SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Business intelligence
The DefiniTive GuiDe
for MiDsize orGanizaTions




                  SAP White Paper
                  Business intelligence
Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide
4   New Tools for a Promising              9   The Benefits of BI
     Future
 4   how to recognize the need             10   Approaches to Implementing BI
     for Business intelligence             10   Getting started
                                           10   setting Policies to assist users
 5   Defining Business Intelligence
 5   The Bi spectrum                       11   What to Look for in BI Products
 5   Queries                               11   Key factors in Product Choice
 5   reporting                             11   Keeping options open
 5   advanced analysis                     11   supporting users
 6   interactive analysis
 6   Graphical Techniques                  12   What to Look for in a BI Vendor
 7   Distribution and Control              12   Key factors in vendor Choice
 7   function- and industry-specific       12   Thinking ahead
     Bi applications                       12   Preparing for Growth
 8   using Bi in Different
     environments                          13   Conclusion
 8   The importance of Data Quality        13   for More information



About the Author
Michael a. schiff is the founder and principal analyst of Mas strategies. Mas
strategies specializes in helping vendors market and position their Bi and data
warehousing products in today’s highly competitive market. he has over 30 years
of experience in the iT industry.

schiff was the vice president of the data warehousing and business intelligence
service at Current analysis inc., an industry analyst firm where he provided
tactical market intelligence and analysis while managing the company’s e-business
analyst team. he was the executive director of data warehousing and advanced
decision support for oracle Corporation’s Public sector Group and director of
software aG’s data management program. in 1984, while at Digital equipment
Corporation, he formulated the architecture for one of the first successful data
warehouse implementations. he earned his bachelor and master of science degrees
from MiT’s sloan school of Management where he specialized in operations
research as an undergraduate, and in information systems as a graduate.


Overview

Business intelligence is not a new concept; it’s been used for years by iT staffers
in large enterprises with the budgets to support it. What’s new is the fact that
business intelligence tools are now affordable and accessible even for midsize
companies – and even for the nontechnical business user. now managers can use
these products for sophisticated analysis of complex information to support their
decision-making processes. They can combine data from a wide variety of sources
and see an integrated, up-to-date, 360-degree view. for midsize companies the
key is to select the right product, the right vendor, and the right approach.
new tools for a Promising future
ToWarD More soPhisTiCaTeD analYsis




if your organization is like                  furthermore, you need to determine         but your employees are passionate
                                              where to concentrate your efforts.         about their jobs and committed to your
most, your primary focus                      You can’t check every detail, yet there    customers. Maybe your company is
is acquiring customers,                       must be a way to monitor operations        relatively small right now, but it’s on a
                                              to find and resolve potential problems     high-growth path. You’re aware of the
increasing revenues and                       while identifying and leveraging new       power of business intelligence and
profitability, and outpacing                  oppor tunities. and you need to ensure     know that larger companies – and
                                              that employee and departmental met-        maybe even your direct competitors –
the competition. and while                    rics are aligned with overall strategic    are using it to their advantage. at this
your organization continues                   goals.                                     stage of your company’s evolution,
                                                                                         isn’t it time your analysis capabilities
to improve its operating effi-                Your organization may not have the         graduated from spreadsheets to more
ciencies, you recognize the                   resources of a forTune 500 company,        powerful tools as well?
need to spend more time
analyzing what’s going on                       How to Recognize the Need for Business Intelligence
and planning for the future                     The following represents typical         • Need for simple-to-use production
than solving operational                        situations that could benefit from         reporting technology – Your
                                                improved business intelligence:            accounting department uses word
problems and putting out                        • Competing versions of the truth –        processing to generate customer
fires.                                            interdepartmental meetings fre-          invoices, resulting in errors and
                                                  quently turn contentious as partic-      customer complaints.
                                                  ipants debate whose spreadsheet        • Inability to comply with govern-
                                                  has the correct figures.                 ment reporting requirements –
                                                • Inability to perform in-depth            Your company plans to go public
                                                  analysis – Your company knows            at some point, and you need proper
                                                  which of its retail outlets have the     audit trails and data lineage to
                                                  greatest sales volume but can’t          ensure financial accuracy.
                                                  identify which products have the       • Lack of timely reports – iT is
                                                  highest sales.                           unable to fulfill managers’ requests
                                                • Difficulty locating important            for reports when they want them.
                                                  information – You recently heard       • Difficulty consolidating data for
                                                  that a report showing year-over-         integrated information access –
                                                  year growth for each customer has        reports that require data from
                                                  been posted to the intranet – but        multiple operational systems involve
                                                  have no idea how to find it.             generating separate reports from
                                                                                           each and then combining the
                                                                                           results in a spreadsheet.




4   SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
Defining Business intelligence
hoW Bi is helPinG MiDsize orGanizaTions




a major part of any manager’s job is         • implement dashboards and score-             include customer satisfaction, profit-
to make decisions. if you can improve          cards to help executives and super-         ability, and sales per employee and
the overall quality of your organization’s     visors quickly recognize operational        be monitored to support alignment of
decision-making process, you’ll improve        exceptions or potential budget              individual and departmental metrics
the overall effectiveness of your organi-      overruns                                    and the organization’s strategic goals.
zation. in short, business intelligence      • Compare departmental turnover to
helps your organization make smarter           identify potential morale problems          Queries
decisions – hence its original description   • Track customer orders and desired           a simple query might access your
as “decision support.”                         ship dates against finished goods           company’s data to ask, for example,
                                               inventory, and adjust the manufacturing     what were total sales to Plushrock
Business intelligence (Bi) allows orga-        production cycle and supply chain logis-    Corporation last December? or what’s
nizations to better understand, analyze,       tics to reduce inventory carrying costs     the current salary of employee Dan
and even predict what’s occurring in         • integrate operational, spreadsheet,         evans? or even how many aa batteries
their company. Bi helps your organiza-         and historic data for analysis purposes,    do we have in inventory? Most query
tion turn data into useful and meaning-        while providing consistency and             tools also provide simple reporting
ful information and then distribute this       “a single version of the truth”             functionality and could also be used,
information to those who need it, when       • Better understand and analyze               for example, to generate a simple
they need it – thereby enabling them to        operations and customer interactions        report listing the accrued vacation
make timely and better-informed deci-          to gain a competitive edge                  of all employees, sorted and totaled
sions. it allows organizations to com-       • align daily operations with strategic       by department.
bine data from a wide variety of sources       objectives and quickly recognize
and see an integrated, up-to-date,             when they are not in agreement              reporting
360-degree view.                                                                           enterprise or production reporting
                                             The BI Spectrum                               typically involves high-volume, high-
This is especially important for midsize                                                   resolution reports that are run on a
companies that are typically able to         The Bi spectrum is very broad in terms        regular basis. an example might be a
implement business decisions relatively      of its tools and functionality. at its core   sales manager report showing monthly
quickly. Bi provides a win-win solution      is the traditional functionality of query,    sales and associated commissions
for iT and business users by allowing        reporting, and analysis. This is comple-      sorted by salesperson and then by cus-
the iT department to be more produc-         mented by data quality and data inte-         tomer. The report distribution would
tive in working with its business users      gration to accurately and consistently        likely be controlled so that each sales
to service special requests, while           consolidate data from multiple sources.       manager could see entries only for his
permitting these business users to           Dashboards and other visualization            or her salespeople. The report might
become more self-sufficient. opera-          techniques can help users quickly             be e-mailed to them or viewed through
tions and analysis are two sides of          understand analysis results and are           a Web browser. enterprise reports can
the business, and Bi allows iT to be         often considered part of the Bi spec-         also be used to generate customer
a valued partner in both.                    trum. Bi can also encompass search            statements or invoices or individualized
                                             functionality for locating information        benefit summaries for each employee.
for example, a midsize organization          and reports, predictive analysis to dis-
can use Bi to do the following:              cover hidden patterns and enable what-if      advanced analysis
• identify customers that are cutting        analysis, and scorecards and perfor-          With advanced analysis functionality,
  back on their purchases so that spe-       mance management to help monitor              users can view data across multiple
  cial inducements can be offered to         business metrics and key performance          classifications or dimensions (for example,
  retain them                                indicators (KPis). These KPis might           product, customer, location, time period,




