The idea of Business Intelligence (BI) has a lot to do with the concept of Big Data, which refers to a large volume of primary information that comes from different sources and circulates at a high speed. The advantage of a large volume of rapid data circulation is that it allows incorporating information from machines, smartphones, and social networks, but at the same time, it requires more profitable and innovative procedures for its processing.
In this way, BI tools allow optimizing the access and treatment of the information, so that it becomes available in a strategic way for the company decisions. This means, empowering the users with tools and governance to explore the data of their own businesses. A BI strategy makes it possible to generate added value in what is known as the «Pyramid of Knowledge». It is a competitive advantage for business solutions.
The Pyramid of Knowledge, or «DIKW Hierarchy», is a model that represents the relationships between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. Data is established as the base of the pyramid, you can reach it through perception. Finding out how data work makes it possible to generate information. When the patterns of information are discovered, a learning process takes place and knowledge is achieved. Understanding the principles of knowledge and being able to process them in a critical way, enables reaching a state of wisdom.
The role of Business Intelligence is to carry out a circular and interrelated process that includes the improvement in the decision-making procedure, the reduction of risk in bottlenecks, the accompaniment of each business to know and lead its area, the facilitation for accessing and sharing information, the identification of dissipation in the processes and the ability to analyze in real time rapid navigation. The BI has to prepare possible scenarios for decision-making, so it is fundamental to take through reports, multidimensional analysis, and sales forecasts. In this way, the BI suggests possible structural changes to improve customer service.
The key for BI is understanding the authentic need of the users in what it has to do with information and communication, in order to facilitate automation procedures. Nowadays, it is elementary to make a properly dispose of Big Data, to obtain a competitive advantage in the business world. Many companies are implementing BI systems, and it is expected that over time it will be an essential component for any organization.
Static reports have been relegated by those who propose an interaction with users. Traditional BI presents predefined objects of analysis by common metadata: dimensions, hierarchies, indicators, and others, which have homogeneity in the concepts of analysis. This type of BI requires repositories of data, as datamart or data warehouse, with ETL homogenization processes and, in general lines, implies greater involvement of part of the IT area. On the other hand, the BI Self-Service presents greater flexibility in the analysis, where the user decides what is used as dimension, indicator, and hierarchy. In this case, the creation of data warehouse repositories, or previous ETL processes, is not required. The BI Self-Service allows greater independence of the IT area and is more suitable for smaller organizations with lower complexity and volume of information.
According Forbes Insights investigation, in which more than 400 professionals from the world of technology and business participated, more than 50% of the respondents considered that self-service enables a better visualization of data, which makes it possible to establish prices in a dynamic and optimized way, and that facilitates the final users to carry out more visual analysis processes. 65% of them argued that BI self-service increases productivity and 40% said that it grants a significant competitive advantage.
Trends in business intelligence predict that by 2020, 70% of organizations will have implemented some kind of Business Intelligence solution regarding Big Data, Data Integration – ETL, advanced and statistical analysis, cloud and mobile, IoT and RRSS, real-time analysis, geoanalysis, and self-service. Data-driven businesses are more likely to make decisions faster than their peers in the market and to have a better financial performance within industries, so we believe that BI is changing the way companies advance.