Business Intelligence and Analytics (BIA) the term was defined in year 1989 by Howard Dresner of the Gartner Group and is all about development of systems, technologies, applications and practices that help analysing complex and critical business data so as to develop new insights about markets and businesses (Lim, et al., 2013). BIA’s prime objective is to support businesses in their decision making process by providing them easy and interactive access to diverse data, allow them transformation and manipulation of available data and provide business analysts and managers the ability to perform appropriate analysis which lead to best decisions. The principles and techniques of Business Intelligence and Analytics (BIA) thus help enhancing the performance effectiveness and efficiency of an organisation and enable them achieve desired goals and performance objectives.
Business intelligence can be defined as the related knowledge and information of an organisation that help defining its business environment, economic issues, customers and competitors, market conditions and in a way the organisation itself (Ghazanfari, et al., 2011).Business intelligence lifecycle involves the design, development, and management approach to BI. The business users are incorporated in the design phase and focus is given to generating data models, data integration mappings, database objects and front-end semantic layers based on business user inputs (´c, et al., 2013). BI Lifecycle help transforming data into intelligence and comprise of four main phases namely; Collection, reporting, analysis and visualisation which corresponds of infancy, adolescence, adulthood and maturity phase respectively.
Apple Inc. is an American Multination Corporation that was founded in year 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak. The company is involved in the design, development and selling of consumer electronics, online services, computer software and personal computers (Apple Inc., 2015). Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple has recorded $182 billion as worldwide annual revenue in year 2014. Apple enjoys a large market share and a huge brand loyalty making it the world’s most valuable brand having a valuation of $118.9 billion. In order to keep a pulse on how the company is performing and operating Apple Inc. invest huge amount on business intelligence and analytics. BIA is helping them in ensuring continuous improvement in processes and performance and thus enhance customer experience.
Dashboards are defined as graphical presentation that helps depicting company’s performance measures (Loshin, 2003). They help in publishing linked reported, multi-objects and parameters with interactive and intuitive displays. They help identifying the gap actual and targets. Sliders, gauges, checkboxes and maps are some of the visualisation components. Dashboards and BIA help managers in decision making process and determining and improving company’s performance. They help identifying negative trends and correcting them after they are identified. Dashboards help enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of newly made decisions (Ghazanfari, et al., 2011). They help measuring company’s performance and other parameters and defining its strategies and goals as a whole. Dashboards also help enhancing employees’ efficiency as it is automated and easy to learn and maintain. Dashboards also help enhancing employee motivation by making them aware of new trends, company’s market position and strategies. Apart from all these benefits dashboards are advantageous because they are customisable, complete, help drilling into details, intuitive and interactive and can even be accessed by mobile device thus making then the most preferred BIA tool by businesses.
There are three main types of dashboards namely; strategic which focus on KPI’s, operational dashboards which focus on operational side of business and analytical that offer drill down functionally (Lim, et al., 2013). Both internal and external data will be needed in order to prepare a dashboard however data requirement vary with the type of dashboard that needs to be created. Internal data could be related to human resources like today headcounts, attrition rates, promotions etc. Internal data include data generated by the operations of an organisation (Brijs, 2012). This information is procured and consolidated from different divisions within an organisation. Some common example of internal data include number of purchase orders generated by sales team, sales orders generated by procurement, transactions performed by finance, leads generated from marketing, and customer records. External data include data that is not collected within the organisation as for example data collected from reputed search engines, business magazines like Forbes and proprietary databases (Brijs, 2012). All these data will be consolidated in order to prepare an effective dashboard.
Quality and availability for relevant data is the biggest challenge faced during implementation of an effective dashboard (Ghazanfari, et al., 2011). A lot of data can be gather from internal and external source however it is important that the data gathered is reliable, accurate and relevant for the type of dashboard that needs to be prepared. Some other challenges that are faced during dashboard implementation arise from factors such as poor communications among different business units and divisions, lack of clearly defined strategy and expectation from dashboard, office politics that prohibit real time data sharing and very limited budget.
Depending on the type of dashboard created its audience could be company’s senior management, employees, partners and suppliers or all of them (Lim, et al., 2013). As dashboard intends to communicate specific message define the audience of a dashboard is most critical step.
Once the dashboard has been designed and its goals and audience identified it can be implemented using the following steps as shown below:
Fig.1. Source: Brijs, (2012)
The implementation team will comprise of subject matter expert, dashboard software expert, business analysts, business intelligence expert, database administrator, IT Manager and Project manager and trainers. In order to develop and implement an effective dashboard it is important to ensure that all these members work in close coordination with each other.
(have provided two samples keep which you like, first is for HCL company, company name not specified in second one.)
Dashboard showing HCL competitive position in terms of deals
Image.1. Source: Kearney (2011)
´c, V. B. V., Bach, M. P. ´. & PopoviË‡c, A., (2013) Supporting performance management with business process management and business intelligence: A case analysis of integration and orchestration. International Journal of Information Management, Volume 30, pp. 613-619.
Andersen, B., (2007) Business Process Improvement Toolbox. Milwaukee: ASQ Quality Press.
Apple Inc., (2015) Jobs at Apple. [Online]
Available at: https://www.apple.com/jobs/us/
Brijs, B., (2012) Business Analysis for Business Intelligence. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Ghazanfari, M., Jafari, M. & Rouhani, S., (2011) A tool to evaluate the business intelligence of enterprise systems. Scientia Iranica, 18(6), pp. 1579-1590.
Kearney, A., (2011) HCL Corporate Presentation April 2011. [Online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/tommyfmain/hcl-corporate-presentation-april-2011 [Accessed 2015].
Lim, E. P., Chen, H. & Chen, G., (2013) Business Intelligence and Analytics: Research Direction. ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems, 3(4), pp. 1-10.
Loshin, D., (2003) Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide, Getting Onboard with Emerging IT. New York: Morgan Kaufmann.
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