                                                                                             SAP White Paper – Business intelligence   5
and salesperson). They can slice and            interactive analysis                          Core Bi technology – such as query,
dice the data to look at various combi-         simple reports were initially designed        reporting, and interactive analysis – is
nations, such as the sales in each              for passive viewing, while advanced           used to view or analyze what is or has
region for December or which products           products perform interactive analyses.        already occurred, while data mining
each customer purchased last year.              Many of these advanced functionalities        and predictive analysis allow users to
advanced analysis functionality also            were once available only in specialized       predict what may occur. Bi technology
permits organizations to define hierar-         online analytical processing (olaP)           uses sophisticated statistical techniques
chies so that, for example, a user could        products that involved the use of pro-        to find relationships that are hidden or
first view sales for each region and            prietary databases and highly skilled         not obvious. it can be used to identify
then drill down to view the sales in            technical specialists. now olaP func-         which factors closely relate to custom-
each country, of each product in each           tionality is often incorporated into query    er churn and attrition or which factors
store, or for each salesperson. These           and analysis tools. Thus, business            (a prospect’s income, education, age,
advanced analytics make it easy to              users can perform interactive analysis        last purchase amount, and so forth)
compare the results from one time period        and, for example, click on a number in        were most closely related to a suc-
with another – this July’s product sales        a report to drill down to and analyze the     cessful response in a marketing
with last July’s, for example – while           underlying details. effective Bi should       campaign.
performing year-over-year comparisons           be an interactive process, and query
by store, customer, or salesperson.             and analysis tools – with embedded            Graphical Techniques
                                                olaP functionality – permit business          a picture is worth a thousand numbers,
other advanced functionality, such              users to perform dynamic analyses on          and graphical techniques – including
as filtering, can be used to include or         their data. as most iT practitioners will     dashboards – strongly complement the
exclude specific stores, regions, prod-         attest, users requesting a static report      other members of the Bi spectrum.
ucts, salespeople, or time periods – and        will typically ask for additional modifica-   With graphical gauges analogous to
look at the top or bottom best- or worst-       tions and details. Query and analysis         an automobile dashboard and symbols
performing products, stores, or sales-          tools allow business users to formulate       such as traffic lights, where red repre-
people. Combined with drill-down, slice-        a high-level query and then immediately       sents an alert condition and yellow a
and-dice, and filtering functionality, this     explore the underlying details on their       warning, users can quickly identify
is a powerful multidimensional analysis.        own.                                          exception conditions. it has often been
                                                                                              said that “if you can’t measure it, you
                                                                                              can’t manage it.” scorecards and other
    star Trac, of irvine, California, is        dashboards, and visual analytics.             performance management tools enable
    a midsize manufacturer of quality           “fast, easy business intelligence will        you to establish business metrics, update
    physical fitness equipment serving          save us time, boost productivity, and         and monitor the results, and communi-
    a global market. like many rapidly          deliver the data to help us grow the          cate them as appropriate so that minor
    growing companies, its data was             business,” says Jeff Kuckenbaker,             problems can be identified early on and
    spread across multiple silos, making        senior director of information sys-           corrective action quickly taken. Dash-
    it difficult to aggregate and reconcile     tems. “We’ll use Businessobjects              boards are frequently used to display
    to facilitate decision making and align     edge to deliver information across            performance metrics and can allow
    key objectives and business processes.      the company so everyone can better            users to drill down from the visual
    star Trac needed a product suite            understand how to execute our                 image to view the underlying detail.
    that offered flexible reporting, ad         strategies for growth.”                       other visualization techniques include
    hoc query and analysis, interactive                                                       “slider bars” that allow a user to
                                                                                              perform what-if analyses and, for




6     SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
issue, and trying to determine whose
  The enduring value anna’s linens          sole Technology inc. is a globally      spreadsheet is “more correct” is no
  gets from its Business objects™           recognized leader in action sports      longer part of every company meeting.
  business intelligence solution lies       footwear and apparel. in the last       The ability to locate and search out
  in the ability for managers to com-       three years, sole Technology            relevant reports is also part of the Bi
  municate what is expected of their        doubled in size, rendering the com-     landscape, as a report is of little value
  employees and to provide the tools        pany’s small-business approach          if no one knows it exists or how to
  for them to measure their perfor-         to reporting insufficient. George       find it.
  mance as they execute on those            Bock, senior director of iT at sole
  goals. “if we can measure perfor-         Technology, says, “We struggled         function- and industry-specific
  mance, we can reward perfor-              at getting data into the hands of       Bi applications
  mance,” says Coo scott Glad-              people that needed it, when they        in addition to Bi tools, some vendors
  stone. “This allows us to develop         needed it, so we could make better      offer Bi-based analytic applications
  an incentive program that is per-         business decisions.”                    covering a wide range of business
  formance based and is aligned                                                     functions and industries. areas of
  with the strategic initiatives of the     sole Technology needed to track         focus include long-range planning, bud-
  company. once we have the entire          the life cycle of products, from        geting and planning, financial reporting
  company executing against our             development through production,         and consolidation, incentive compen-
  strategic growth plans, we are sure       shipping, warehousing, sales, and       sation management, activity-based
  of success. With Business objects         inventory. it also needed to ensure     costing, metrics, and scorecards. other
  business intelligence tools at our        that everyone speaks the same           functional areas might include applica-
  fingertips, anna’s linens is in a         business language, so employees         tions for sales analysis and campaign
  great position to grow.”                  in various locations agree on a         management, contact center analysis,
                                            standard definition of terms when       product and service analysis, work-
                                            discussing concepts such as reve-       force analysis, supply chain intelli-
example, show how profit margins            nue, inventories, and discounts.        gence, and compliance.
would increase if maintenance reve-
nues were increased or distribution         “Business objects brought tool          examples of industry applications
expense reduced.                            sets and technologies that were         include those oriented toward tele-
                                            out of our range down to our market     communications, healthcare, public
Distribution and Control                    level – debunking the myth that         services, retail, and consumer prod-
Business intelligence is not just about     Business objects isn’t affordable,”     ucts. These applications are often
tools and their applications; it’s also     says Bock. “They’ve allowed our         available both from the Bi vendor and
concerned with distribution and control.    use of enterprise technology to be      its software development partners
Companies should be able to publish         a reality.”                             that utilize the vendor’s Bi technology
reports to the Web and deliver them to                                              as the development platform for spe-
a user’s preferred mobile device. how-                                              cialized industry and functional analytic
ever, not every employee should have       necessarily mean the elimination of      applications. While midsize organiza-
access to every report or analysis, and    spreadsheets. rather, Bi can provide     tions moving from a spreadsheet envi-
administration, monitoring, security,      controlled linkage of spreadsheets to    ronment to formal Bi tools may not
and control are also part of the Bi        up-to-date data while enforcing proper   initially invest in the full range of tools,
environment. furthermore, the use          distribution and control. This way,      these analytic applications will be
of commercial Bi products does not         “spreadsheet chaos” is no longer an      there when needed.




                                                                                      SAP White Paper – Business intelligence   7
using Bi in Different environments            The importance of Data Quality
Bi can be used in data warehouse envi-        Data quality is of paramount impor-
ronments, in which snapshots of data          tance in both operational systems and
from multiple systems are consolidated        data warehouses. in an operational
for analysis, and with operational sys-       environment, no one wants to ship the
tems. When deployed against opera-            wrong order to the wrong address,
tional systems (that is, those that help      provide a patient with the wrong medi-
run or operate the business), Bi might        cation, or transfer funds to the wrong
be used to show current values such           bank account. in a data warehouse
as inventory levels, outstanding cus-         environment, no one wants to make
tomer balances, salaries, or student          decisions based on incomplete, incor-
attendance.                                   rect, or inconsistent data. The deploy-
                                              ment of data quality tools can help
When deployed against a data ware-            ensure that this does not happen. By
house, Bi often involves comparing            using Bi against both operational sys-
the results of one period with another.       tems and data warehouses, a company
(a data warehouse contains data values        can improve its daily operations and
taken at different points in time, fre-       compare current results with historic
quently sourced from several opera-           values to identify trends and head off
tional systems through the use of data        problems before they become more
integration and data quality technology.)     serious.
a typical use would be to compare
this quarter’s sales against the same
quarter in each of the preceding three
years. some data integration vendors
offer connectors or integration kits to
facilitate access to commercial enter-
prise application software products,
such as those of saP and oracle
Corporation’s J.D. edwards,
Peoplesoft, and siebel applications.




