The Nuts and Bolts of Business Intelligence 011513


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A whitepaper on practical aspects of BI that showcase business bottlenecks, BI benefits to various markets, industry trends, solutions and flavors of BI. This has been written on my current understanding on BI services.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Business Intelligence 011513

  1. 1. A White Paper Presented by Corbus, LLCThe Nuts and Bolts of Business Intelligence Author: Mohit Singla (Analyst, Presales) Powered by: Sanjeev Verma (Practice Head, Business Analytics)
  2. 2. OverviewAn Intelligent Business CatalystInformation Technology has been a crucial part of delivering real time information, stakeholder’s accountability and in-creasing efficiency for a while. However, recent advances in communication, technology and changes in the macro eco-nomic environment have led to a need for organizations to adapt rapidly to the changing conditions. Information andmore importantly its use to gain business insight and make timely decisions have become key to an organizations compet-itiveness and survival.Today it is a challenge for organizations to keep pace with the market and mind set of their customers. Organizations needto proactively predict the market demand and develop strategic plans for growth in order to remain competitive. Thisexponential and disjoint growth of data leads to the business challenges of processing data into useful information. Theneed of the hour is a structured solution that will transform useful information into highly reliable information so as tomake informed decisions.Business intelligence (BI) addresses this need, providing a logical view of information in the context of prevailing condi-tions, in a timely manner. Due to significant historical and even real time information retrieved and high value derivedfrom BI systems, most organizations are moving towards implementing BI solutions in order to enrich the business prop-osition and help implementing effective strategy in achieving organization goals. BI has become the core of any businessto survive in this competitive arena and to effectively serve the market needs.Business Intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes and technolo-gies that transform disjoint data, provide meaningful information and Merely accumulating large amounts ofhelp forecast. This allows organizations to make the best strategic & op- raw data does not make a bigerational decisions and accurately measure their Key Performance Indi-cators (KPIs). difference to the business; however, mining of meaningful informationIn the seventies through early nineties, most of the business data was from disjoint and ambiguous data, tokept on legacy systems such as mainframes. It required Engineers to make informed decisions, proveswrite programs that could fetch information from these databases. This invaluable to the business.was highly time & effort consuming. With growing necessities of realtime and meaningful information, the infrastructure began to evolve.By late 80’s and early 90’s, Business Intelligence really came into its own with a couple of tools, applications, processesand the concept of Data Warehouses that could save the effort of writing lengthy programs. Since then, BI practices havenot looked back, growing with improved features to cope up with complex business needs.Today, many organizations are using Business Intelligence to manage all stages of their value cycle, including inventory,supply chain, distribution, acquisition of new customers, revenue generation from existing customers and customer reten-tion. BI assists organizations in determining specific characteristics of their customers’ profile, with which they can targetprospects with similar characteristics. By profiling, customers that haveutilized a particular product or services, BI can help create focused atten-tion on similar potential customers. Also, with the information of cus- At Corbus, we define Businesstomers who have either discontinued taking the organization’s ser- Intelligence as an Intelligentvices or are planning to discontinue; the organizations can act proactive- Catalyst that accelerates the growthly to retain customers who are at risk for leaving. As retaining existing of the business.customer is more important and less expensive than acquiring a newcustomer.
  3. 3. Business BottleneckInformation ScarcityTraditionally, any business initiative, including a decision-support system is focused on a specific goal that is limited to aset of products or an area of the business. Due to this limited focus, organizations are unable to analyze the project’s im-pact on business operations as a whole. The four big challenges faced by them are: Can’t find the data? Can’t get the data? Data is scattered everywhere with many versions Due to lack of data Infrastructure, extraction of useful and and elusive differences, business users struggle to meaningful information from the raw and dirty data re- find the useful data they need from the junk. quires expertise and an appropriate system. Can’t understand the data? Can’t use the data? Poorly documented data takes a lot of effort and time of Business users can’t use the data they find as the results business users to understand and grasp the information, come unexpected i.e. not fulfill the goals and data needs which leads to scarcity of meaningful information. to be transformed from one form to another leading to unstructured data management.Organization’s decision makers always have these questions in mindto stay ahead of their competitors.  How can I speedup my planning and decision cycles?On similar lines, one of the Corbus’ clients was battling for the ex-traction of meaningful and real time data which was effecting the  How can I ensure accurate and timelyClient’s operational effectiveness with high time to market. reporting?While operating in more than 118 countries across the world, Client  How can I sustain profitability?has a highly complex information generating process with a frag-mented media landscape and growing numbers of communication  How do I filter extraneous datachannels. and focus on relevant information?Client was struggling to produce their business operations reports in time for their end users as they were using their leg-acy systems. Client approached Corbus’ to build a centralized solution to integrate the multiple data sources and automatethe reports generation process.Most of the organizations have these questions in mind every time,  What are your customers buying andWhile every organization depends on historical data to plan for fu- why?ture sales, products and business initiatives, it is also important tomix other factors in order to understand new trends that may require  How effective is your customer serviceyour business to change a product, a strategy or other business organization?plans. If you have to be successful in today’s ever-changing business  What product promotions have thelandscape, you cannot ‘go with your gut’ or intuition. biggest impact on revenue?  Which customers are most likely to go to the competition?
