Structured and unstructured information in enterprise
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information Division of Knowledge Management Business Intelligence (Assignment 1)Information capture - other than structured data from core transactional processing systems, BI Analysis and Intelligence Proposition Submitted By THANGAVELU MUTHU KUMAAR (G1101765E) BALASUBRAMANIAN DIVYA (G1101736H) SELVARAJU NIRMALA (G1101760J)
The changing nature of communication channels in enterprises, new ways of technology integration withtraditional processing, affordability of simple programming devices or interfaces like QR codes, bar codes,RFID and bio metrics, robustness of wireless network infrastructure and massive capabilities of data centreshave facilitated to the growth of this information era. It is a challenging task to collect the information frommultiple sources of enterprises, interpret with appropriate context to transform it into knowledge to help indecision making. The distinct steps described by Gilad and Gilad (1985) provides a best systems approach andhelp in running through the goal of intelligence transformation from information which is other than thetraditional internal processing data (like sentiments and opinions expressed in internet and social media, socialnetwork analysis, SME reports, internal audit reports, market research, news agencies, consultant and analystreports). These data are typically from external sources existing in structured and unstructured data. Similar kindof web 2.0 interaction data in enterprise portals, Enterprise Applications usage, internal social network analysis,chats and Expert information can be internal sources which have not been looked upon in most organizationspresently. They tend to be more in unstructured forms as they are directly contributed by people as in web 2.0.Information to Intelligence Mapping with BI Process:The degree of intelligence derived by the enterprises by acting upon accessible information with BI processesdetermines the level of optimum usage of the existing resources and an understanding of their stands in themarket place which guides organizations in scaling their success.Figure 1: Information to Intelligence Mapping (Gilad and Gilad, 1985)Collection:Sources and Types of Information:The business management depends on BI solutions, to make delicate decisions, as well as to modify or adjustthe business strategies and business process and to achieve competitive advantage and improve businessoperation and profitability.
The reasons why organisations depend on information are, to carry out strategic planning, intelligent recordingand relaying, controlling and monitoring, measuring and decision-making.Information needs are clearly different at different levels of management - the strategic, tactical, and operativelevels (Uusi-Rauva, 1994).Operative Intelligence requires more of internal information that is detailed, specific and historical(McGonagle and Vella, 1996). This information comes mostly from core transactional systems and it is mostlystructured in nature. These are used for operations monitoring, setting standards for processes, quality controland production related activities. Some of the sources of internal structured information are from functional andintegrative technology services like Radio frequency (RF) technologies, Computer-aided design (CAD) systems,Demand forecasting management (DFM), Collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CFRP)systems, Manufacturing execution systems (MES), Order management systems (OMS), Product datamanagement (PDM) systems, Supply chain event management (SCEM) systems, Geo-coded Service trackingsystems, Transportation management systems (TMS), Warehouse management systems (WMS) , Enterpriseresource planning (ERP) systems, Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) systems, Enterprise KnowledgePortal (EKP) Systems, Customer/supplier relationship management (CRM/SRM), Supply chain planning (SCP)systems (Krmac EV, 2011) .Strategic intelligence is often derived from movement of market, competitors and customers. They help theorganization to plan their business strategies – market expansions, new product launch, benchmarking standards,policy restructuring, mergers and acquisitions. These sources of information are mostly external to theorganization and more of broad, integrated and upcoming in nature (McGonagle and Vella, 1996). They areobtained from market research and consulting firms like Mckinsey, Nielsen, Ipsos, Ernst and Young and similarothers. They may be structured or unstructured. Also this information can be obtained from internet with webcrawlers to capture the relevant customer trends and sentiments, economic and financial news, and competitor’sinnovation, branding and marketing strategies. This information from new s feeds, user comments on socialmedia is unstructured where there is a high reliance on text and context mining techniques to extract the usefulinformation to transform into intelligence.Tactical Intelligence is a balance between strategic and operational moves with slightly more internal sourcesthan external. These sources are used to manage risks in the operational monitoring stage such as demandforecasting, logistics optimization, process improvement, economies of scale. These sources also includesignificant sources of external conditions like weather patterns or environmental conditions in the raw materialssupplier region, political conditions in the operating regions and supply demand management with saleschannels which can exist in unstructured as well as structured formsThe data from different kind of information systems other than core transactional processing systems likeExecutive Support Systems helping the senior management with more external and less internal informationsources (highly structured with appropriate returns) to base their strategic decisions, Management informationsystems helping in aligning information about people, process and technology to business, typically internal(more structured and less unstructured forms), Decision-support systems helping management make decisionsin uncertainty about the possible outcomes for which sources can be external or internal existing in mostlystructured information rather than unstructured , Knowledge Management Systems helping businesses createand share information which has its sources internal and is typically unstructured, Office Automation Systemstrying to improve the productivity of employees who need to process data and information and they are againinternal sources which are but structured (Mahesh Raisinghani, 2004).