8   SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
the Benefits of Bi
heaDinG off issues – iDenTifYinG
oPPorTuniTies




Bi allows business users to analyze and     While many managers and supervisors
better understand their organization’s      pride themselves on their intuition, Bi
plans and results. it provides insight      provides tools to help verify their insights
into what’s working correctly – and         and even discover new ones. it permits
highlights potential opportunities –        business users to explore results at a
while identifying problem areas in time     high level and then drill down to analyze
to take corrective actions. for example,    the underlying details. Business intelli-
it can alert you when certain exception     gence is one of the primary keys to
conditions occur, such as sales drop-       effective decision making.
ping 20% below forecast or inventory
falling below a threshold value.

since Bi product suites include a variety
of components, organizations can pick
those that are most appropriate for the
task at hand and for the experience
level of their individual employees.
While in the past only technical special-
ists used Bi tools, most businesspeo-
ple can now use them successfully as
well. This has served to democratize
Bi usage throughout organizations.
The role of iT has positively evolved
from one of digging out from its historic
report request backlog to one of moni-
toring and administrating Bi usage, and
setting the appropriate controls relative
to who can access what data. This self-
sufficiency has thus enabled iT staff to
free up time to serve the organization
more effectively and efficiently.




                                                                                           SAP White Paper – Business intelligence   9
aPProaches to imPlementing Bi
seTTinG The sTaGe for GroWTh




Beginning a Bi initiative is not neces-        as an organization discovers the benefits   some companies have even allowed
sarily expensive. This is true especially      of Bi, usage is likely to spread quickly    business users to submit their own
if you choose a vendor with a suite            throughout the organization. using          structured Query language (sQl)
of products that allows you to easily          commercial Bi tools does not mean           queries; this usually is nipped in the
expand your Bi usage and implement             that your organization has to abandon       bud after an incorrectly formulated sQl
the tools you need as your business            spreadsheets. instead, iT needs to          query results in an answer that’s tech-
continues to expand.                           establish procedures for proper distri-     nically correct but irrelevant to the user.
                                               bution and control and acquire Bi tools     for example, someone requesting a list
Getting Started                                that can interface with them.               of employees with salaries greater than
                                                                                           $200,000 and less than $20,000 is likely
as your company transitions to a Bi            Setting Policies to Assist Users            looking for both higher-paid and lower-
environment, it often makes sense to                                                       paid employees. however, this list
start small – perhaps deploying Bi             at any point in time, your users will       would come up empty since a salary
against one system with a query and            range from experts to novices. The iT       cannot be both over $200,000 and
reporting tool. Your company can               department can set up and enforce           under $20,000.
expand its deployments to additional           policies as to who can access what
systems and use more functionality as          reports and who can create their own
the organization masters the technology.       reports. if your organization is using a
one place to start is with the system          commercial software package, popular
that has the greatest reports backlog.         Bi tools such as Crystal reports may
While the iT department can certainly          have been bundled with it, and your
use Bi tools to reduce this backlog,           organization may already have
the ultimate goal should be to make            experience using it.
your business users self-sufficient
and less dependent on iT for their             although some companies have been
analyses.                                      tempted to avoid commercial Bi prod-
                                               ucts by having their iT employees
iT can assist business users by using          create custom programs for each user
the “guided analysis” functionality            request, this approach can quickly
of some Bi tools to create parameter-          overload the iT department with an
driven reports with user-selected filter-      ever-increasing backlog. often, com-
ing criteria for performing customized         panies hire additional iT workers just
analyses. as users gain experience,            to keep up with user requests. Most
some of them may even generate their           companies that start off writing custom
own reports and contribute them to a           code eventually acquire commercial
corporate report library. it’s up to each      Bi products, if only to enable their iT
individual company to determine the            workers to be more productive and
approach that works best. in general,          more responsive.




10   SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
what to look for in Bi ProDucts
ToP CriTeria: inTeGraTion anD ease of use




When selecting business intelligence         their analyses against individual sys-       supporting users
products, it’s important to consider fac-    tems, the time will come when data           robust report cataloging and distribution
tors besides specific product features.      from several sources will be needed          functionality will enable authorized busi-
ease of use, ease of implementation          to see the total picture. This requires      ness users to receive their analyses
and administration, scalability, user        a product suite that includes data inte-     on both an upon-request and periodic
interface options, and how well it inte-     gration technology and presents data         subscription basis. The ability to alert
grates into your company’s existing          as if it were located in a single source.    users when certain events or value
and future platform environment –                                                         thresholds occur is also important.
all of these are key considerations.         Keeping options open                         This will involve delivering reports to
                                             integration with your desktop software,      desktop and mobile devices, and con-
Key Factors in Product Choice                in particular Microsoft office, will allow   tent must be formatted accordingly.
                                             users to complement their Bi with famil-
look for an integrated product suite,        iar desktop tools and reduce your orga-      finding needed information and locating
including business management sys-           nization’s training requirements. in addi-   relevant analyses and reports quickly
tem integration, with a range of func-       tion, be sure the product can support        and easily requires strong search fea-
tions that your company can deploy           multiple operating systems, not just         tures – a key criterion. finally, Bi tools
as needed. as your company grows,            Microsoft Windows. This will allow           should allow users to speak in business
it should not outgrow the capabilities       your iT department to keep your future       terms. a product suite with a semantic
of its Bi vendor. in addition, individual    options open and not constrain your          layer transparently isolates users from
users may require different features, and    organization to a single operating sys-      underlying technical complexities and
an integrated product suite provides the     tem. linux is rapidly growing in impor-      allows them to focus on their business
greatest deployment flexibility. Be sure     tance, and your Bi products should           issues, not technical software details.
the product suite offers the scalability     support it.                                  for users that need to know the source
to handle an increased user base as your                                                  of data and the underlying formulas (for
organization grows. as your organiza-        ease of initial installation and deploy-     example, how “gross profit” and “net
tion gains experience with Bi and its        ment is a key consideration, along with      profit” are computed), data lineage
usefulness becomes evident, it’s quite       the ability to add users quickly; this       details should also be readily available.
likely that its usage will quickly spread.   will increase the productivity of your iT
                                             department. Be sure to find out about
Data quality functionality is critical to    administration tools, which should be
ensure a trustworthy data foundation.        powerful but user friendly. This will
high-quality data is a requirement for       allow your iT department to control
high-quality decisions, and avoids           access and provide a level of security
the problems associated with having          and privacy that’s simply not possible
“multiple versions of the truth.” at the     in a “spreadsheet only” environment.
same time, your Bi product must be           Your data is an organizational asset
able to access and integrate a wide          that your Bi products should protect,
variety of disparate data sources.           while allowing access to those who
although many companies initially run        need it.




                                                                                            SAP White Paper – Business intelligence   11
what to look for in a Bi VenDor
There’s More Than MeeTs The eYe




When selecting a business intelligence         Thinking ahead                              that works in both operational systems
vendor, many factors figure in. These          as Bi usage increases, it’s likely that     and data warehousing environments
include the company’s experience,              your organization will deploy it against    will provide your organization with maxi-
reputation, and stability, as well as          additional systems and databases.           mum deployment flexibility and support
its professional services capabilities         While a database vendor may offer           a strong growth path.
and the quality and strength of its            its own proprietary Bi technology,
partnerships.                                  what happens when your organization         finally, keep in mind that your organiza-
                                               decides to use another database?            tion will likely grow and expand. it may
Key Factors in Vendor Choice                   a major advantage of choosing a Bi          not be a giant today, but it could be one
                                               specialist is its ability to work with a    tomorrow. Choose a vendor that has
one element you might not think of             wide variety of data sources.               successful and extensive experience
immediately is the vendor’s education                                                      with organizations of all sizes. and if
and training capabilities, but these may       Consider the vendor’s product delivery      you expect to operate on an interna-
be crucial to your ability to introduce        options. While many vendors will only       tional scale someday, a vendor with
the new technology smoothly. While             allow you to license their products to      a multinational presence is highly
many vendors offer on-site and in-house        run on your company’s servers, others       desirable.
training, a few have developed self-           also provide “on-demand” or software
paced, computer-based training that            as a service (saas) options. here, the
can assist new users in getting started        vendor hosts the software on its own
or help experienced users master               servers and enables customers to use
advanced product features quickly.             it through their Web browsers. The
                                               saas model can be especially appealing
select a vendor with a proven record           to small companies that wish to mini-
of accomplishment and a history of             mize up-front startup costs, with the
successful growth – both in revenues           option to bring the software in-house
and capabilities. solid growth and prof-       when it makes economic sense.
itability indicate both astute manage-
ment and product acceptance, as well           Preparing for Growth
as the ability to serve customers well         a vendor with a large cadre of partners
and invest in the future. Choose a vendor      – both software vendors and consul-
that’s large enough to retain its inde-        tants – will prove invaluable. one
pendence. a history of acquiring and           measure of “openness” is the number
successfully integrating complementary         of other software products that a Bi
technology is another good sign. This          tool works with. a vendor that actively
company is more likely to be able to           encourages partnerships is likely to
react quickly to new market demands            have little problem integrating its tech-
and to supply the technology your com-         nology with your current and future
pany needs. and a vendor that can              software environments. vendors with
demonstrate vision, innovation, and            a strong base of consulting partners
industry leadership is one that may            make it easier to find outside expertise
well be able to anticipate its customers’      should your organization have special
future requirements.                           requirements. further, a product set




