Business intelligence software, data warehousing and ERP are closely related
Business intelligence (BI) is the overarching term for analytical and operational results derived from querying data. IBM’s Cognos is an example of a business intelligence software that is closely related to ERP. Enterprise resource planning systems are essentially data warehouses for business intelligence reporting.
BI is used for tactical reporting and analysis as well as driving and optimizing daily business processes and workflows. Analysis of the data enables companies to make objective decisions to improve operational efficiency.
Typical analytical queries are:
How is business doing in the sales department?
What product will sell best this quarter?
Which region will have the most sales this year?
Which region will have the least sales this year?
BI provides management with a high level view and the capability to drill down to the details to pinpoint areas for improvement.
BI is not just a management tool. Salespeople, customer sales representatives and customers themselves can access the data warehouse. Interactive systems provide detailed high level information on recent or historical transactions, such as:
What are my most recent transactions?
What is the current status of my medical claim?
Or - based on a client’s medical history - what is the best insurance plan suited to this client?
Data warehouses provide timely detailed information for tactical decision making. Customer service people can, for example, leverage information to recommend next steps for clients and customers. Value added services improve the overall customer satisfaction rate.
The overall benefit of an enterprise wide data warehouse is that it provides data from one integrated source system. Some of the advantages are:
- Business rules are applied once and used everywhere.
- It removes duplicate effort and saves company time and resources.
- The data quality can be controlled and addressed from the enterprise level.
Business intelligence software supports business needs as long as the underlying enterprise resource planning system is fully implemented and integrated.
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