  4. 4. The BI AdvantageRaising InsightsBusiness Intelligence provides historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. BI’s self-service report-ing, analytics and dashboards facilitate to retrieve structured data. BI reduces the recurring burden on IT, empoweringthe knowledge worker to find the insight they need to study pattern and make strategic decisions.BI benefits businesses in terms of their sales boosts, improved decision making, better understanding of customerneed and trends, hence maximizing customer satisfaction which is a buzzword in any industry. BI allows you to trackthe customer touch points across multiple systems, to have an end-to-end view of customer behavior.Most of the Business Intelligence systems and solutions have been developed and implemented on the basis of howtechnology approaches a problem. However, there is no single technology or platform that defeats all the businesschallenges. Technologies, processes and methodologies vary with the degree of complexity and the nature of the busi-ness challenges.So, an organization agility should be driven by market dynamics not technology.BI projects have tremendous scope and cover multiple environmentsand technologies. According to Gartner Research 2011, below is theanalysis of various players in BI:Business users prefer data discovery tools over traditional BI tools em-phasizing ease of use v/s functionality, though traditional BI tools stillcontrol some market share. According to Gartner’s Research, players inthe first quadrant are leaders in Business Intelligence in terms of ease ofuse, product quality and their competency. Corbus’ current focus is onthe BI leaders in the market aligned to customer’s demand.Corbus leverages top BI vendors (in first quadrant) capabilities basedupon its best fit to deliver business insights to our clients in a way thatcan reduce cost and speed up time to market.Microsoft is a rising star in Business Intelligence area among other ven-dors due to its monopoly in SQL database and MS Office. Organizationsfind it more sensible to go with MS BI those who are already using SQLdatabase and its easy to integrate with MS office too. It also reduceslearning curve of users due to its already presence.BI is required by the marketing function as it has never been before – in strategy, technology and metrics. Its time forIT to canvas the market for solutions and proactively approach marketing with an offer of help. Its time for vendors tocome out with more customized solutions.Corbus takes this as a challenge of marketing myopia as BI is more about business challenge than an IT challenge.
  5. 5. Industry Trends and SolutionsBI for EveryoneBI is not function, domain or technology specific. BI is meant for each segment, for every customer. BI connects the dots ofall segments in a real time manner. Entertainment and Media Retail Entertainment industry is a volatile and competitive mar- Retail industry is growing rapidly and is one of the most ket. With so many options to customers it has become so diverse industries in the vertical industry arena. Retailer’s challenging for entertainment industry to offer in accord- biggest challenge is to sell right products, selection of ap- ance with the customer preferences. propriate suppliers and shipping vendors, management of customer expectations, set appropriate pricing, anticipate BI benefits the entertainment industry with the increase in and forecast stock and inventory needs. concession gross profits, reduction in fraudulent transac- tions, lower food costs by reducing shrinkage. More people BI is the one stop solution for number of challenges in re- in theater seats translate into more buckets of popcorn tail. sold. While visiting a retail store, you must have realized the BI works as a third eye of your business which keeps presentation variations at various retail outlets, the looking for your next business target. For example, way they portray their products. Shelves and product screening of IPL in theatres was found to be more suc- positioning at retails stores is the most crucial part. cessful in the last few years. Market Basket Analysis is one of the most popular BI tech- Keeping track of advertisement bookings and how they niques widely used in retail industry. This method guides relate to the latest editorial schedule and the type of con- what kind of items are sold in combination with other tent is important for media companies. BI empowers me- products. It provides insight in buying behavior which dia companies to analyze the correlations between these helps to make better deals and, For example, Bread and parameters, gain deep insight into how they affect each Butter, if both are placed together at one place, probability other, and increase revenues by building a more profitable of butter sales goes high with the sales of bread. and attractive advertising platform.Consumer GoodsCPG Industries constantly struggles for the expansion of their product portfolios, managing multifarious supply chainwith distinct service requirements. The CPG industry relies on accurate, timely market research, effective, targeted mar-keting campaigns and an efficient distribution network and sales force to execute the enterprise strategy and achievetargets and plans.BI boosts the sales through effective market research, works as a tool for monitoring the efficiency of the distributionnetwork, identify the most profitable customers and their buying behavior.To gain a leading edge in this competitive environment, the CPG industries must leverage the benefits of BI and deliverquality and value with every delivery to every customer.CPG industries face the biggest challenge of frequent change in consumer behavior and competition.