12   SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
conclusion
iMProveD analYsis for More
effeCTive Business DeCisions




Managers have the responsibility to             For More Information
make the best decisions possible,
based upon the data available to them           To learn more about how products from
at the time. if their ability to analyze this   saP and Business objects, an saP
data and transform it into useful infor-        company, can support your business
mation is improved, the overall quality         intelligence initiatives, please call
of their decisions will improve as well.        your saP representative, or visit
                                                www.businessobjects.com/product
Business intelligence provides a spec-          /platforms/midmarket.asp.
trum of tools and solutions to support
this aim. it’s the underlying technology
behind more effective decision making.
By helping align individual and depart-
mental efforts with overall corporate
strategies, it should lead to improved
organizational results.

While many small and midsize com-
panies have relied on spreadsheets as
their primary Bi tool, most of them have
come to realize that this is a stopgap
solution. This is not to say that spread-
sheets should be abandoned; rather,
they should be a part of an organiza-
tion’s Bi tool set. The key is to choose
the right commercial Bi product suite
that integrates with spreadsheet
environments while supporting your
long-term growth.




                                                                                        SAP White Paper – Business intelligence   13
50 088 770 (08/03)
©2008 by saP aG.
all rights reserved. saP, r/3, xapps, xapp, saP netWeaver,
Duet, Partneredge, ByDesign, saP Business ByDesign, and other
saP products and services mentioned herein as well as their
respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of saP aG
in Germany and in several other countries all over the world.

Business objects and the Business objects logo, Businessobjects,
and Crystal reports are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Business objects s.a. or its affiliated companies in the united states
and other countries.

all other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their
respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational
purposes only. national product specifications may vary.

These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials
are provided by saP aG and its affiliated companies (“saP Group”) for
informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind,
and saP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to
the materials. The only warranties for saP Group products and services are
those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying
such products and services, if any. nothing herein should be construed as
constituting an additional warranty.




   www.sap.com /contactsap

More Related Content

What's hot

Information på agendaen
Information på agendaenInformation på agendaen
Information på agendaen
IBM Danmark
 
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
skewdlogix
 
On Demand M I S
On  Demand  M I SOn  Demand  M I S
On Demand M I S
Sanjay Mehta
 
TCG proposition web copy
TCG proposition web copyTCG proposition web copy
TCG proposition web copy
Richard Tremellen
 
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
Global Business Events
 
Bi keynote
Bi keynoteBi keynote
Bi keynote
OracleSK
 
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
Rebecca Croucher
 
Pivotal CRM - Analytics
Pivotal CRM - Analytics Pivotal CRM - Analytics
Pivotal CRM - Analytics
Pivotal CRM
 
Business analytics_as_a_service
Business analytics_as_a_serviceBusiness analytics_as_a_service
Business analytics_as_a_service
Miguel Garcia
 
BI insight newsletter
BI insight newsletterBI insight newsletter
BI insight newsletter
Mustafa Aydogdu
 
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
Capgemini
 
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering businessWhitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
guestf6dbb9
 
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
SAP Solution Extensions
 
Unica wp ebm_financial
Unica wp ebm_financialUnica wp ebm_financial
Unica wp ebm_financial
Sunny Fei
 
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate OverviewQuantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
Cosmin Nae
 
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business caseBusiness Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
Jean-Michel Franco
 
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer CentricParke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
Shep Parke
 
BI Return-On-Investment
BI Return-On-InvestmentBI Return-On-Investment
BI Return-On-Investment
BusinessIntelligenze
 
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
FindWhitePapers
 

What's hot (19)

Information på agendaen
Information på agendaenInformation på agendaen
Information på agendaen
 
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
Slide notes for "The Rise of Self-service Business Intelligence"
 
On Demand M I S
On  Demand  M I SOn  Demand  M I S
On Demand M I S
 
TCG proposition web copy
TCG proposition web copyTCG proposition web copy
TCG proposition web copy
 
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
Christophe Lemaire, CIO at Eurostar - Welcome to Enterprise Business Intellig...
 
Bi keynote
Bi keynoteBi keynote
Bi keynote
 
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
Gartner Session Final Prez October 2012
 
Pivotal CRM - Analytics
Pivotal CRM - Analytics Pivotal CRM - Analytics
Pivotal CRM - Analytics
 
Business analytics_as_a_service
Business analytics_as_a_serviceBusiness analytics_as_a_service
Business analytics_as_a_service
 
BI insight newsletter
BI insight newsletterBI insight newsletter
BI insight newsletter
 
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
Business Process Analytics Unlocking the Power of Data and Analytics: Transfo...
 
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering businessWhitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
Whitepaper-Business Intelligence- empowering business
 
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
Revenue and Spend Insights from Vistex and IBM Whitepaper
 
Unica wp ebm_financial
Unica wp ebm_financialUnica wp ebm_financial
Unica wp ebm_financial
 
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate OverviewQuantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
Quantix Marketing Consulting Romania Corporate Overview
 
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business caseBusiness Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
Business Intelligence in decentralized organizations : a business case
 
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer CentricParke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
Parke - Using Data To Become Customer Centric
 
BI Return-On-Investment
BI Return-On-InvestmentBI Return-On-Investment
BI Return-On-Investment
 
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
Business Intelligence for Consumer Products: Actionable Insights for Business...
 

Similar to Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide

Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquareLeverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
PM square
 
Business Data is your Competitive Asset. Is that how you use it?
Business Data is your Competitive Asset.  Is that how you use it?Business Data is your Competitive Asset.  Is that how you use it?
Business Data is your Competitive Asset. Is that how you use it?
Fraunhofer Project Center @ UT
 
Ready for BI.pdf
Ready for BI.pdfReady for BI.pdf
Ready for BI.pdf
Joe Orlando
 
Bi in financial industry
Bi in financial industryBi in financial industry
Bi in financial industry
Souvik Chakraborty
 
Bi in financial industry
Bi in financial industryBi in financial industry
Bi in financial industry
Souvik Chakraborty
 
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
Paul Santilli
 
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
FindWhitePapers
 
Making advanced analytics work for you
Making advanced analytics work for youMaking advanced analytics work for you
Making advanced analytics work for you
Tavva G N R S N Prudhvith
 
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid ThemSix Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
FindWhitePapers
 
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small BusinessWays to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
Spiceworks
 
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptxLecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
RATISHKUMAR32
 
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped OpportunitiesBig Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
SAP Technology
 
Balance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
Balance Sheet (Financial) ConsolidationBalance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
Balance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
Dhiren Gala
 
How to increase intelligence
How to increase intelligenceHow to increase intelligence
How to increase intelligence
AnalitiQs
 
Whitepaper Business Performance Measurement For Success
Whitepaper   Business Performance Measurement For SuccessWhitepaper   Business Performance Measurement For Success
Whitepaper Business Performance Measurement For Success
Alan McSweeney
 
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptxEnterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
HemaSenthil5
 
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi WpDynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
UTPL
 
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESACOMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
UTPL
 
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analyticsBearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
Jari Laine
 
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
FindWhitePapers
 

Similar to Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide (20)

Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquareLeverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
Leverage IBM Business Analytics with PMSquare
 
Business Data is your Competitive Asset. Is that how you use it?
Business Data is your Competitive Asset.  Is that how you use it?Business Data is your Competitive Asset.  Is that how you use it?
Business Data is your Competitive Asset. Is that how you use it?
 
