Business Intelligence(BI) is set of tools and software which plays a key role in understanding organization data and provide the best information to the organization to make the right decisions. Today, not only large organizations even medium to small sized businesses use Business Intelligence. Companies use BI to cut costs, identify new business opportunities and to improve their decision-making ability to grow the business. Normally the BI systems will allow a company to gather data, store it, then access it to analyse the data to give insights, relationships, patterns or trends.
Components of Business Intelligence
Data Warehouse “is a subject oriented, integrated, time-variant, and nonvolatile collection of data” by Bill Inmon. This data helps analysts to take informed decisions in an organization. Data warehouse does not originate the data itself. Instead we collect data from different resources depend on industry. Usually it is being collected from organizations CRM system, financial, HR, operational, sales and many other resources. Its main purpose is to provide a logical picture of the business at a point in time. Using various Data Warehousing toolsets, users are able to run online queries and ‘mine” their data.
Data Marts is the subsets of data warehouse. Data marts goal is to meet the demands of the specific group of users in the organization such as, HR, Sales, Accounts etc. There are two types of data marts: dependent and independent. Mainly it all depend on how the data marts are collecting information. Dependent data marts takes the data from central warehouse that has already been created in organization. Where on the other hand independent data marts are standalone, their data is normally being collected directly from operational or external sources of data or both.
OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) is one of the main function of business intelligence which enables a user to easily and selectively extract data from a different point of view. OLAP is usually designed for managers who wants to make sense of their corporate data. For example, if a manager wants to see the sale of a particular product sold in Dublin in the month of june and compare the figure of the same product in the month of december and then sale of other products in Dublin at the same period of time. To makes it easier to give that kind of analysis OLAP stores data in multidimensional database. OLAP databases are divided into one or more cubes.
Dashboards/Reports – Business Intelligence dashboard is a BI software which provides the interface with the information need to achieve one or more objectives on a single screen. When a user login into BI software the first visible page is BI dashboard. The type and amount of information displayed depend according to BI software capability.
Key characteristics of dashboard:
- All the visualizations fit on a single computer screen.
- It shows the most important performance indicators.
- The display data automatically updated without any assistance from the user.
Few Business Intelligence Tools:
- Tableau desktop is the fire authoring environment uses to create and publish complex visualizations, reports and dashboards in multiple output formats. Author can connect to multiple data sources, explore relationships, create dashboards, modify metadata, and finally publish a complete workbook to server if desired.
- Qlikview is a data discovery product for creating rapidly developed, highly interactive guided analytics applications and dashboards, purpose built for business challenges. With Qlik’s Associative Data Indexing engine at its core, it allows people to explore freely, to uncover insights and data relationships across many sources that would otherwise be hidden in query-based or hierarchical tools.
- Sisense simplifies business analytics for complex data. Powered by its unique In-Chip™ and Single Stack™ technologies – Sisense delivers unmatched performance, agility and value, eliminating much of the costly data preparation traditionally needed with business analytics tools and providing a single, complete tool to analyze and visualize large, disparate data sets without IT resources.
- Power BI Business Intelligence for Office 365 allows users to model and analyze their data, and query large datasets with complex natural language queries. The tool also allows users to easily visualize their data in Excel with the help of Power View and Power Map.