Onto the third installment of our blog series aimed at simplifying technical IT software and solutions terminology. In earlier blogs, we broke down the concepts of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), as well as its architectural partner, SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture).
Now, we want to focus on a well-used, but superficially understood technology solution for businesses: business intelligence.
What is Business Intelligence?
“Business intelligence” represents tools and systems applied in helping an organization gather, store, access, and make sense of corporate data to aid in informed decision-making. Although often synonymous with “competitive intelligence,” business intelligence primarily focuses on internal corporate data, rather than gathering data on competitors.
Common tools of BI technologies include:
- Data/Text mining
- Predictive analytics
- Prescriptive analytics
- And more…
For business managers who are new the concept of BI, an analogy may provide the most helpful insight into the principles and purpose of business intelligence platforms.
If you were asked right now to build a jet airplane, there are a couple of approaches you might take to complete the task on time. Using the first approach, you could assemble a crew of knowledgeable workers to start building different parts of the plane separately (the wing, tail, engine, etc.).
But since the overall concept of the plane is not clearly established, it would be very difficult to succeed. (For instance, the wings might be made too big for the engine to control, or the tail too small.) And redeveloping these pieces would be very costly.
The other, more efficient, approach would be to diagram the plane you visualize, and then test a smaller scale prototype before you begin constructing the actual model. This way, any readjustments are cheap and easy to make.
Business intelligence works in a similar way. Most companies collect vast stores of data from their operations, and BI accesses data warehouses to transform raw, meaningless figures into useful information that provide suggestions on which software solutions may improve a business’s efficiency. Then you can develop scaled-down prototypes of the solution and test it in BI platforms to see if there are any readjustments needed before you fully implement it.
Microsoft BI Report Conversion
When organizations are trying to juggle the management of multiple BI platforms, often some platforms are being underutilized, while others are “over-purchased,” meaning only a fraction of licensed users actually utilize all of the components. This is a costly waste of a company’s time and money.
By converting to Microsoft’s business intelligence solutions, managers can control exactly how much (or little) BI they need to accomplish their company’s needs while staying within its budget.
Innovative Architects can design a customized solution specific to your company’s needs, and at only a fraction of the cost of expensive alternatives like Cognos and Microstrategy. Then, our expert BI consultants can make sure you are getting full use out of your Microsoft BI platform.
Contact us today to ask for more information or schedule a free technology assessment.