Purpose of Business Intelligence

Once again I continue my theme of Business Intelligence (BI) by discussing some of the purposes of BI.  Generally you can lump these into two areas (thanks to Claudia Imhoff again in continuation of our previous post.

1.  Monitor the Financial and Operational Health of the Organization
    – Through Reports, Dashboards and alerts it monitors:
        – Trends – customer behaviour
        – Patterns – demographics, store operations
        – Relationships – between products, suppliers, stores
    With BI in place it is much easier to:
        – understand
        – target
        – develop products

2.  Regulates the Operation of the Organization
    – Two-way integration with operational activities
    – BI without ability to act on it has no value
    Decisions made are being made at lower and lower levels, so now everyone in your organization is an analyst and regulator in support of SOX and Basel.  But these people need data in a reasonable form for their purpose.  Now that many people have access and interest in the data, you need to bring credable and critical data to the organization.

These are great purposes, but sometimes these Monitors and Regulators are put in place without a feedback into the organization.  As mentioned before, BI without the ability to act has no value.  If I were to ask our Project X’s board their opinion and not take action on their observations then their Business Intelligence would be wasted – and they would get pissed off.  Your BI environment may not walk away, but your business case may suffer realistic value if the feedback loop is not closed.

As we move into real-time or active Business Intelligence these feedback loops become more pertinent to operations and bring the loop closer together.  Active Data has higher value to the organization, but only when interated and actioned.  Like the example from the last post about airplanes.  I will go into some great examples in the future when I talk about Xtreme Data Warehousing.

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