Business Intelligence for competitive advantage
In the beginning, businesses used information technology for automating the processes primarily to reduce labor costs. Subsequently, information technology is used for delivering information with speed and accuracy.
Currently, businesses want to use the information effectively for competitive advantage to make better decisions that improve and optimize business processes, predict the market dynamics accurately, optimize forecasts to adequately maintain resources to name a few reasons.
Businesses reached a critical juncture in global competition and the business intelligence capabilities and analytic prowess will play critical roles in the most competitive sectors of global economy.
First of all, business intelligence analysis requires the capturing of information and storing in a single location for effective data analysis. Currently, data analysis is supported by transactional systems, business specific data marts, and other ad-hoc processes. Information is distributed making it difficult and time-consuming to access. Business teams have adapted to this environment by creating user maintained databases and manual “work-arounds” to support new types of reporting and analysis. This has resulted in inconsistent data, redundant data storage, significant resource use for maintenance, and inefficient response to changing business needs.
A data warehouse comprised of disparate data sources enables the “single version of truth” through shared data repositories and standards and also provides access to the data that will expand frequency and depth of data analysis. Due to these reasons, data warehouse is the foundation for business intelligence.
As a Technical Architect, I am involved in the design and development of the Enterprise Data Warehouse at Target. I and many of my colleagues worked hard to make the business case of the importance of the data warehouse and its value addition to the company.