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Is Business Intelligence Still Relevant?

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Information about Is Business Intelligence Still Relevant?

Published on June 24, 2008

Author: businessintelligence

Source: slideshare.net

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ERP is looked at as the holy grail of enterprise data management solutions. In such a scenario do business intelligence (BI) tools have any potential? Yes, says Mehta of MAIA Intelligence, while adding that BI's utilization in a business environment has not been fully explored
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Is Business Intelligence Still Relevant? Vinita Bhatia Wednesday, June 18, 2008 ERP is looked at as the holy grail of enterprise data management solutions. In such a scenario do business intelligence (BI) tools have any potential? Yes, says Mehta of MAIA Intelligence, while adding that BI's utilization in a business environment has not been fully explored It is tough to define business intelligence (BI) in a nut shell. Some believe it has to do with query and reporting. Others look at it as a tool that has analytics, dashboards and scorecards that can be used for performance management. But if you were to put it in layman terms, it can be called as software that allows enterprises to take informed decisions. The presentation components, like dashboards or cubes, can vary. At the end, it is a software tool that uses captured data to help enterprises take on-the-fly decisions to resolve any pain areas. The best analogy for BI is that of a compass. It can show you the direction, but it can't head you that way. Similarly, BI tools read numbers and analyze them to offer accountable decisions. But it is up to the customers to decide how they want to act upon it. Where BI stands At a time when customers are happy and content with their enterprise resource planning or ERP (read SAP) implementations, does this mean that BI tools have become redundant? I think not. BI is the application that threads all applications, including ERP and customer relationship management (CRM), which reside across the different business lines of a customer's IT environment. Right now what is happening is that the customer is doing all the integration. So take the example of a user accessing different products of a bank. He might be using the mutual funds, has two different loans, one savings account and two credit cards. He will be keeping track of his activities and payments for this single bank. Sanjay Mehta CEO, MAIA Intelligence With BI, the bank can simply have one window for the customer across it various product offerings and will know his credit standing, withdrawals, deposits, stock trading, etc instantaneously. It can then decide what kind of benefits it wants to offer customers of this profile across various parameters. This shows that BI is still relevant in today's environment. But there is no doubting that the awareness of its real time applications is still very low. Different BI models Each BI vendor has its own core competency. SAS has a purely statistical model where it cumulates data for a certain number of years and uses algorithms to do forecasting. So a bank might buy SAS licenses to see what the credit rate would be five years down the line, keeping the contemporary financial data in mind.

Business Objects or Cognos have tools for performance management. MAIA has skillsets in using data to offer operational solutions. It is unfortunate though that it is perceived that BI solutions are only meant for enterprise customers, because this is not true. ERP is good for collecting data, but slicing and dicing it for individual needs is not possible with it. Earlier, customers would plug in all this data into an excel file and then work BI is the application that threads all applications, out permutations to get an understanding of this data for including ERP and customer relationship management (CRM), which reside across the different making projections and estimations. But with BI, the business lines of a customer's IT environment software with a simple dashboard display does this. Let me give you an example. There was a company that had show cards to mark employee attendance at its gate. We took this data from the HR department and broke into different sub-categories. We found out how many women and men were coming late and found out that over a period of a year it was statistically the men who were coming in late. We also discovered that the company was losing 53 days of man hours across 1,600 employees, due to late coming. We further sliced the same HR data into hierarchy and departments to find out who were coming in late. We then found out the attrition rates across the same hierarchies and departments and found that people who were regularly late were the ones who usually quit the company. The company was therefore able to take some steps like notifying the division heads about chronic latecomers and rectify its manpower issues. This is a good example of how a BI tool took some accumulated data and then found out a way to use it to resolve their pain area-attrition and productivity improvement. BI is barely there yet When it comes to BI we have barely scratched the surface. There are companies that are not aware about how BI can help them make quick decisions that will have direct ramifications on their profitability. Even the top 100 companies are not clued into this fact, which shows the latent potential in this area. According to a Frost and Sullivan official, the BI market was projected to be around $70 million in 2007, up from $47 million in 2005. Dun & Bradstreet pegs the global BI market to be around $5.7 billion, while the Indian potential is likely to be Rs 1,200 crore. Gartner has said that India is the fastest growing BI platforms market in Asia (including Japan), posting a growth of 35.6 percent in 2005-06. BI platforms revenues in India grew from $12.1 million in 2005 to reach $ 16.4 million in 2006. In APAC (including Japan), the BI platforms market grew at 16 percent in 2005 to reach $491.8 million in 2006, with Japan accounting for more than half the overall market. Since India is currently in the implementation wave of business applications platforms like ERP, CRM and supply chain management (SCM), the demand for BI platforms will continue to rise. The BI market in India has tremendous potential, with growth expected to be over 35 percent. What is now needed is a concentrated effort from vendors to raise customer awareness about BI, especially in verticals like transportation, hospitality, logistics, retailing etc. Operation BI reporting in enterprises across all verticals allows companies to look at implementing enhanced capabilities to meet their MIS reporting needs. Any company, which is in spreadsheet purgatory, can be shown the merits of using BI tools because they will no longer have users spending more time on analysis than executing action on the data. Vinita Bhatia vinitavs@cybermedia.co.in http://dqchannels.ciol.com/content/space/108061805.asp

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