Business Intelligent Systems
For the first time, the term business intelligence was put into circulation by Gartner analysts in the late 1980s. as a "user-centric process, including access and exploration of information, its analysis, development of intuition and understanding that lead to improved and informal decision-making." This term also presupposes the availability of "tools for analyzing data, building reports and queries that can help business users to rework huge amounts of data in order to synthesize meaningful information from them - today these tools collectively fall into the category of the so-called business- Intelligence (Business Intelligence) .
This definition of BI allows you to include in this subject area a sufficiently large number of methods and tools for working with information and knowledge, as well as their application in business (Figure 12.16). Their spectrum is extremely wide. Currently, the program BI-products fall into two main classes: BI-tools and BI-applications.
The first category includes query and report generators. Developed BI tools are primarily tools for online analytical processing of OLAP, corporate BI-suites (Enterprise BI Suites - EBIS), as well as various specialized BI-platforms.
Most BI tools are used by end-users to access multidimensional and structured data and information arrays, for analyzing and generating data reports that reside in Data Warehouse, kiosk and Data Mart or online data warehouses (Prompt Data Base). Desktop OLAP tools (Business Object Explorer, Cognos PowerPlay, MS Data Analyzer) allow the user to quickly manipulate multidimensional and consolidated data for multi-purpose reconnaissance of the situation, preparation of development scenarios and evaluation of the probability of implementation.
Fig. 12.16. Structure of BI technology
As for the second category, then BI platforms have tool kits for creating, implementing, supporting and maintaining BI applications. There are developed applications with custom end user interfaces, organized around specific business problems, with targeted analysis and models of economic situations. When choosing a BI platform, consider such characteristics as architecture distribution, modularity, portability, scalability, support for common XML standards, OLE DB for OLAP, CORBA, COM/DCOM and the ability to work on the Internet.
An example of a practical BI application is the information management system of the EIS, part of which is the Executive Support Systems (ESS). ESS helps to make unstructured decisions at the company's strategic management level and conduct system analysis of information from the external environment better than any applied and specialized IP.
The system delivers a set of current information, usually external: stock prices, supply and demand for the industry, political news, economic reviews, forecasts of price dynamics and choice of the optimal structure of the investment portfolio (based on various empirical models of market dynamics), analytical data accounting for the enterprise from internal modules MIS and DSS. It filters, organizes data and identifies critical parameters according to specified statistical criteria, reducing time and effort to prepare the information needed for the manager. In ESS systems, the most advanced graphic software that can deliver the desired graphic, audio and video information immediately to the head office or meeting room (Figure 12.17).
ESS systems often use a simple statistical device, but take into account the specificity of the field of business (professional language, systems of various indexes, etc.) as much as possible. There are many software modules on the market for embedding in ESS. As a rule, they are relatively cheap (usually 1000-5000 dollars). Today, ESS modules in the form of specialized subsystems are an indispensable part of many ERP-systems.
Unlike other IS subsystems (TPS, MIS, DSS), ESS are not designed to solve a certain range of problems. Instead, systems of this type provide generalized non-formalized information and its operational transmission for assessing situations with a dynamically changing set of problems. ESS systems use a simpler evaluation algorithm than DSS, its analytical capabilities allow building relatively simple models that can be immediately applied to a preliminary situation assessment.
Fig. 12.17. General scheme of the executive information system
Changed, for example, tax legislation or customs duties rates - the head of the company can quickly lose the situation in order to assess what this will result for his business, and take some preventive measures. The ESS subsystem helps to find answers to common questions:
• What changes do we need to make in our business to get (return) a competitive advantage?
• What new acquisitions, including those in the IT field, will protect us from cyclical fluctuations in the economy?
• What are our competitors doing to outrun us, what should we do to outrun them?
• Which divisions of the corporation should be closed and which shares should be sold in the first place, in order to reduce the impact on our business of a general decline in the industry?
ESS forms information packages on the given topics and provides comfortable access for executives of companies and corporations without intermediaries. The ESS interface is extremely friendly - it uses visual graphics, audio and video facilities, mobile communications, modern methods of storing and presenting data, as well as video conferencing in distributed companies.
Modern ESS makes extensive use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies. GIS until recently did not receive a worthy application because of the high cost and the need to add relevant software modules and interfaces. Multidisciplinary and multinational corporations of the last quarter of the end of the 20th century, connected with oil, geological exploration, air transport, fishing, tourism, made GIS a mandatory application to the general information system.
In contrast to expert systems and compact data analysis applications, executive information systems are usually made "under the order and in the form of executive modules they are included in the corporate information system. Managers in the workplace have the opportunity to participate in distributed business meetings, brainstorming and preparing responsible decisions, and business partners can effectively communicate on B2B exchanges using all the possibilities of the Internet.
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