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technological advances of today's society seem to grow as rapidly as the human population itself. Human interaction with this technology defines its culture and allows a certain way of life to flourish or diminish. In today's world, Business Intelligence (BI) represents a tool for those within economic markets. This technique combines the raw power of computers and the ability to acquire and sort events amounts of data with the human management element that uses data to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of the organization. It seems however that the technological advances have far out reached the human understanding of what they can actually do. BI is an underused technology in my opinion and the purpose of this essay is to explore this idea by suggesting ways that businesses can use BI to their best advantage. I have created a three-step plan that simplifies this process and can practically improve any business that wishes to use business intelligence as means to improve their competitive advantage within any particular industry.
The business intelligence guide suggested the common mistakes of BI programs and separate them into categories, by the business or management and by the IT department. In any particular business, often the data quality is subpar and managers cannot use the data effectively a poor understanding of house spreadsheets are used, or there's too much information. Information technology specialists are often assumed that bigger is often better and can often forget that this process is an ongoing system that needs constant maintenance and supervision. To me, these mistakes are obvious and generic in any type of communication problem. In order to solve this problem it is necessary to take the first step of understanding the exact problem.
Businesses need to take the first step of performing hard-core self-analysis of what the business really is and what its essence contains. This is to me the most important step in any type of systemic change or alteration. Having a clearly defined mission needs to be understood by all those with any type of relationship to the BI program. Business intelligence programs need to be centered around this idea of the mission and it cannot successfully align itself until common definitions and useful terminologies have been accepted by all. Defining terms is most important in the step. What is profit? Where does the company see itself after the business intelligence programs that implement? What is the ultimate goal of the company? These questions need to be answered in order for success to be reached in my opinion.
Often times, independent consultants, linked with business intelligence systems ignore this primary and most important step understandably so. It is up to the managers and the business side personnel to clearly define these important terms in order for communication to be successfully engaged. Goodwin (2011) seemed to support this notion when he noted "a combination of poor communication between IT and the business, the failure to ask the right questions or to think about the real needs of the business, means most business intelligence projects fail to deliver ." This information technology point-of-view, may contain bias towards refusing to accept blame for certain failures of business intelligence. But if one company is to outsource this particular system, it is up to the management themselves to ensure that they and their subordinates understand the baseline definitions and overall reaching goals of the company.
Step one of this suggested program is completed when the company truly understands its mission and the standard operating procedures have been implemented either verbally, written and are implicitly and explicitly understood. The second step that businesses may take to improving their business intelligence systems involves logically gathering and assimilating the understood objectives and principles into a formulated plan of action. Analysis, qualitative and quantitative, of any future decisions occurs during this critical step.
Unlike in the first step, where management takes a dominant if not sole possibility for determining principles, information technology specialists and business managers begin to synergistically combine their forces and efforts to reach a logical business intelligence system solution. The second step is a meeting of the minds where IT processes are developed and abstract mission statements are brought into realization through technological advancements. The Business Intelligence Guide suggested several main technology solution models that…[continue]
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