. Business intelligence is mostly done through varied software applications. Some of the activities included in business intelligence are:
- Online analytical processing
- Data mining
- Multidimensional aggregation of information and allocation
- Optimizing key performance indicators
- Statistical inference
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Process management
- Group consolidation
- Open item management
- Business analytics
- Complex event processing
- Text mining
- Predictive and prescriptive analytics
- Online analytical processing
Application of business intelligence
Business intelligence is now being used by several renowned companies including several supermarket chains, restaurant chains and even professional sport teams. These companies have experienced success by utilizing business intelligence software in the following manner:
- Using measurement programs that create a history and hierarchy of performance. This shows the management the progress the business is making towards achieving its set goals and objectives.
- Using the analytics programs to assess the performance of the business against set goals and market trends. This helps the business managers and leaders to come up with optimal decisions that can propel the business forward and also utilize resources at hand more effectively. It may involve several technological processes such as data mining, predictive modeling and prescriptive analysis.
- Use enterprise reporting program and software such as data visualization and executive information system to build relevant infrastructure for strategic reporting. This enables to focus on and execute strategic decisions in the business and as such employ strategic management effectively.
- Use collaboration platform program to get perspectives of both internal and external stakeholders of the business. This is done through electronic data interchange and data sharing. It helps the business leaders to encompass relevant data and ideas in their decision making.
- Using knowledge management program to facilitate practical strategic management and adoption of insights that are based on factual business knowledge. This helps the business leaders to gain better management skills and also effect regulatory compliance practices.
How to make business intelligence work
Since every business is different, business intelligence cannot be incorporated as a one-size-fits-all measure. It requires technical planning and a specific focus on the business goals at hand. Not every business will automatically succeed by implementing business intelligence software. It is thus important to consider the following criteria before launching any software for business intelligence:
- Before initiating business intelligence it is very important to establish a committed and realistic sponsorship team for the project. This team should not only comprise of the management of the business but also external sponsors with a reputable business profile. Apart from offering financial support, the sponsors should set goals and closely monitor the business intelligence project.
- Business needs and goals. The business intelligence project should be initiated after establishing specific goals and objectives that need to be assessed or analyzed. It should not just be launched haphazardly. Rather a team should be set up to establish the needs of the organization and market trends before initiating the project with a specific objective.
- Availability of relevant data. It is necessary to profile the data an organization has before embarking on any business intelligence project. Data used should always reflect the true picture of the organization. It should be rich in content, relevant and consistent. Without proper, high quality data, business intelligence cannot work.
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