SAP Business Intelligence

Empower your people with self-service access to the data and visualizations they need to make faster, more informed decisions - with SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) software. Drive smarter processes, improve performance metric tracking, and help your employees become more effective in everything they do.

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes. BI can handle large amounts of information to help identify and develop new opportunities. Making use of new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy can provide a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.

BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies are reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics.

  • Measurement - program that creates a hierarchy of performance metrics (see also Metrics Reference Model) and benchmarking that informs business leaders about progress towards business goals (business process management).
  • Analytics - program that builds quantitative processes for a business to arrive at optimal decisions and to perform business knowledge discovery. Frequently involves: data mining, process mining, statistical analysis, predictive analytics, predictive modeling, business process modeling, complex event processing and prescriptive analytics.
  • Reporting/enterprise reporting - program that builds infrastructure for strategic reporting to serve the strategic management of a business, not operational reporting. Frequently involves data visualization, executive information system and OLAP.
  • Collaboration/collaboration platform - program that gets different areas (both inside and outside the business) to work together through data sharing and electronic data interchange.
  • Knowledge management - program to make the company data driven through strategies and practices to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of insights and experiences that are true business knowledge. Knowledge management leads to learning management and regulatory compliance.

In addition to above, business intelligence also can provide a pro-active approach, such as ALARM function to alert immediately to end-user. There are many types of alerts, for example if some business value exceeds the threshold value the color of that amount in the report will turn RED and the business analyst is alerted. Sometimes an alert mail will be sent to the user as well. This end to end process requires data governance, which should be handled by the expert.

A Business Intelligence portal

BI portal is the primary access interface for Data Warehouse (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI) applications. The BI portal is the users first impression of the DW/BI system. It is typically a browser application, from which the user has access to all the individual services of the DW/BI system, reports and other analytical functionality. The BI portal must be implemented in such a way that it is easy for the users of the DW/BI application to call on the functionality of the application.

The BI portal's main functionality is to provide a navigation system of the DW/BI application. This means that the portal has to be implemented in a way that the user has access to all the functions of the DW/BI application.

The most common way to design the portal is to custom fit it to the business processes of the organization for which the DW/BI application is designed, in that way the portal can best fit the needs and requirements of its users.

The BI portal needs to be easy to use and understand, and if possible have a look and feel similar to other applications or web content of the organization the DW/BI application is designed for consistency.

The following is a list of desirable features for web portals in general and BI portals in particular:

Usable:User should easily find what they need in the BI tool.
Content Rich:The portal is not just a report printing tool; it should contain more functionality such as advice, help, support information and documentation.
Clean:The portal should be designed so it is easily understandable and not over complex as to confuse the users
Current:The portal should be updated regularly.
Interactive:The portal should be implemented in a way that makes it easy for the user to use its functionality and encourage them to use the portal. Scalability and customization give the user the means to fit the portal to each user.
Value Oriented:It is important that the user has the feeling that the DW/BI application is a valuable resource that is worth working on.

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