Ready for BI.pdf
Ready for BI.pdfReady for BI.pdf
Ready for BI.pdf
 
Bi in financial industry
Bi in financial industryBi in financial industry
Bi in financial industry
 
Bi in financial industry
Bi in financial industryBi in financial industry
Bi in financial industry
 
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
2016-09 Customer Insight Visualizations to Drive Business Decisions
 
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
Why Midsize Companies Need Business Intelligence Solutions in this uncertain ...
 
Making advanced analytics work for you
Making advanced analytics work for youMaking advanced analytics work for you
Making advanced analytics work for you
 
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid ThemSix Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
Six Mistakes Companies Are Making Today And How You Can Avoid Them
 
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small BusinessWays to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
Ways to Make Business Intelligence Work for Your Small Business
 
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptxLecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
Lecture 1.13 & 1.14 &1.15_Business Profiles in Big Data.pptx
 
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped OpportunitiesBig Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
Big Data, Big Thinking: Untapped Opportunities
 
Balance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
Balance Sheet (Financial) ConsolidationBalance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
Balance Sheet (Financial) Consolidation
 
How to increase intelligence
How to increase intelligenceHow to increase intelligence
How to increase intelligence
 
Whitepaper Business Performance Measurement For Success
Whitepaper   Business Performance Measurement For SuccessWhitepaper   Business Performance Measurement For Success
Whitepaper Business Performance Measurement For Success
 
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptxEnterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
Enterprize and departmental BusinessIintelligence.pptx
 
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi WpDynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
Dynamics Ax 2009 Bi Wp
 
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESACOMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
COMO MEJORAR LA PRODUCCION DE UNA EMPRESA
 
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analyticsBearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
BearingPoint: Beyond the horizon of retail analytics
 
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
Data Integration: Creating a Trustworthy Data Foundation for Business Intelli...
 

More from FindWhitePapers

The state of privacy and data security compliance
The state of privacy and data security complianceThe state of privacy and data security compliance
The state of privacy and data security compliance
FindWhitePapers
 
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computersIs your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
FindWhitePapers
 
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protectionClosing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
FindWhitePapers
 
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection PlatformsBuyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
FindWhitePapers
 
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
FindWhitePapers
 
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
FindWhitePapers
 
The Economic Impact of File Virtualization
The Economic Impact of File VirtualizationThe Economic Impact of File Virtualization
The Economic Impact of File Virtualization
FindWhitePapers
 
Geolocation and Application Delivery
Geolocation and Application DeliveryGeolocation and Application Delivery
Geolocation and Application Delivery
FindWhitePapers
 
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS AttacksDNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
FindWhitePapers
 
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
FindWhitePapers
 
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory TargetsInventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
FindWhitePapers
 
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business IntelligenceImproving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
FindWhitePapers
 
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk ManagementIDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
FindWhitePapers
 
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean EnterpriseHow to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
FindWhitePapers
 
High Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
High Efficiency in Manufacturing OperationsHigh Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
High Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
FindWhitePapers
 
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and OpportunitiesEnterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
FindWhitePapers
 
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
FindWhitePapers
 
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
FindWhitePapers
 
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step ApproachData Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
FindWhitePapers
 
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor ResearchData Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
FindWhitePapers
 

More from FindWhitePapers (20)

The state of privacy and data security compliance
The state of privacy and data security complianceThe state of privacy and data security compliance
The state of privacy and data security compliance
 
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computersIs your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
Is your data at risk? Why physical security is insufficient for laptop computers
 
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protectionClosing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
Closing the gaps in enterprise data security: A model for 360 degrees protection
 
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection PlatformsBuyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
Buyers Guide to Endpoint Protection Platforms
 
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
VMware DRS: Why You Still Need Assured Application Delivery and Application D...
 
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
The ROI of Application Delivery Controllers in Traditional and Virtualized En...
 
The Economic Impact of File Virtualization
The Economic Impact of File VirtualizationThe Economic Impact of File Virtualization
The Economic Impact of File Virtualization
 
Geolocation and Application Delivery
Geolocation and Application DeliveryGeolocation and Application Delivery
Geolocation and Application Delivery
 
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS AttacksDNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
DNSSEC: The Antidote to DNS Cache Poisoning and Other DNS Attacks
 
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
Lean Business Intelligence - How and Why Organizations Are Moving to Self-Ser...
 
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory TargetsInventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
Inventory Optimization: A Technique for Improving Operational-Inventory Targets
 
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business IntelligenceImproving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
Improving Organizational Performance Through Pervasive Business Intelligence
 
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk ManagementIDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
IDC Energy Insights - Enterprise Risk Management
 
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean EnterpriseHow to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
How to Use Technology to Support the Lean Enterprise
 
High Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
High Efficiency in Manufacturing OperationsHigh Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
High Efficiency in Manufacturing Operations
 
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and OpportunitiesEnterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
Enterprise Knowledge Workers: Understanding Risks and Opportunities
 
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
Enterprise Information Management: In Support of Operational, Analytic, and G...
 
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
Enabling Strategy and Innovation: Achieving Optimized Outcomes from Planning ...
 
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step ApproachData Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
Data Quality Strategy: A Step-by-Step Approach
 
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor ResearchData Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
Data Migration: A White Paper by Bloor Research
 

Recently uploaded

Corporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
Corporate Governance for South African Mining CompaniesCorporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
Corporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
James AH Campbell
 
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual TrainingpptxYou Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
Cynthia Clay
 
Millionaire track government application
Millionaire track government applicationMillionaire track government application
Millionaire track government application
pragyasharma659549
 
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
anissageorge9890
 
Gym business MODEL .pdf .
Gym business MODEL .pdf                 .Gym business MODEL .pdf                 .
Gym business MODEL .pdf .
Divyanshu56740
 
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
kevinkariuki227
 
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdfThe Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
David Thomson
 
Path to the next normal collection McKinsey
Path to the next normal collection McKinseyPath to the next normal collection McKinsey
Path to the next normal collection McKinsey
MajIman2
 
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
Aggregage
 
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptxSTRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
ImranTabish1
 
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
Cora335316
 
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slidesRetail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
JairSemexant
 
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological StyleZodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
my Pandit
 
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
projectseasy
 
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdfApparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
Apparel Sourcing Week
 
Business Model Canvas for Successful Business
Business Model Canvas for Successful BusinessBusiness Model Canvas for Successful Business
Business Model Canvas for Successful Business
SuganthiPrakash1
 
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publicationsSTEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
mcynthus
 
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel HammametRestaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
rihabkorbi24
 
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptxThe-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
Jindal Global University, Sonipat Haryana 131001
 
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdfTop Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
Top IT Marketing
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Corporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
Corporate Governance for South African Mining CompaniesCorporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
Corporate Governance for South African Mining Companies
 
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual TrainingpptxYou Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
You Get Me! Leveraging Communication Styles in Virtual Trainingpptx
 
Millionaire track government application
Millionaire track government applicationMillionaire track government application
Millionaire track government application
 
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
Qatar Airways Kuwait Office.pdf.........
 
Gym business MODEL .pdf .
Gym business MODEL .pdf                 .Gym business MODEL .pdf                 .
Gym business MODEL .pdf .
 
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
TEST BANK For Auditing & Assurance Services A Systematic Approach, 12th Editi...
 
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdfThe Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
The Power of Digital Marketing in the Modern Age.pdf
 
Path to the next normal collection McKinsey
Path to the next normal collection McKinseyPath to the next normal collection McKinsey
Path to the next normal collection McKinsey
 
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
Don’t Get Left Behind: Leveraging Modern Product Management Across the Organi...
 
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptxSTRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
STRATEGY TO OVERCOME CURRENT PROBLEMS AT MTC.pptx
 
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
10 Barriers to Effective Communications.
 
