Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing the role of Business Intelligence and the importance internal analytics play in the business landscape. As the author of the article “Rethinking BI: Why Analytics are the Fabric of the Future” points out, most businesses think of Business Intelligence tools as a separate “module” used by the analyst, controller or other manager to sift through data generated by an organization’s employees.
Adapting Business Intelligence into the Fabric of Day-to-Day Processes
“To be clear, we can describe primary characteristics of an application that recognizes and exploits the value of its data for the benefit of every user. By defining the successful traits of a data-driven application that truly delivers this intelligence inside, you can easily think of examples of these hard-working applications in action today.”
In the above definition, you can easily see the heritage of decent ERP applications that have been around for decades. It is good to be reminded that the best companies ask their employees to deliver the best service and the best product to their customers. However, in order to do that, each employee must have business intelligence and – in order to be effective – it must be a part of the entire process and provide insight.
There are several examples of this kind of business intelligence model that have been around for a long time. Say, for instance, that I am entering an order for 100 widgets while the customer is on the phone. It would be important for me to know that while we only have 40 widgets in stock, we have an expected order coming in within the week. Access to this kind of information will enable me to make a more accurate estimation of when the customer can expect to receive the full order. Say a customer places a repair call for a specific piece of equipment. The customer service rep should be able to easily access information pertaining to the piece of equipment, including if it is currently under warranty, its repair history and what work has been done on it in the past. This is business intelligence woven into the fabric of an organization’s day –to – day processes.
We can now focus on expanding this information – intelligently – to include information from other sources that can give us insight and empower us throughout the course of the day. Garnering insight from new analytics and refusing to be overwhelmed by the data is still one of the biggest challenges with business intelligence. As the author reminds us, this process will require us to have a deep understanding of the business and technology used to deliver the analysis.