The Aesop fable of the hare and tortoise reminds us that in our daily lives, rushing from start to finish is not necessarily the best course of action.
In business however, being slow out of the blocks can be problematic. Speed to market is vital in today’s eCommerce environment and an enterprise needs to be nimble and responsive to survive.
You ‘need to know what you need to know‘ to be able to know where you are, and what you need to do to be where you want to be. It is not simply a question of strategic planning, it is also about having access to the right analytical tool set to make sound business judgments.
This is why Business Intelligence (often referred to by its acronym ‘BI’) is of vital importance. IBM researcher Hans Peter Luhn first coined the phrase in a 1958 article, but what exactly is it and how can it be applied?
In the early days of computing, data was siloed in standalone systems and extracting it, or making any sense of the overall and cohesive position of the company, was well nigh impossible. Disparate and incompatible systems didn’t help either!
What was needed was as suitable infrastructure where data could be collected, exchanged and analyzed. The ‘data warehouse‘ was developed to provide and enterprise overview.
Wikipedia describes business intelligence as:
“… a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making“.
BI is in purest form is about finding out the context and meaning of data, how it can provide knowledge and enterprise foresight and how it can expedite decision making. In other words, you can’t make good decisions without good intelligence.
In system terms, a Business Intelligence portal is a friendly user interface to your data warehouse and BI applications. The best of these solutions have powerful data-mining engines which are capable of delivering complex analysis from a data warehouse’s database and reporting tools which present a comprehensive and user-friendly view of an enterprise’s performance. Adhoc queries and virtualization are all catered for and the systems provide predictive modelling which is vital for any form of strategic planning.
Two companies that understand an enterprise’s need for Business Intelligence are Web Synergies of Singapore & India and TAH from the UK. Together they have formed a new joint venture company called Vine Cube, whose primary focus will be on BI.
This new company will be officially launched in Singapore by the British High Commissioner on February 27th.
Vine Cube and its parent company Web Synergies offer complete suites of Business Intelligence solutions for collating, analysing, documenting and reporting data. So if your business does not yet have the full performance picture on which to base sound analysis and make decisions, then contact Vine Cube or Web Synergies today for an obligation-free consultation.
All good fables have a moral and this one should be “don’t be like a tortoise” if you don’t want to end up in the soup!