What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence is the process of transforming business data into Information/Knowledge, using computer-based techniques; thus, enabling the users take effective fact-based decisions.
It basically refers to technologies and application for collection of business information or data so that organizations can take effective decisions. Today, we have lots of data in different forms in an organization, and the volume is also huge. The information is taken so that organizations can take decisions for growth and the data is transformed for analysis.
Business Intelligence has consistently played an important role in the last few decades. Its primary job is around structured data, which used to be an integrated data warehouse.
Datawarehouse is a repository of organization’s data for query and analysis purpose.
With time and evolving technology, Business Intelligence has evolved to cater to disruptive data growth as the volume of data has increased. Business Intelligence can crunch enormous structured and unstructured data to help identify or create strategic business opportunities.
Business Intelligence essentially is intended for the following 3 things:
- Precise and concise interpretation of (voluminous) data
- Identifying new opportunities
- Implementing an effective strategy to have a competitive edge
What is Business Intelligence Stack?
The Business Intelligence stack comprises of elements, such as:
ETL: ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. It basically involves transferring structures of data from source to datawarehouse.
Metadata Management: It is a logical layer between data and involved bus logic.
Analytics and Operational Reporting: It involves analysis of data through operational reporting.
Dashboard: It gives a snapshot of the organization.
Governance/Monitoring: It involves user role mapping.
Need for Business Intelligence
In today’s growing global competition, business market poses the following questions to business leaders:
Q: What would be my insightful decision based on the ocean of data? How quick can I take decisions based on that huge data?
With regard to the volume of data it can handle, one needs a complete end-to-end Business Intelligence solution to address these issues.
Q: How can I integrate heterogeneous data feeds to common platform to analyze it further?
Basically, an organization can have any kind of source data that can be analyzed. To transform it into a form that can be understandable, we use ETL.
Q: How to interpret raw data in the best possible manner?
In order to interpret raw data or any kind of data, we need analytics and data discovery.
Q: Can I predict the future of my business trajectory?
Yes, through predictive analysis and machine learning.
Q: What is the best way to share the data?
If we want to share information and data with members in the organization, it can be done through visualization and reporting
Q: How can I monitor the dynamics of changing trends?
Monitoring trends can be achieved through dashboards, which show graphs and pie-charts.
Existing Solutions for Business Intelligence
It can be classified as large BI vendors and new breed.
Large BI Vendors – SAP, IBM, SAS big vendors, which have high processing systems
New Breed – They are basically known for being cost effective and open source with players, like Pentaho, Actuate, Jaspersoft, etc.
Integration Time– time taken in running any module in organization and integrating it through existing BI solution on top of it
Infrastructure and Maintenance Costs– also matter in addressing existing challenges
Licensing Cost- Some of the Big BI vendors charge a lot in terms of licensing, which should also be kept in mind
Single Platform– The necessity of a single platform arises in order to cater to an organization’s BI needs.
Apart from challenges with the existing system, an organization also has issues like volume of data, performance, limited types of reports and dependency on IT for making the reports.
Pentaho is seen as an ideal solution to address these challenges.
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