business intelligence - what is it?

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Dennis RiunguBSc. Computer TechnologyJomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technologydenpalrius@live.com

Business Intelligence

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Business Intelligence(BI) is about delivering relevant and reliable information to the right people at the right time with the goal of achieving better decisions faster.

What is Business Intelligence?

Going from raw data into organized information

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How it worksBI takes the vast amount of data presented by businesses and presents it in a meaningful and actionable way.

To do this, BI requires special methods and programs to collect & structure data convert it into information and present it to improve business decisions.

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Fields of Business IntelligencePerformance managementReportsReports Interface, Steps to answer, Graphs and charts, Score CardsSelf ServiceCalculated Fields, Filter based on data columns, Data Discovery, Search, Collaboration/Workflow, Auto modeling, Data & Text MiningAdvanced AnalyticsPredictive Analytics, Data Visualization, Big Data ServicesBuilding ReportsData Transformation, Data Modeling, WYSIWYG report designA lot more

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A StoryTrain station is like your businesss data You need to collect information on metrics. Consult 4 different experts and ask them where/how you can find this information. Then you would have to go to your intern and ask them to compile all this data for you.

When travelling home and you walk into a train station, do you have to ask an attendant where the train to your route is? The train station include labels signs to help travelers wait on right platform.

Goal = To make it simple to navigate

When travelling home and you walk into a train station, do you have to ask an attendant where the train to your route is? The train station include labels signs to help travelers wait on right platform. What is the goal of this? To make it simple to Navigate.Now imagine the train station is like your businesss data and you need to collect information on line filling rates, passenger alighting and embarking, peak times and route-specific characteristic eg the busy routes at which time of day, nature of cargo. For these, you are likely to consult 4 different experts and ask them where/how you can find this information. Then you would have to go to your intern and ask them to compile all this data for you.

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Lesson from storyColored lines on the floor to guide you to your train boarding platform, payment machine, exit gate and in simple terms, to help you navigate your data on your own and find what you need without relying on others.

BI

BI is all about taking your messy information and turning it into a tidy and accessible train station with colored lines on the floor to guide you to your train boarding platform, payment machine, exit gate and in simple terms, to help you navigate your data on your own and find what you need without relying on others.Maybe for Underground Metro they have lines on the floor guiding them to their desired train, as long as they have the boarding time and train number. Organizations no longer have to dig through complex webs of linked spreadsheets, analyzing the data manually and mashing together reports.Instead, employees can use BI systems to REQUEST THE INFORMATION THEY NEED!

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Lesson from storyOrganizations no longer have to dig through complex webs of linked spreadsheets, analyzing the data manually and mashing together reports.

Instead, employees can use BI systems to REQUEST THE INFORMATION THEY NEED!

BI = Tidy Organized Train Station

How about Physical and online stores?

BI is all about taking your messy information and turning it into a tidy and accessible train station with colored lines on the floor to guide you to your train boarding platform, payment machine, exit gate and in simple terms, to help you navigate your data on your own and find what you need without relying on others.Maybe for Underground Metro they have lines on the floor guiding them to their desired train, as long as they have the boarding time and train number. Organizations no longer have to dig through complex webs of linked spreadsheets, analyzing the data manually and mashing together reports.Instead, employees can use BI systems to REQUEST THE INFORMATION THEY NEED!

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Strategic Decision MakingBI them comes in a great deal when there is a need to make strategic business decisions.

Anytime access to organized data means that:You can discover inefficient business processes & hidden patternsIdentify areas of strength and weaknessDiscover new opportunities

All these contribute in your better understanding of business operations and challenges.

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If you need Accurate, understandable and actionable information on demand, then Business Intelligence might be right for you

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The History of BIRichard Millar Devens 1865 work,Cyclopaedia of Commercial and Business Anecdotescontains the first known usage of the term business intelligence. He uses it to describe the way that a banker, Sir Henry Furnese, succeeded: he had an understanding of political issues, instabilities, and the market before his competitors.Business intelligence existed before technology.Throughout Holland, Flanders, France, and Germany, he maintained a complete and perfect train of business intelligence, Devens writes of Furnese. The newswas thus received first by him.

Furnese ultimately used this advance knowledge to duplicitous ends and became renowned as a corrupt financier. The idea of gathering information on business conditions, however, was a seed that would grow.

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Origins & Development until 1958Technology did not advance to the point where it could be considered an agent of business intelligence until well into the 20th century.Howard Dresnercoined the modern definition of the term business intelligence in 1989, at least in the sense it is typically used in the industry today (end user access to and analysis of structured content, i.e., data).

But especially now that text analysis is becoming part of mainstream BI, the real credit for the term should go to an earlier pioneer:Hans-Peter Luhn, who wrote a 1958 IBM Journal article titled Business Intelligence. Luhn also cited Webster's Dictionary definition of intelligence: the ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal.Hun was, a prolific inventor and an expert in text analysis. Today, he is popularly recognized as theFather of Business Intelligence. This year, July 1st 2016, would have been his 120th birthday

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Advancements into the late 1980sIBMs invention of the hard disk in 1956 revolutionized data storage. Floppy discs, laser discs, and other storage technologies meant that just as more and more data was being created, so too were there more and more places to store it.This spawned the creation of the first database management systems, collectively referred to as decision support systems (DSS). By the 1970s a few BI vendors popped up with tools that made accessing and organizing this data possible.But it was a new and clumsy technology. Most importantly, it was very difficult to use.A 1988 international conference aimed to streamline data processes. The Multiway Data Analysis consortium, held in Rome, was a landmark in simplifying BI analysis.

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Turning Points in the 80s & 90sIn 1989 Gartner analyst Howard Dresner again brought the phrase business intelligence into the common vernacular. He employed it as a general term to cover the cumbersome-sounding names for data storage and data analysis, names like DSS and executive information system (EIS).Competition from more vendors in the field led to advances including data warehouses. Along with this development came supplemental facets of data warehousing that are staples of BI today. These included Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tools and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) software.In later years, this phase of development became known as business intelligence 1.0.

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Business Intelligence 1.0During this period, there were two basic functions of BI: Producing data and reportsOrganizing it and visualizing it in a presentable way.Yet there remained two significant issues holding back this developing phase of the technology: ComplexityTime.Existing BI tools had not been developed with anyone but experts in mind, and extensive analytics training was required to gain insights. Only technical experts were able to utilize advanced data analysis software. Tools began to evolve to cater to non-technical users, but it happened slowly

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Business Intelligence 2.0The dawn of the 21st century marked a distinct turning point:Complexity and speedOnset of Cloud-based programs that expanded and simplified the reach of BI platforms.Real-time processing, which incorporated information from events as they happened into data warehouses, allowing companies to make decisions based on the most recent information available.Self-service access for non-expert usersThe exponential growth of the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs gave users very simple and very quick ways of sharing ideas and opinions.(2005)Keeping abreast of the competition, and understand what their consumers wanted and what they thought of their company.

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Empowering End Users into the Modern DayThese are three of the most important traits of the next frontier of BI evolution.Improving visualization

Tool specification

Expanding self-service options

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Cloud BI and Mobile BIVendors experimented with faster and cheaper tools.

One way to achieve both was through cloud

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