The various internal and sources for an enterprise analyzed with Business Information Cube Framework(Hannula & Pirttimäki 2004) are listed down as in table 1 (Appendix)This information can further be analyzed based on their form of existence (Structured and unstructured) with theframework of Hervonen (2004) for information classification.Evaluation:Why Organizations limit themselves to the internal structured Information:There is a well known dark-side to the information technology and the communication revolution; those wouldbe information overload and attention fragmentation. These factors are strongly considered as afflictions by thesenior executives because they need uninterrupted time to assess and process the information collected.Research conducted on various disciplines seems to prove that the performance of an individual is influencedwith the amount of information they receive up to a certain saturation point; beyond that point the performancerapidly declines.Figure 2. Information overload as inverted U-Curve.Qualities of Information:Despite the amount of information, the nature of the information also contributes to the ‘overload’ attribute ofthe information. The nature of the information includes: Level of ambiguity of the information, Level of noveltyof the information, complexity, intensity, conciseness, consistency, comprehensibility. In addition to this thereare other dimensions the quality of information should have that determines its usefulness to the organization -Inherent qualities and the pragmatic qualities. The inherent quality is the correctness of the data or theinformation, whereas the pragmatic quality is the relevancy of the data to the context of the organization and itsneed for that information.Though the technology in present day makes a wide range of information accessible, it is important to analysethe business environment extensively to know what is and what is not required at that point of time (Choo,2002). After selecting the right information, there is a need to assess the existing information gap and map howthe new information transformed into intelligence can help in decision support.Storage, Analysis and Dissemination:The evaluated data is moved to data warehouse and is then used to analyze and synthesize the information fromthe many different sources, emulate on its implications to the organizations, apply guesses and judgements, andmake strategic decisions to make best use of it.The reporting environment of a BI tool helps us to visualize the data typically into Spreadsheets with Query,reporting and data visualization tools and OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) with increasingly popular
Data, Text, Sentiment, Opinion and Web mining components. Powell (1996) calls the refinement process a BIvalue chain which is cyclical and ongoing in natureReal time BI analysis, mobile and cloud based BI solutions can also help in solving many operationalchallenges. For example, this helped British Petroleum in their innovative ways of Oil Exploration, Production,Processing initiatives and in transforming their conventional operations to sustain their competitive edge. o Oil Rigs Digital Oil Platforms - 3D and 4D Seismic imaging, Augmented Reality based simulation o Oil Recovery Optimized Oil Recovery and Refining - Real time monitoring of mature fieldsTypical BI applicationsIn general, BI solutions help in breaking the Information Silos spanning geographies - within and across internaldepartment systems (Legacy mainframes, ERP, CRM), Supplier systems and Customer systems. Some of thespecific examples are as follows Logistics Optimization: Achieving a cost-effective means of transport. (Business intelligence software can facilitate a fast and easy selection of the best means of transport considering a vast number of factors in selecting the means of transport are physical characteristics of the load, the number of loads to be moved, the distance to be covered, the required speed of movement, the required proof of delivery, cost of building/dismantling loads, packaging costs, space requirements, interface with other storage, transport and handling systems and housekeeping issues) and considering also historic data and past experience.) Operational standard and Quality maintenance: Evaluating the operations performed in the company (generating reports), evaluating strategic factors (internal and external) and identifying patterns of business and operational behaviour (using data mining techniques).Implement dashboards and scoreboards so that executives and supervisors can quickly recognize operational exceptions or key performance indicators (KPI) that fall outside of accepted ranges. Some of the important KPIs could be planning accuracy, capacity utilization, resource utilization, load balancing, route utilization, scheduling accuracy, vehicle availability, vehicle loading time, average transit time, cost of transportation per ton, on time vehicle arrival, vehicle unloading time, order receipt accuracy, percentage of goods damaged, total order delivery time, on time deliveries, goods delivery rate, transportation costs and others.Challenges in the intelligence transformation:Technology acceptance at different levels of users, Human Information Behaviour in information consumption,Security considerations and access to information, Difficulty in extracting data from internet with NaturalLanguage Processing, word sense disambiguation, costs and time in implementing cross organizationalinfrastructure and rapid obsolescence of technology are some of the key challenges in collecting andtransforming the information and which sometimes prevents the organizations in realizing the true value ofBusiness Intelligence Solutions.
References:Mahesh Raisinghani (2004), Business intelligence in the digital economy: opportunities, limitations, and risks, Hershey PA : Idea Group Pub., c2004Gilad, B. and Gilad, T. (1985), A Systems Approach to Business Intelligence. Business Horizons. Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 65-70Krmac Evelin Vatovec (2011), Intelligent Value Chain Networks: Business Intelligence and Other ICT Tools and Technologies in Supply/Demand Chains, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Maritime Studies and TransportMcGonagle, J. J. and Vella, C. M. (1996), A New Archetype for Competitive Intelligence. Quorum Books, Westport, CT.Choo, C. W. (2002), Information Management for the Intelligent Organization: The Art of Scanning the Environment. 3rd Edition. Information Today, Medford, NJ.Hannula, M. & Pirttimäki, V (2004), A Cube of Business Information. The SCIP 04 Annual International Conference & Exhibit, March 22 – 25, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.Gilad, B. and Herring, J. P. (2004), The Art and Science of Business Intelligence Analysis. Part A: Business Intelligence Theory, Principles, Practices, and Uses. JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, pp. 159-180.
Appendix Type Qualitative Quantitative Source Internal External Internal ExternalSubjectInternal Information , Social network data, Process Audit Agency/ Analysts/ Manufacturing and Agency/ Analysts/ Reports, Quality Research reports, Quality control Research reports, Management/ Investment hedging Systems and University/ Research Assurance reports, Market maintenance logs, databases, Reports, share / Sales employee surveys, government agency Production volume fluctuation Enterprise 2.0 data, policy data, Scientific Reports, Reports reports Intellectual Property publications, Social on liquidity, cash Audit Reports, Media, promotional flow and Information Security campaigns , trade investments, Audit, Customer events, social financial service/ Call centre contracts, Patent statements, reports, Records of the Applications, Marketing, Sales, people employed by environmental, Organic growth the business, Tacit health & safety and market value knowledge and regulation and reports, practices of SMEs employment laws Data on the costs captured in meetings, associated with discussions business processesExternal Infrastructure and Newsfeeds, Bank/ financial Market Research equipment Lease Government reports, institutions Agency/ Analysts/ reports, Third party Supplier, Partners, transactional Research reports expert (Consulting Distributors, Retailer reports, Insurance about competitors firms) audit/ advisory surveys and reports, transactional and market, World services, General Agency/ Analysts/ reports, Supplier, Bank/IMF/ News Broking services Research reports Retailer, Partners, Agency like reports, Sustainability about competitors Distributors Bloomberg compliance reports, and market, Press transactional Economic releases, Bench reports, Electronic indicators data, marking standards of broking services Meteorological data competitors reports Table 1. Business Information Cube Framework Fig: 3 Business Information Classification (adapted from Hervonen, 2004).