Business Intelligence is a term used for technology that provides reporting and analytical capabilities for pulling data from various sources to support informed decision making. In other words, BI is the capability to transform raw data into meaningful, actionable information. The more intelligence a business can glean from its data, the better decisions it will make.
A Data Warehouse or Enterprise Data Warehouse is a central repository of data which is created by integrating data from multiple disparate sources – such as marketing, sales, or human resources. The data may be cleaned or processed before stored in the DWH and is used in reporting.
BI helps businesses make faster and more informed decisions throughout the organization. It makes it easier for everyone in the organization to analyze, share, and act on business information from a centrally managed, secure source.
All the departments of an organization can benefit from BI as all departments must make critical decisions form time to time. With BI, departments are empowered to make faster and more informed decisions based on actionable information.
Not all BI projects require a Data Warehouse. Most BI tools can give reporting and analytics to users from any data source without needing to build a Data Warehouse. Since a Data Warehouse facilitates reporting and analysis, it is best used by organizations with a need for reliable, consolidated, unique and integrated reporting and analysis of its data at different levels of aggregation.
A Key Performance Indicator is a measure of performance that defines and evaluates the success of a business in making progress towards its long-term goals. KPIs answer the question, what is really important for the organization to grow? KPIs are monitored using BI to assess the present state of the business against its past and to assist in prescribing a course of action.
In the absence of cross-organizational culture, it is very difficult to implement a successful BI project. Self-implemented BI projects often fail to realize the full potential of BI due to a lack of understanding of the complexity of BI, no business analysis or standardization activities, and a big bang approach instead of a phase-wise deployment approach.
An investment in BI pays off when it increases business agility, lowers operational costs, streamlines customer acquisitions, and increases customer loyalty.
Yes, a BI solution can be designed to work with data that exists in virtually any data source, such as MS SQL Server DB or Oracle.
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