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slidesRetail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
Retail Store Scavenger Hunt powerpoint slides
 
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological StyleZodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
Zodiac Signs and Fashion: Dressing to Suit Your Astrological Style
 
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
TALENT ACQUISITION AND MANAGEMENT LECTURE 5
 
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdfApparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
Apparel Sourcing Week 2024 DelegateDeck.pdf
 
Business Model Canvas for Successful Business
Business Model Canvas for Successful BusinessBusiness Model Canvas for Successful Business
Business Model Canvas for Successful Business
 
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publicationsSTEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
STEPIC Innovations 2026 futurism publications
 
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel HammametRestaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
Restaurant Chiraz Sindbad Hotel Hammamet
 
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptxThe-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
The-Three-Pillars-of-Doctoral-Research-What-Why-and-How (1).pptx
 
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdfTop Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
Top Digital Marketing Strategy in 2024.pdf
 

Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide

  • 1. Business intelligence The DefiniTive GuiDe for MiDsize orGanizaTions SAP White Paper Business intelligence
  • 3. 4 New Tools for a Promising 9 The Benefits of BI Future 4 how to recognize the need 10 Approaches to Implementing BI for Business intelligence 10 Getting started 10 setting Policies to assist users 5 Defining Business Intelligence 5 The Bi spectrum 11 What to Look for in BI Products 5 Queries 11 Key factors in Product Choice 5 reporting 11 Keeping options open 5 advanced analysis 11 supporting users 6 interactive analysis 6 Graphical Techniques 12 What to Look for in a BI Vendor 7 Distribution and Control 12 Key factors in vendor Choice 7 function- and industry-specific 12 Thinking ahead Bi applications 12 Preparing for Growth 8 using Bi in Different environments 13 Conclusion 8 The importance of Data Quality 13 for More information About the Author Michael a. schiff is the founder and principal analyst of Mas strategies. Mas strategies specializes in helping vendors market and position their Bi and data warehousing products in today’s highly competitive market. he has over 30 years of experience in the iT industry. schiff was the vice president of the data warehousing and business intelligence service at Current analysis inc., an industry analyst firm where he provided tactical market intelligence and analysis while managing the company’s e-business analyst team. he was the executive director of data warehousing and advanced decision support for oracle Corporation’s Public sector Group and director of software aG’s data management program. in 1984, while at Digital equipment Corporation, he formulated the architecture for one of the first successful data warehouse implementations. he earned his bachelor and master of science degrees from MiT’s sloan school of Management where he specialized in operations research as an undergraduate, and in information systems as a graduate. Overview Business intelligence is not a new concept; it’s been used for years by iT staffers in large enterprises with the budgets to support it. What’s new is the fact that business intelligence tools are now affordable and accessible even for midsize companies – and even for the nontechnical business user. now managers can use these products for sophisticated analysis of complex information to support their decision-making processes. They can combine data from a wide variety of sources and see an integrated, up-to-date, 360-degree view. for midsize companies the key is to select the right product, the right vendor, and the right approach.
  • 4. new tools for a Promising future ToWarD More soPhisTiCaTeD analYsis if your organization is like furthermore, you need to determine but your employees are passionate where to concentrate your efforts. about their jobs and committed to your most, your primary focus You can’t check every detail, yet there customers. Maybe your company is is acquiring customers, must be a way to monitor operations relatively small right now, but it’s on a to find and resolve potential problems high-growth path. You’re aware of the increasing revenues and while identifying and leveraging new power of business intelligence and profitability, and outpacing oppor tunities. and you need to ensure know that larger companies – and that employee and departmental met- maybe even your direct competitors – the competition. and while rics are aligned with overall strategic are using it to their advantage. at this your organization continues goals. stage of your company’s evolution, isn’t it time your analysis capabilities to improve its operating effi- Your organization may not have the graduated from spreadsheets to more ciencies, you recognize the resources of a forTune 500 company, powerful tools as well? need to spend more time analyzing what’s going on How to Recognize the Need for Business Intelligence and planning for the future The following represents typical • Need for simple-to-use production than solving operational situations that could benefit from reporting technology – Your improved business intelligence: accounting department uses word problems and putting out • Competing versions of the truth – processing to generate customer fires. interdepartmental meetings fre- invoices, resulting in errors and quently turn contentious as partic- customer complaints. ipants debate whose spreadsheet • Inability to comply with govern- has the correct figures. ment reporting requirements – • Inability to perform in-depth Your company plans to go public analysis – Your company knows at some point, and you need proper which of its retail outlets have the audit trails and data lineage to greatest sales volume but can’t ensure financial accuracy. identify which products have the • Lack of timely reports – iT is highest sales. unable to fulfill managers’ requests • Difficulty locating important for reports when they want them. information – You recently heard • Difficulty consolidating data for that a report showing year-over- integrated information access – year growth for each customer has reports that require data from been posted to the intranet – but multiple operational systems involve have no idea how to find it. generating separate reports from each and then combining the results in a spreadsheet. 4 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  • 5. Defining Business intelligence hoW Bi is helPinG MiDsize orGanizaTions a major part of any manager’s job is • implement dashboards and score- include customer satisfaction, profit- to make decisions. if you can improve cards to help executives and super- ability, and sales per employee and the overall quality of your organization’s visors quickly recognize operational be monitored to support alignment of decision-making process, you’ll improve exceptions or potential budget individual and departmental metrics the overall effectiveness of your organi- overruns and the organization’s strategic goals. zation. in short, business intelligence • Compare departmental turnover to helps your organization make smarter identify potential morale problems Queries decisions – hence its original description • Track customer orders and desired a simple query might access your as “decision support.” ship dates against finished goods company’s data to ask, for example, inventory, and adjust the manufacturing what were total sales to Plushrock Business intelligence (Bi) allows orga- production cycle and supply chain logis- Corporation last December? or what’s nizations to better understand, analyze, tics to reduce inventory carrying costs the current salary of employee Dan and even predict what’s occurring in • integrate operational, spreadsheet, evans? or even how many aa batteries their company. Bi helps your organiza- and historic data for analysis purposes, do we have in inventory? Most query tion turn data into useful and meaning- while providing consistency and tools also provide simple reporting ful information and then distribute this “a single version of the truth” functionality and could also be used, information to those who need it, when • Better understand and analyze for example, to generate a simple they need it – thereby enabling them to operations and customer interactions report listing the accrued vacation make timely and better-informed deci- to gain a competitive edge of all employees, sorted and totaled sions. it allows organizations to com- • align daily operations with strategic by department. bine data from a wide variety of sources objectives and quickly recognize and see an integrated, up-to-date, when they are not in agreement reporting 360-degree view. enterprise or production reporting The BI Spectrum typically involves high-volume, high- This is especially important for midsize resolution reports that are run on a companies that are typically able to The Bi spectrum is very broad in terms regular basis. an example might be a implement business decisions relatively of its tools and functionality. at its core sales manager report showing monthly quickly. Bi provides a win-win solution is the traditional functionality of query, sales and associated commissions for iT and business users by allowing reporting, and analysis. This is comple- sorted by salesperson and then by cus- the iT department to be more produc- mented by data quality and data inte- tomer. The report distribution would tive in working with its business users gration to accurately and consistently likely be controlled so that each sales to service special requests, while consolidate data from multiple sources. manager could see entries only for his permitting these business users to Dashboards and other visualization or her salespeople. The report might become more self-sufficient. opera- techniques can help users quickly be e-mailed to them or viewed through tions and analysis are two sides of understand analysis results and are a Web browser. enterprise reports can the business, and Bi allows iT to be often considered part of the Bi spec- also be used to generate customer a valued partner in both. trum. Bi can also encompass search statements or invoices or individualized functionality for locating information benefit summaries for each employee. for example, a midsize organization and reports, predictive analysis to dis- can use Bi to do the following: cover hidden patterns and enable what-if advanced analysis • identify customers that are cutting analysis, and scorecards and perfor- With advanced analysis functionality, back on their purchases so that spe- mance management to help monitor users can view data across multiple cial inducements can be offered to business metrics and key performance classifications or dimensions (for example, retain them indicators (KPis). These KPis might product, customer, location, time period, SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 5
