Business Intelligence, an analysis and decision-making tool.

What is Business Intelligence (BI): definition and example

Business intelligence (BI) is defined as the ability for an organization to take all its capabilities and convert them into knowledge, ultimately, getting the right information to the right people, at the right time, via the right channel. This produces large amounts of information which can lead to the development of new opportunities for the organization. When these opportunities have been identified and a strategy has been effectively implemented, they can provide an organization with a competitive advantage in the market, and stability in the long run (within its industry). BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. Business intelligence aims to support better business decision-making (source Wikipedia).

Quick example: an international company is composed of 2 subsidiaries which manage their sales order in 2 operational independent softwares. In these software, an article could be coded with a different code in each subsidiaries. Company management needs to get a global view of sales information (by country, by article...). BI brings a toolbox allowing to extract, transform, load, consolidate data and format information to decision-makers.

Rules & tasks of a Business Intelligence consultant:

  • Understand business process and BI needs;
  • Write / analyze / amount functional and technical requirements;
  • Localize production data: understand upstream data architecture and supply (ERP Movex M3, database Oracle / SQL Server);
  • Setup document and objects for reporting and decision-making: maintain and update BO universes / develop BO reports / develop view, table, PL-SQL procedures and function;
  • Do the technical and functional link between users and IT development team;
  • Help users for tests;
  • Modelize datawarehouse and datamarts to display functional data;

Fields of expertise:

  • sales (orders creation, shipping, invoicing);
  • production (scheduling, work orders creation, production valuation);
  • purchases / supply chain (forecast, purchase orders creation, reception);
  • inventory (valuation, stock movements);
  • knowledge in accounting and finance.

Fields of activity:

  • industry (stainless steel);
  • industry (dermatology);
  • bank (retail banking);
  • rail transportation.