Business intelligence is a technology-driven process for analyzing data and preparing actionable information to make data-driven decisions. Business intelligence comprises strategies and technology used by the enterprises for data analysis of business information. Business intelligence technologies can handle large amounts of structured and unstructured data to identify, develop and create new strategic business opportunities. They aim to allow for the easy interpretation of these big data to identify new opportunities and implementing an effective strategy based on insights that can provide businesses with a competitive market advantage and long-term stability.
Types of Business Intelligence
There is a cloud of debate among decision makers in business to choose the type of business intelligence they should adopt. When managers have a good idea of what they wish to analyze sales figures or customer satisfaction stats but they are not aware of the end results then most preferred tool is strategic business intelligence. When decision makers stand on the option they “don’t know” strategic business intelligence is adopted. There are instances in a business organization where managers deliver anticipated information in such situations operational business intelligence is the best preferred over strategic intelligence. This is mainly because operational intelligence emphasizes on standard tasks that employees need to complete. From an organization perspective, the identity and properties of task help the employee to complete the assigned work in a specific time frame. Consider an example of operational intelligence where an account manager in an organization makes an entry of a new order for the customer. Most of the organization would like the account manager to know intelligence about the customer’s credit status and whether he has any overdue invoices.
Strategic Business Intelligence
Strategic Business Intelligence also known as auto-delivered intelligence is often associated with reporting from an analytical data source or data warehouse. Basically, strategic business intelligence improves a business process by analyzing a predetermined set of data relevant to that process and provides historical context of data. In addition, strategic intelligence provides the base for forecasting, goal-setting, planning and direction. Strategic business intelligence needs to be delivered in an interactive manner, enabling the manager to present his views on data in different ways. Also, strategic business intelligence emphasizes on its output on a graphical display such as charts and graphs to represent trends, opportunities and problem areas. Strategic business intelligence converges on four important parameters:
• Collection and storage of data
• Optimisation of data for analysis
• Identification of crucial business drivers through past data records
• Seeking answers to key business questions
Operational Business Intelligence
Operational business intelligence is associated with the transactional or operational data source and is consistent with reporting data during organizational processes. In general, operational business intelligence provides time-sensitive, relevant information to operations managers, business professionals, and front-line, customer-facing employees to support daily work processes. Also if the data retrieved from the analysis directly supports or helps complete operational tasks, then the intelligence is operational in nature. But operational business intelligence demands recipients time as possible which iron out the information presented in an interactive manner. Since operational business intelligence is task oriented there is less need of charts and graphs. Consider an example informing a staff member in an organization regarding information on client’s credit or on over dues. In such a scenario graphical representation won’t hold good but a brief message will solve the problem. Hence communication methods and devices play a vital role in operational business intelligence. Thus, operational business intelligence comprises multiple delivery methods like instant message, email, dashboard and Twitter. The output from an operational business intelligence include invoices, schedules, shipping documents, receipts and financial statements.
There is a difference in the kind of information processed in operational and strategic business intelligence according to the target customers. Also, there is quite a difference in the way the information is being delivered in accord with their requirement in both operational and strategic business intelligence. Albeit these differences strategic and operational business intelligence is more in demand in the IT world.