  • 6. and salesperson). They can slice and interactive analysis Core Bi technology – such as query, dice the data to look at various combi- simple reports were initially designed reporting, and interactive analysis – is nations, such as the sales in each for passive viewing, while advanced used to view or analyze what is or has region for December or which products products perform interactive analyses. already occurred, while data mining each customer purchased last year. Many of these advanced functionalities and predictive analysis allow users to advanced analysis functionality also were once available only in specialized predict what may occur. Bi technology permits organizations to define hierar- online analytical processing (olaP) uses sophisticated statistical techniques chies so that, for example, a user could products that involved the use of pro- to find relationships that are hidden or first view sales for each region and prietary databases and highly skilled not obvious. it can be used to identify then drill down to view the sales in technical specialists. now olaP func- which factors closely relate to custom- each country, of each product in each tionality is often incorporated into query er churn and attrition or which factors store, or for each salesperson. These and analysis tools. Thus, business (a prospect’s income, education, age, advanced analytics make it easy to users can perform interactive analysis last purchase amount, and so forth) compare the results from one time period and, for example, click on a number in were most closely related to a suc- with another – this July’s product sales a report to drill down to and analyze the cessful response in a marketing with last July’s, for example – while underlying details. effective Bi should campaign. performing year-over-year comparisons be an interactive process, and query by store, customer, or salesperson. and analysis tools – with embedded Graphical Techniques olaP functionality – permit business a picture is worth a thousand numbers, other advanced functionality, such users to perform dynamic analyses on and graphical techniques – including as filtering, can be used to include or their data. as most iT practitioners will dashboards – strongly complement the exclude specific stores, regions, prod- attest, users requesting a static report other members of the Bi spectrum. ucts, salespeople, or time periods – and will typically ask for additional modifica- With graphical gauges analogous to look at the top or bottom best- or worst- tions and details. Query and analysis an automobile dashboard and symbols performing products, stores, or sales- tools allow business users to formulate such as traffic lights, where red repre- people. Combined with drill-down, slice- a high-level query and then immediately sents an alert condition and yellow a and-dice, and filtering functionality, this explore the underlying details on their warning, users can quickly identify is a powerful multidimensional analysis. own. exception conditions. it has often been said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” scorecards and other star Trac, of irvine, California, is dashboards, and visual analytics. performance management tools enable a midsize manufacturer of quality “fast, easy business intelligence will you to establish business metrics, update physical fitness equipment serving save us time, boost productivity, and and monitor the results, and communi- a global market. like many rapidly deliver the data to help us grow the cate them as appropriate so that minor growing companies, its data was business,” says Jeff Kuckenbaker, problems can be identified early on and spread across multiple silos, making senior director of information sys- corrective action quickly taken. Dash- it difficult to aggregate and reconcile tems. “We’ll use Businessobjects boards are frequently used to display to facilitate decision making and align edge to deliver information across performance metrics and can allow key objectives and business processes. the company so everyone can better users to drill down from the visual star Trac needed a product suite understand how to execute our image to view the underlying detail. that offered flexible reporting, ad strategies for growth.” other visualization techniques include hoc query and analysis, interactive “slider bars” that allow a user to perform what-if analyses and, for 6 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  • 7. issue, and trying to determine whose The enduring value anna’s linens sole Technology inc. is a globally spreadsheet is “more correct” is no gets from its Business objects™ recognized leader in action sports longer part of every company meeting. business intelligence solution lies footwear and apparel. in the last The ability to locate and search out in the ability for managers to com- three years, sole Technology relevant reports is also part of the Bi municate what is expected of their doubled in size, rendering the com- landscape, as a report is of little value employees and to provide the tools pany’s small-business approach if no one knows it exists or how to for them to measure their perfor- to reporting insufficient. George find it. mance as they execute on those Bock, senior director of iT at sole goals. “if we can measure perfor- Technology, says, “We struggled function- and industry-specific mance, we can reward perfor- at getting data into the hands of Bi applications mance,” says Coo scott Glad- people that needed it, when they in addition to Bi tools, some vendors stone. “This allows us to develop needed it, so we could make better offer Bi-based analytic applications an incentive program that is per- business decisions.” covering a wide range of business formance based and is aligned functions and industries. areas of with the strategic initiatives of the sole Technology needed to track focus include long-range planning, bud- company. once we have the entire the life cycle of products, from geting and planning, financial reporting company executing against our development through production, and consolidation, incentive compen- strategic growth plans, we are sure shipping, warehousing, sales, and sation management, activity-based of success. With Business objects inventory. it also needed to ensure costing, metrics, and scorecards. other business intelligence tools at our that everyone speaks the same functional areas might include applica- fingertips, anna’s linens is in a business language, so employees tions for sales analysis and campaign great position to grow.” in various locations agree on a management, contact center analysis, standard definition of terms when product and service analysis, work- discussing concepts such as reve- force analysis, supply chain intelli- example, show how profit margins nue, inventories, and discounts. gence, and compliance. would increase if maintenance reve- nues were increased or distribution “Business objects brought tool examples of industry applications expense reduced. sets and technologies that were include those oriented toward tele- out of our range down to our market communications, healthcare, public Distribution and Control level – debunking the myth that services, retail, and consumer prod- Business intelligence is not just about Business objects isn’t affordable,” ucts. These applications are often tools and their applications; it’s also says Bock. “They’ve allowed our available both from the Bi vendor and concerned with distribution and control. use of enterprise technology to be its software development partners Companies should be able to publish a reality.” that utilize the vendor’s Bi technology reports to the Web and deliver them to as the development platform for spe- a user’s preferred mobile device. how- cialized industry and functional analytic ever, not every employee should have necessarily mean the elimination of applications. While midsize organiza- access to every report or analysis, and spreadsheets. rather, Bi can provide tions moving from a spreadsheet envi- administration, monitoring, security, controlled linkage of spreadsheets to ronment to formal Bi tools may not and control are also part of the Bi up-to-date data while enforcing proper initially invest in the full range of tools, environment. furthermore, the use distribution and control. This way, these analytic applications will be of commercial Bi products does not “spreadsheet chaos” is no longer an there when needed. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 7
  • 8. using Bi in Different environments The importance of Data Quality Bi can be used in data warehouse envi- Data quality is of paramount impor- ronments, in which snapshots of data tance in both operational systems and from multiple systems are consolidated data warehouses. in an operational for analysis, and with operational sys- environment, no one wants to ship the tems. When deployed against opera- wrong order to the wrong address, tional systems (that is, those that help provide a patient with the wrong medi- run or operate the business), Bi might cation, or transfer funds to the wrong be used to show current values such bank account. in a data warehouse as inventory levels, outstanding cus- environment, no one wants to make tomer balances, salaries, or student decisions based on incomplete, incor- attendance. rect, or inconsistent data. The deploy- ment of data quality tools can help When deployed against a data ware- ensure that this does not happen. By house, Bi often involves comparing using Bi against both operational sys- the results of one period with another. tems and data warehouses, a company (a data warehouse contains data values can improve its daily operations and taken at different points in time, fre- compare current results with historic quently sourced from several opera- values to identify trends and head off tional systems through the use of data problems before they become more integration and data quality technology.) serious. a typical use would be to compare this quarter’s sales against the same quarter in each of the preceding three years. some data integration vendors offer connectors or integration kits to facilitate access to commercial enter- prise application software products, such as those of saP and oracle Corporation’s J.D. edwards, Peoplesoft, and siebel applications. 8 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  • 9. the Benefits of Bi heaDinG off issues – iDenTifYinG oPPorTuniTies Bi allows business users to analyze and While many managers and supervisors better understand their organization’s pride themselves on their intuition, Bi plans and results. it provides insight provides tools to help verify their insights into what’s working correctly – and and even discover new ones. it permits highlights potential opportunities – business users to explore results at a while identifying problem areas in time high level and then drill down to analyze to take corrective actions. for example, the underlying details. Business intelli- it can alert you when certain exception gence is one of the primary keys to conditions occur, such as sales drop- effective decision making. ping 20% below forecast or inventory falling below a threshold value. since Bi product suites include a variety of components, organizations can pick those that are most appropriate for the task at hand and for the experience level of their individual employees. While in the past only technical special- ists used Bi tools, most businesspeo- ple can now use them successfully as well. This has served to democratize Bi usage throughout organizations. The role of iT has positively evolved from one of digging out from its historic report request backlog to one of moni- toring and administrating Bi usage, and setting the appropriate controls relative to who can access what data. This self- sufficiency has thus enabled iT staff to free up time to serve the organization more effectively and efficiently. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 9
