A business intelligence system is a system of technologies and practices that assist in the collection, analysis, and presentation of business information and any other information (Hinshaw, (2004). It is a system that can help a business improve its decision-making. Business intelligence systems usually rely on data. The systems help in providing historical, current, and future predictions of business operations. Software elements in the system support reporting, interactive analyses, visualization, and others. The Applications tackle among many issues, sales, production, financial and other sources of business data to improve the performance and management of a business enterprise
Usually if well utilized, a business intelligence system is of great benefit to business enterprises. This is because business intelligence software helps a business in a variety of ways.
Advantages of Business Intelligence System
The business intelligence software is of great help to a business enterprise. It usually provides information when needed promptly in the best format possible. The system is able to analyze data faster and give the needed feedback. It is therefore more a reliable way of providing needed data. These can help a business to meet its objectives faster enabling it to develop faster.
The business intelligence software is faster and spends less time giving feedback when requested. Business users, therefore, find it more convenient especially when searching for information because it is quick. Extra time becomes available for stakeholders to try and make sound business decisions (Luhn, 1958). The business will therefore gain a lot from this since activities within the business move at a faster rate enabling which in turn enable the business to expand.
The business intelligence software enables a business to analyze its past, scrutinize the present undertakings so as to determine its future outcomes. In this way, this analysis enables a business to identify its weakness and work out on its strengths to forge ahead business-wise. This technology, therefore, gives business solutions to various issues that arise within the business industry (Levinson, 2008).
The System’s Information and Analysis Capabilities
The business intelligence system is able to gather and carry out an analysis of large quantities of unorganized raw data. These include production metrics, sales, statistics, attendance reports, customer attrition figures, and many more (Microsoft, 2007). The system, therefore, collects information, processes, and analyses it to provide the necessary feedback within the stipulated time frame.
The system is developed to meet the demands and interests of various departments and sectors. Different businesses can develop the business intelligence system differently, according to their areas of specialization. For example, financial services companies can develop their system totally different from that of a retail business (Hinshaw, 2004).
The business intelligence system is able to analyze business performance, business projects, and internal operations giving a clear picture of the business development. These can help in business planning and management. There are various applications within the system that can enable the business to achieve this. The technology analyses various data such as data mining, data warehouses, and business trend analysis
Therefore as the business environment becomes competitive, access to the right information is more helpful in determining the development of a business (Luhn, 1958). The business intelligence systems help to give a clear picture of how a business is developing.
A business intelligence system does not function without some basic requirements. Various issues have to be considered before it is being used. There are basic hardware and software that are needed for the system to function.
The business enterprise should own a secure computer system that has a well-defined procedure and is able to specify how different users can access the data warehouse according to their levels (Microsoft, 2007). It should specify how junior staffers, managers, and executives access important information on the company and the extent up to which each category can access the data warehouses
The computers should have enough data capacity to ensure that crucial information find storage within the databank. There also should be a well-structured plan that determines the data retention duration. This will help to determine the information to be stored for long and short-term purposes. For example, oracle business intelligence requires an HP-UX Itanium 64-bit processor with a speed of 400 MHZ or more and a memory of not less than 1GB (Oracle, 2005).
There is also various software that is required to manage the business intelligence system. Various companies have varied requirements when installing the necessary software that runs the system. However specific software is used to implement the work of business intelligence. For example, Oracle Business intelligence (B1) which is a set of technologies and applications provides the industry with varied systems helpful in business intelligence. SAP is also in business intelligence and predictive analytics software which helps to carry out a ‘variety of duties (Kai, 2007). The oracle business intelligence software also has its specific requirements for its installation. All these directions are given when the system is being installed.
Providers of Business Intelligence System
There are various firms that deal in business intelligence systems. They include IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and SAP. These companies deal in a variety of products including the business intelligence system.
The oracle business intelligence system provides a superb enterprise performance management system that has various applications like financial performance management applications, applicational BI applications, data warehousing, and many more (Kai, 2007). The oracle corporations which have been in the market since the late 1980’s offer various services including supply-chain management, customer relationship management, product lifecycle management, and many other areas. It is one of the leading providers of business intelligence systems.
The IBM software provides warehouse solutions that have the necessary abilities to build, maintain, manage, secure, and analyze business information among others. IBM has well-developed mechanisms that deliver a powerful range of data warehousing capabilities making them among the strongest in the industry today. It is also developing new systems to increase efficiency and lower the cost of the whole business intelligence system (IBM, 2007).
SAP is a European software enterprise based in Germany that has various applications including customer relationship management, product lifecycle management, supply chain management, and many more. The company provides very superior services and is globally recognized in providing business intelligence systems (SAP, 2007).
Microsoft business intelligence provides data warehousing, reporting and analyses, and performance management. It helps to provide a compact and comprehensive data analysis that helps in business decision-making. It helps in enabling a business enterprise to achieve its goals and objectives (Microsoft, 2007).
All these companies are well qualified to offer business intelligence systems. Investing in their services cannot disappoint at all.
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