Business Intelligence (BI) offers a series of tools and techniques for data analysis, trends description, and evaluation. BI complement more traditional intelligence techniques, such as foresight, benchmarking, and assessment. BI technologies attempt to help companies understand data from various fields of activity (suppliers, customers, internal, the web) more quickly so that they can make more informed and faster decisions.
As Bob Lokken, President and CEO of Proclarity Enterprise Analytic Solutions, points out ‘Some BI technology aims to make the flow of data within an organization faster and more accessible (e.g., making standard reports easier to build, maintain, and distribute). Yet other, newer BI technologies take a more aggressive approach by redefining existing processes with new, more streamlined ones that eliminate entire steps or create new capabilities that are beyond the reach of legacy approaches.’
Typical BI technologies include reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), key performance indicators scorecards or dashboards, relational database servers, data warehousing, CRM, reporting and query tools, analysis and exploration tools, data visualization, data mining, web mining, modelling, alert and notification systems.
BI vendors provide tools and platforms enabling the delivery of information to decision makers. Leaders in BI are large entreprise application vendors (i.e. Oracle, Microsoft, SAP) and medium-sized companies (Cognos, Business Objects, Microstrategy). Vendors provide solutions through relationships with small value-added resellers.
Some useful addresses: