Economic and regulatory pressures, along with the need to stay competitive in the marketplace, have made business intelligence (BI) more important than ever for enterprise application users. BI gives users the ability to extract, consolidate, change, and analyze data in ways that are not possible in other approaches to enterprise applications. BI also allows users to exploit subsets of data within disparate organizational systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), finance, and human resources (HR) to combine various dimensions of organizational data in order to create a single view.
To build BI solutions within an organization, data warehousing, data integration, analytics, scorecards, and dashboards must also be considered. Each organization has its own use for some (or all) of these tools, depending on how it chooses to use the available tools. We’ll look at the main BI components, and at the way BI tools can be applied within an organization.