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Business Intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making

Where does data come from ?

Data that is relevant to a business decision may come from anywhere. The most important sources of data include

  • Master Data
  • Configuration Data
  • Operations Data (OLTP)
  • Information Systems (OLAP)

Building Business Intelligence

An ebusiness application relies on an underlying relational database to turn raw data into persistent structured collections of information. In addition to managing information a database defines the relationships within an ebusiness system.

Database Management System (DBMS)

DBMSs are the technology tools that directly support managing organizational data. With a DBMS you can create a database including its logical structure and constraints, you can manipulate the data and information it contains, or you can directly create a simple database application or reporting tool. Human administrators, through a user interface, perform certain tasks with the tool such as creating a database, converting an existing database, or archiving a large and growing database. Business applications, which perform the higher level tasks of managing business processes, interact with end users and other applications and, to store and manage data, rely on and directly operate their own underlying database through a standard programming interface like ODBC. The following diagram illustrates the five components of a DBMS.

Data warehouses

Data warehouses are logical collections of information gathered from many different operational databases used to perform detailed analysis of all available data. They might be used to compare various departments (Canada vs. Europe, East vs. West, Toronto office vs. Montreal office etc.), seemingly disparate pieces of data (revenue vs. stock price, revenue vs. weather, revenue during an ad compaign, revenue on days of competitor sales promotion, and so on) or historical trends (sales year-to-date vs. last year, vs ten years ago, etc.)

Applications in an enterprise

Business intelligence can be applied to the following business purposes, in order to drive business value

  • Measurement
  • Analytics
  • Reporting/enterprise reporting
  • Collaboration/collaboration platform
  • Knowledge management

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