  • 10. aPProaches to imPlementing Bi seTTinG The sTaGe for GroWTh Beginning a Bi initiative is not neces- as an organization discovers the benefits some companies have even allowed sarily expensive. This is true especially of Bi, usage is likely to spread quickly business users to submit their own if you choose a vendor with a suite throughout the organization. using structured Query language (sQl) of products that allows you to easily commercial Bi tools does not mean queries; this usually is nipped in the expand your Bi usage and implement that your organization has to abandon bud after an incorrectly formulated sQl the tools you need as your business spreadsheets. instead, iT needs to query results in an answer that’s tech- continues to expand. establish procedures for proper distri- nically correct but irrelevant to the user. bution and control and acquire Bi tools for example, someone requesting a list Getting Started that can interface with them. of employees with salaries greater than $200,000 and less than $20,000 is likely as your company transitions to a Bi Setting Policies to Assist Users looking for both higher-paid and lower- environment, it often makes sense to paid employees. however, this list start small – perhaps deploying Bi at any point in time, your users will would come up empty since a salary against one system with a query and range from experts to novices. The iT cannot be both over $200,000 and reporting tool. Your company can department can set up and enforce under $20,000. expand its deployments to additional policies as to who can access what systems and use more functionality as reports and who can create their own the organization masters the technology. reports. if your organization is using a one place to start is with the system commercial software package, popular that has the greatest reports backlog. Bi tools such as Crystal reports may While the iT department can certainly have been bundled with it, and your use Bi tools to reduce this backlog, organization may already have the ultimate goal should be to make experience using it. your business users self-sufficient and less dependent on iT for their although some companies have been analyses. tempted to avoid commercial Bi prod- ucts by having their iT employees iT can assist business users by using create custom programs for each user the “guided analysis” functionality request, this approach can quickly of some Bi tools to create parameter- overload the iT department with an driven reports with user-selected filter- ever-increasing backlog. often, com- ing criteria for performing customized panies hire additional iT workers just analyses. as users gain experience, to keep up with user requests. Most some of them may even generate their companies that start off writing custom own reports and contribute them to a code eventually acquire commercial corporate report library. it’s up to each Bi products, if only to enable their iT individual company to determine the workers to be more productive and approach that works best. in general, more responsive. 10 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  • 11. what to look for in Bi ProDucts ToP CriTeria: inTeGraTion anD ease of use When selecting business intelligence their analyses against individual sys- supporting users products, it’s important to consider fac- tems, the time will come when data robust report cataloging and distribution tors besides specific product features. from several sources will be needed functionality will enable authorized busi- ease of use, ease of implementation to see the total picture. This requires ness users to receive their analyses and administration, scalability, user a product suite that includes data inte- on both an upon-request and periodic interface options, and how well it inte- gration technology and presents data subscription basis. The ability to alert grates into your company’s existing as if it were located in a single source. users when certain events or value and future platform environment – thresholds occur is also important. all of these are key considerations. Keeping options open This will involve delivering reports to integration with your desktop software, desktop and mobile devices, and con- Key Factors in Product Choice in particular Microsoft office, will allow tent must be formatted accordingly. users to complement their Bi with famil- look for an integrated product suite, iar desktop tools and reduce your orga- finding needed information and locating including business management sys- nization’s training requirements. in addi- relevant analyses and reports quickly tem integration, with a range of func- tion, be sure the product can support and easily requires strong search fea- tions that your company can deploy multiple operating systems, not just tures – a key criterion. finally, Bi tools as needed. as your company grows, Microsoft Windows. This will allow should allow users to speak in business it should not outgrow the capabilities your iT department to keep your future terms. a product suite with a semantic of its Bi vendor. in addition, individual options open and not constrain your layer transparently isolates users from users may require different features, and organization to a single operating sys- underlying technical complexities and an integrated product suite provides the tem. linux is rapidly growing in impor- allows them to focus on their business greatest deployment flexibility. Be sure tance, and your Bi products should issues, not technical software details. the product suite offers the scalability support it. for users that need to know the source to handle an increased user base as your of data and the underlying formulas (for organization grows. as your organiza- ease of initial installation and deploy- example, how “gross profit” and “net tion gains experience with Bi and its ment is a key consideration, along with profit” are computed), data lineage usefulness becomes evident, it’s quite the ability to add users quickly; this details should also be readily available. likely that its usage will quickly spread. will increase the productivity of your iT department. Be sure to find out about Data quality functionality is critical to administration tools, which should be ensure a trustworthy data foundation. powerful but user friendly. This will high-quality data is a requirement for allow your iT department to control high-quality decisions, and avoids access and provide a level of security the problems associated with having and privacy that’s simply not possible “multiple versions of the truth.” at the in a “spreadsheet only” environment. same time, your Bi product must be Your data is an organizational asset able to access and integrate a wide that your Bi products should protect, variety of disparate data sources. while allowing access to those who although many companies initially run need it. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 11
  • 12. what to look for in a Bi VenDor There’s More Than MeeTs The eYe When selecting a business intelligence Thinking ahead that works in both operational systems vendor, many factors figure in. These as Bi usage increases, it’s likely that and data warehousing environments include the company’s experience, your organization will deploy it against will provide your organization with maxi- reputation, and stability, as well as additional systems and databases. mum deployment flexibility and support its professional services capabilities While a database vendor may offer a strong growth path. and the quality and strength of its its own proprietary Bi technology, partnerships. what happens when your organization finally, keep in mind that your organiza- decides to use another database? tion will likely grow and expand. it may Key Factors in Vendor Choice a major advantage of choosing a Bi not be a giant today, but it could be one specialist is its ability to work with a tomorrow. Choose a vendor that has one element you might not think of wide variety of data sources. successful and extensive experience immediately is the vendor’s education with organizations of all sizes. and if and training capabilities, but these may Consider the vendor’s product delivery you expect to operate on an interna- be crucial to your ability to introduce options. While many vendors will only tional scale someday, a vendor with the new technology smoothly. While allow you to license their products to a multinational presence is highly many vendors offer on-site and in-house run on your company’s servers, others desirable. training, a few have developed self- also provide “on-demand” or software paced, computer-based training that as a service (saas) options. here, the can assist new users in getting started vendor hosts the software on its own or help experienced users master servers and enables customers to use advanced product features quickly. it through their Web browsers. The saas model can be especially appealing select a vendor with a proven record to small companies that wish to mini- of accomplishment and a history of mize up-front startup costs, with the successful growth – both in revenues option to bring the software in-house and capabilities. solid growth and prof- when it makes economic sense. itability indicate both astute manage- ment and product acceptance, as well Preparing for Growth as the ability to serve customers well a vendor with a large cadre of partners and invest in the future. Choose a vendor – both software vendors and consul- that’s large enough to retain its inde- tants – will prove invaluable. one pendence. a history of acquiring and measure of “openness” is the number successfully integrating complementary of other software products that a Bi technology is another good sign. This tool works with. a vendor that actively company is more likely to be able to encourages partnerships is likely to react quickly to new market demands have little problem integrating its tech- and to supply the technology your com- nology with your current and future pany needs. and a vendor that can software environments. vendors with demonstrate vision, innovation, and a strong base of consulting partners industry leadership is one that may make it easier to find outside expertise well be able to anticipate its customers’ should your organization have special future requirements. requirements. further, a product set 12 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  • 13. conclusion iMProveD analYsis for More effeCTive Business DeCisions Managers have the responsibility to For More Information make the best decisions possible, based upon the data available to them To learn more about how products from at the time. if their ability to analyze this saP and Business objects, an saP data and transform it into useful infor- company, can support your business mation is improved, the overall quality intelligence initiatives, please call of their decisions will improve as well. your saP representative, or visit www.businessobjects.com/product Business intelligence provides a spec- /platforms/midmarket.asp. trum of tools and solutions to support this aim. it’s the underlying technology behind more effective decision making. By helping align individual and depart- mental efforts with overall corporate strategies, it should lead to improved organizational results. While many small and midsize com- panies have relied on spreadsheets as their primary Bi tool, most of them have come to realize that this is a stopgap solution. This is not to say that spread- sheets should be abandoned; rather, they should be a part of an organiza- tion’s Bi tool set. The key is to choose the right commercial Bi product suite that integrates with spreadsheet environments while supporting your long-term growth. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 13
  • 14. 50 088 770 (08/03) ©2008 by saP aG. all rights reserved. saP, r/3, xapps, xapp, saP netWeaver, Duet, Partneredge, ByDesign, saP Business ByDesign, and other saP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of saP aG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. Business objects and the Business objects logo, Businessobjects, and Crystal reports are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business objects s.a. or its affiliated companies in the united states and other countries. all other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. national product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by saP aG and its affiliated companies (“saP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and saP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for saP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. www.sap.com /contactsap