California State University, Bakersfield
Table of Contents
Title Page 1
Table of Contents 2
Business Intelligence 4
Data: Structured and Unstructured 6
Data Warehousing 7
Business Intelligence Reporting Software 8
Business Analytics 9
Case Studies 10
Case 1: Multiple vendors, multiple contracts and limited line of sight into costs 10
Case 2: The Weather Channel 11
Bibliography Continued 16
According to Pat Roche, VP of Engineering at Magnitude Software, “BI is focused on creating operational efficiency through access to real time data enabling individuals to most effectively perform their job functions. BI also includes analysis of historical data from multiple sources enabling informed decision making as well as problem identification and resolution.” (Heinze, 2014) Business intelligence is one of the major topics companies have been forced to accept and address to compete and gain a competitive advantage that provides above average returns. Firms of all sizes have access to more data than ever before in the history of business. Corporations that have developed, or purchased, methods to utilize the available data and turn it into information effectively are able to outperform their competition. Discussion of Business Intelligence (BI) in the business world sounds like a goal, an achievement, and an end state. This could not be further from the truth. Business Intelligence is a continuously evolving process that yields actionable information for use at that particular point in time. However, the next question will need to take into account newer, different and/or expanded, data that is transformed into actionable information in order to address the most recent question. Like so many technology projects, BI won’t yield returns if users feel threatened by, or are skeptical of, the technology and refuse to use it as a result. And when it comes to something like BI, which, when implemented strategically, ought to fundamentally change how companies operate and how people make decisions, CIOs need to be extra attentive to users' feelings. (Mulcahy, Business Intelligence Definition and Solutions, 2007)
Business Intelligence According to Ryan Mulcahy, of CIO.com, “Business intelligence, or BI, is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of software applications used to analyze an organization’s raw data. BI as a discipline is made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting.” (Mulcahy, Business Intelligence Definition and Solutions, 2007) It is these related activities combined that produce Business Intelligence. Any piece done in isolation of the other components is costly and inefficient. Solomon Negash, of Kennesaw State University, states that “BI systems combine data gathering, data storage, and knowledge management with analytical tools to present complex internal and [external] competitive information to planners and decision makers.” (Negash, Business Intelligence, 2004) As you can see, an understanding of what Business Intelligence is and what it is comprised of is complex. Constant changes and developments in the fields of Information Technology and Information Systems ensure that BI systems will continue to evolve to meet the needs of businesses, decision makers, and other users.
Depending on what source you study, there are a few different breakdowns of BI user classifications. According to James Serra, an IT professional, there are three types of Business Intelligence users: Strategic Users, Tactical Users, Operational Users, and Super Users. Strategic users include executives, power users, subject matter experts, and regional/area general managers. Tactical users include analysts, advanced users, power users, subject matter experts, and managers.