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Business Intelligence Jargon Buster

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All the business user ever needs to know about business intelligence terms, definitions, and meanings.

Non-technical and easy to read. Key facts without information overload.


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Business Intelligence Jargon Buster

  1. 1. Business Intelligence Jargon Buster All the business user ever needs to know about terms, definitions, and meanings Presented by Donna Kelly © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 1
  2. 2. Facts • Every business has business processes • Each business process generates events of interest • For example, you’re a retailer, and you sell clothes. Today, I bought a dress. That’s an event of interest to the business. • That thing that just happened? That’s a fact. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 2
  3. 3. Measures • Facts are associated with numbers. • The sale event was of a dress. • The gross price was £89 • The sales tax rate was 20% • The net price was £106.80 • The quantity was 1 • There are 4 things I can add up, or putting it another way, the Fact has 4 Measures © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 3
  4. 4. Dimensions • Facts don’t just float in the ether. Facts have context within the business. • That dress I bought? It was at a specific store, on a specific date, for a specific product. • I could add up the Measures of the Sale Fact by Location, by Product, by Date. • Whenever you hear the word by you have just heard a Dimension • Dimensions fix Facts in space and time © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 4
  5. 5. Cubes Cubes are the heart of business intelligence systems. Every dimension is an edge of the cube (and yes, there can be more than three . . . for example, the Redwing Hospital Data Warehouse currently has about 130 dimensions) This picture shows 3 dimensions, and the cube can be sliced by location, by product, and by date. Each little box in the picture is a Fact, and it holds all the Measures of that Fact (like gross price or tax). © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 5
  6. 6. Slicing and Dicing I can cut the data. I can slice the cube, to add up measures for some dimensions. It’s also possible to dice the data into the smallest pieces, and look at single facts. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 6
  7. 7. The Enterprise Bus Matrix a.k.a. the Dimensional Model “The Enterprise Bus Matrix is a data warehouse planning and modelling tool and model created by Ralph Kimball” (Wikipedia) The top picture show the original concept. The idea is that the facts from business processes plug into pre-defined dimensions. (Like a bus in a personal computer). The lower picture shows how it works in practice. As each business process is added to the system, any new dimensions are created. This means that there’s no concept of a stand-alone data warehouse project. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 7
  8. 8. Metrics • A metric is a number that comes out of a cube and is reported to the business user • Measures are not necessarily metrics. For example, I could output the ratio of two measures as a metric, but never report on the original measures. • All aggregated numbers are necessarily metrics, because they’re created in the cube for the purpose of business reporting. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 8
  9. 9. Key Performance Indicators A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the comparison of an Actual to a Target. Often, the Actual is a metric from the cube and the Target is a hardcoded number or percentage. Sometimes, the target is itself taken from the cube as a measure that was input earlier. In any case, there is always a comparison method (such as increasing is better), and a trend Indicator (e.g. a traffic light). KPIs are always calculated in the cube, and never in reports. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 9
  10. 10. Scorecard 1. Create the KPIs (in the cube) 2. Create the visual Indicators for the report 3. Create the Scorecard which is a grouping of (typically) rolled-up KPIs A scorecard is a high-level snapshot of organizational performance. Scorecards display a collection of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the performance targets for those KPIs. When you create a scorecard, you typically create an upper-level group of objectives that represent the various performance goals for a group or an organization. Then, you can populate those objectives with other KPIs that represent the sub- objectives for each KPI. (Microsoft) © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 10
  11. 11. Dashboard A dashboard is a container for various types of reports, including scorecards. It might consist of one or more pages, and it might have more than one module on each page. The modules are called Web Parts. A typical dashboard might contain a scorecard, an analytic report, alerts, and an analytic chart, but many variations are possible. Some dashboards provide users with a high level of interactivity, and others display static images. In all cases, dashboards reflect the requirements of their audience. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 11
  12. 12. Recap • Fact: An event of interest to the business. • Measure: A number we can add up. • Dimension: Context for Facts BY (dimension). • Cube. The one source of the truth. • Metric. Number from a cube used for reports. • KPI. Actual (metric) compared to a Target. • Scorecard. Displays a collection of KPIs. • Dashboard. A container for scorecards etc. © Redwing Business Intelligence Ltd 2011 - 2014 BI General Slide 12
  13. 13. Discussion © Redwing Business Intelligence 2013 Architecture Slide 13 Donna Kelly donna@redwing-bi.com 0(781) 380-0181

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