BI Primer

Business Intelligence (BI) is the commercial term for using information within organizations to make informed decisions, and to run operations effectively based on available data. As a research field, it encompasses data and knowledge management, management of digital media, modeling or processes and policies, data quality, data privacy and security, data integration, data exchange, data cleaning, inconsistency management, information retrieval, data mining, analytics, and decision support.

Key Business Intelligence Trends

The complexity and volume of data involved in business transactions and operations has exceeded the capabilities of existing technologies. The following highlights the key BI trends:

  • More sophisticated data integration
  • More complex analysis (beyond cubes)
  • Increased use of semantics, policies, and strategies
  • Data Mart consolidation
  • Integration of semi-structured data and documents
  • Demand for "operational BI": BI becoming an integral part of business operations

The Evolution of BI Technologies

Current "1st generation" BI tools, including email, website, portals, blogs, remote databases, data warehouses and requirement documents are patchwork, and are not tailored to the business user. These technologies are static, expensive to own, cumbersome to evolve, and do not support flexible knowledge integration.

First Generation Technologies:

  • patchwork of tools
  • tools not tailored to business user
  • do not support flexible knowledge integration

Business demands more sophisticated data integration, more complex analysis (beyond current cube solutions) and increased use of semantics, policies, and strategies. Moreover, there is a strong need for technology that integrates semi-structured data and documents, along with structured data from databases and data warehouses. Business Intelligence has to move from the silos of finance, accounting, marketing, customer care and inventory management to become an integral part of business operations, driving business decisions using information sources across the entire corporation.

The Next Generation BI technologies need to be:

  • user-oriented
  • flexible, adaptive, maintainable, and integrateable
  • robust content management for all enterprise data

A New BI Paradigm

The next generation of BI solutions will utilize user-oriented, flexible, adaptive, and maintainable technologies. They will provide robust content management for all enterprise data, and function as a shared resource to the entire organization. These tools will directly connect business processes, and be capable of automating action and providing continuous online updates. Most importantly, the New BI Paradigm will represent a shift in emphasis from data management and moving data to providing meaningful knowledge extraction and integration from data represented in a myriad of different forms within heterogeneous applications.




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