Every business works with the aim of earning profits and this can be achieved by taking the right business decisions. Business leaders take innumerable decisions that influence the work in various ways. However, the ultimate goal is to make the decisions effective enough in order to carve the path of profit for the organizations. Hence, successful implementation of plans is the foremost need of every business and Business Intelligence proves helpful in this context. Let's get an insight to Business Intelligence and its components:
Business Intelligence plays a primary role while implementing strategies and the right planning procedures. BI technology assists its users in gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing the data. The set of applications covered under Business Intelligence allows the companies in effective implementation of Decision Support System, applying Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) concepts, Statistical Analysis, Forecasting, and Data Mining.
Business Intelligence serves in sending the information to the right decision makers at the right time. BI is preferred by lot of users, as it leads them in reaching the facts based on conclusion or more commonly known as 'single version of the truth'. This gives the best end product and leads an organization to convert the raw data into useful information; thus, bringing profits.
Characteristics of a Business Intelligence Solution:
- It is a single point of access to information
- It gives well-timed answers to business questions
- It allows effective implementation of BI tools, applications, and systems in all departments of an organization
Stages of a Business Intelligence Process:
Business Intelligence process gathers raw data and converts it into useful information; and further transforms it into knowledge that must be used with intelligence. The BI process is based on five major stages mentioned below:
Data Sourcing: This stage works on gathering the data from different sources including, E-Mail messages, images, formatted tables, reports, sounds and other relevant sources. The major role of Data Sourcing is to gather the data in digital form; therefore, the sources for collecting data are computer files, digital cameras, scanners etc.
Data Analysis: The next stage is to arrange the data collected from Data Sourcing and estimating the data depending upon the current and future trends. Also known as Data Mining, this stage also predicts the information that will be needed in future.
Situation Awareness: This stage of the Business Intelligence process helps in filtering the relevant data and using it in relevance to the business environment. The users compile the data by keenly observing the market forces or Govt. policies, so that it becomes easier to take decisions. Combinations of different Algorithms are used to aptly identify the Situation Awareness.
Risk Assessment: Taking risks is part of every business; but, if one can take precautions, it turns extremely helpful. Risk Assessment stage helps in identifying the current and future risks, including cost benefits; choosing the best options; and comparison between two decisions to identify which one will turn beneficial. It summarizes the best choice amongst varied options.
Decision Support: This last stage in BI process aids in utilizing the information with intelligence. The aim of this stage is to warn the users about various crucial events like poor performance by staff, takeovers, changing trends in market, sales fluctuations and much more. It aids in taking better business decisions for improvising staff morale and customer satisfaction.
Significance of Business Intelligence:
Business Intelligence plays a significant role in the working of organizations and helps them to continue with progression. Following is the significance of Business Intelligence:
- BI helps in studying the changing demands; therefore, a company can have accurate and updated information about customer preferences
- It aids the Managers to remain informed about competitors' behavior and their actions
- It assists the analysts in knowing the adjustments that need to be done for maximizing profits
- It helps organizations to make future plans based on relevant data organized to give better results.
Business Intelligence Users:
- IT Users: These users make use of BI tools for development purposes, including Data Integration, Data Modeling, Report Generation, Presentation, and Final Delivery. IT users also use it for supporting the individuals in the organization and provide reports to the outside customers.
- Power Users: These types of users include 'Professional Analysts' who have been using the BI tools. These users study the pre-defined reports and provide support in taking the right decisions, but they are not obligated to take decisions.
- Business Users: They review the analysis report presented by the Power Users. These users can apply their own queries on the data, and create reports based on those queries.
- Casual Users: These users have the privilege of making changes in report information and may enter the data that can help to perform further high-level research.
- Extra-Enterprise Users: These users are usually not a part of an organization and are external sources that help the companies in taking more tactical decisions. These may include External Partners, Customers, Business Analysts, Suppliers etc.
Hence, Business Intelligence solutions assist the organizations to take effective decisions and get a deeper insight of business data in order to meet the specified goals. By using all the tools, applications, and systems, organizations can speed up the delivery of product by achieving the targets.
by Saba Zehra Rizvi