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Business Intelligence Series (2)

1/16/2013 10:18:57 AM Posted by Gopal Viswanathan

WHY IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI) IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SMALL TO MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESS?

Step 2: Provide a Data System to Support Reporting and Analysis

As I mentioned in last week’s post, Business Intelligence (BI) is a crucial component in making your company successful in the marketplace. You want to be able to provide reporting and analysis capabilities to your employees. But, what limited reporting and analysis capabilities (or lack thereof) you have aren’t cutting it. There are a number of reasons why you should adopt a separate system to feed your business intelligence applications.

The following factors go into detail on why it’s beneficial to adopt the separate system:

  • System performance – How is your existing transaction environment working? As you progress towards the need for more actionable knowledge, you will realize that ad hoc report requests can affect performance. With ad hoc queries, you run the risk of a slower system and interference with existing production processing
  • Data accessibility – Where does your data come from? Is it created and updated by more than one business application, like CRM or ERP? If this is the case, be prepared for some trouble on the horizon. If the data needed to create a report comes from disparate systems, chances are that the report might not be immediately available or accessible.
  • Data usability – Most operational systems are not suited for reporting and analysis capabilities, even though they are designed to support the rapid execution of transactions. By reorganizing your data into a database configuration that can respond more quickly to requests for information, your data will be able to fulfill your reporting and analysis needs.
  • Data quality – Because your data is gathered from various sources, there are probably inconsistencies among those data sets. Because of these data errors that might get ignored within the transactional application, you may experience inconsistent sums and averages in reports.

So how do you solve the above issues? Simple – provide a separate data and processing environment for BI. Any business intelligence related data is extracted from the separate business applications and is collected into a separate system. This “operational data store”, as it’s referred to, is a type of data warehouse or data mart that is engineered to support data cleansing, consolidation, various data architectures for aggregating and summarizing results, and Business Intelligence applications for reporting and analysis. Contact Third Wave today and reorganize your systems to support your reporting and analysis capabilities!