The role of business intelligence in business decision making

The dictionary definition of the word intelligence states;

1. The ability to acquire, understand, and use knowledge: a person of extraordinary intelligence.

a. Information, especially secret information gathered about an actual or potential enemy or adversary.
b. The gathering of such information: “Corporate intelligence relies on a slew of tools, some sophisticated, many quite basic”(Neil King and Jess Bravin).
Based on the definitions above, business intelligence can be said to mean the ” The ability to acquire , understand about a business  and use knowledge acquired for the benefit of the business.”
On the 2a definition of intelligence, business intelligence can then be said to include “information, especially secret information gathered about an actual enemy or adversary” in this case the “enemy/adversary could be a competitor or other important players in the business environment.
The end result of all the information gathered through this intelligence process is meant to help in the company’s decision making process as listed in the potential benefits if business intelligence programs below.
The potential benefits of business intelligence programs;
  •  Accelerating and improving decision making
  •  Optimizing internal business processes
  • Increasing operational efficiency; driving new revenues
  • Gaining competitive advantages over business rivals
  •  BI systems can also help companies identify market trends and spot business problems that need to be addressed                                                                    
  • Identify sales trends to develop sales strategies and to manage future sale
  • Manage employee performance 
  • Identify quality issues on the shop floor
  • Optimize business processes through the use of technology
  • Forecast, budget, and plan within a process-centric environment
  • Allow C-level executives the ability to monitor the organization’s performance regularly and centrally throughout the day

In order to achieve these, the business intelligence process uses a lot of data analysis application tools, online analytical processing (OLAP) tools, querying processes and enterprise reporting amongst others to process data mined or stored in data warehouses and marts.

Some of the key players in the area of business intelligence include Microsoft, IBM, Tableau, Domo, SAP, Oracle, Gooddata, Targit, Exact amongst others.







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