  6. 6. Favorite Flavors of BITrends are driven by Market demandIn office or at home, Same Insight Everywhere: Mobile BIGone are the days when Sales people used to worry about the prospective clients status of the organization when theyare moving across the world for meetings. Now they have got the power of Mobile BI. Mobile BI facilitates them to ac-cess the sales status in a real time manner with high accuracy without any delay that keeps them ahead from theircompetitors. Mobile Business intelligence is quite new in the industry but it is growing with a tremendous pace withthe growing needs of the people.Top Management keeps the dashboards on their mobile desktop that alerts them for the key Performance Indicators ofthe Organization without any delay, irrespective of the organization function.Social MediaHave you ever wondered how promotional offers reach your phone? How the company approaches you?How do they come to know about your preferences? How do they find your contact details?Business Intelligence is the answer for all which helps the organizations to find and target the relevant customers ina direction they want.Business Intelligence is not limited to visualization of data like dashboards and reporting, BI extends itself to thepredictive analysis which helps the organizations in effective market positioning. BI provides a strategic direction tothe organization to achieve their business goals effectively and efficiently. Social media provided organizations aplatform to use and analyze users data and target their customers accordingly.Social Networking is at boom these days and Organizations are leveraging its benefits by using Business Intelligence.Most of the data comes from diverse sources of Social Media like Facebook, Orkut etc. Social media has evolved as amarketing tool which helps in marketing campaigns and advertising. Companies analyze social media to understandcustomers as individuals including their likes and dislikes, degree of influence on others. It helps to pinpoint oppor-tunities and identify the events that matter most to them so they can engage. Social media plays a vital role in Business Intelligence to build Competitive Advantage. From coal mine to gold mine of data, BI handles it all.
  7. 7. The Right FitPeople, Process, TechnologyCorbus Business Intelligence solutions allow its customers to gain a competitive edge in the market. With a compre-hensive set of Business Intelligence solutions and services, Corbus offers their customers to explore the forecasting anddecisions making trends in the market which provide the Corbus customers to gain a deep insight and the power totake decisions with a pace that keep them ahead from their peers and competitors.Corbus leverages benefits from different BI vendors and partners based upon their best fit to the scope and compatibil-ity. As every technology/platform has its own add-ons and pit falls, Corbus professionals help identify customer’s chal-lenges in their vertical domains and recommend the best fit to cater their requirements. For instance, one may not re-quire a comprehensive set of features and wanted to build a limited features based solution with limited budget, thenCorbus may offer such a vendor solution whose features are limited to customer needs as whole BI suite of other ven-dor tool would not be required and will make extra cost.Corbus has been growing with a tremendous stride over last couple of years. Corbus offers a wide range of IT and SCMservices including Business Intelligence for various industry domains.Corbus has experienced BI consultants across the world with a blend of technical and functional expertise. Corbus’ Outof Box thinkers possess a deep insight of business scenarios that help clients in achieving their business goals.Our BI technologies include Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Oracle Cognos, Tibco Spotfire, Informatica and our technol-ogy arena is growing with a tremendous pace.At Corbus, we define Business Intelligence as an Intelligent catalyst that accelerates the growth of the business.Corbus embraces the best practices in BI and has the right people and modish technologies in place that take our cli-ents forward in this competitive arena by bringing in the right information to the right people at the right time.
  8. 8. Corbus, LLCCorbus, LLC, a global solutions provider founded in 1994, offers superior services combining years of experience,solid partnerships and adaptability. Corbus’ solution offering includes Information Technology (IT), Supply ChainManagement (SCM) and Project Management (PMO) services. Corbus creates technology-empowered solutionswith industry leading processes and technologies that deliver business value to global clients through year-on-yearsavings and are known for the ability to work in true partnership with clients to innovate and bring cost reductionalong with enhanced product quality. With competitive positioning and complete transparency, Corbus and clientstogether achieve success.Corbus is a global organization, headquartered in North America with presence in Europe and Asia Pacific markets.Corbus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Soin International LLC, a private multi-national holding company thatprovides strategic management, administrative systems, and financial support to a diverse array of worldwidesubsidiaries and affiliates.For more information, visit 888-608-9975 Global Locations United States • Brazil • Bulgaria • China • Germany • India • Panama • Philippines • Romania Singapore • Switzerland • United Kingdom