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Q. Define the term business intelligence tools? Briefly explain how the data from one end gets transformed into information at the other end?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a generic term used to describe leveraging the organizational internal and external data, information for making the best possible business decisions. The field of Business intelligence is very diverse and comprises the tools and technologies used to access and analyze various types of business information. These tools gather and store the
data and allow the user to view and analyze the information from a wide variety of dimensions and thereby assist the decision-makers make better business decisions. Thus the Business Intelligence (BI) systems and tools play a vital role as far as organizations are concerned in making improved decisions in the current cut throat competitive scenario. In simple terms, Business Intelligence is an environment in which business users receive reliable, consistent, meaningful and timely information. This data enables the business users conduct analyses that yield overall understanding of how the business has been, how it is now and how it will be in the near future. Also, the BI tools monitor the financial and operational health of the organization through generation of various types of reports, alerts, alarms, key performance indicators and dashboards. Business intelligence tools are a type of application software designed to help in making better business decisions. These tools aid in the analysis and presentation of data in a more meaningful way and so play a key role in the strategic planning process of an organization. They illustrate business intelligence in the areas of market research and segmentation, customer profiling, customer support, profitability, and inventory and distribution analysis to name a few. Various types of BI systems viz. Decision Support Systems, Executive Information Systems (EIS), Multidimensional Analysis software or OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) tools, data mining tools are discussed further. Whatever is the type, the Business Intelligence capabilities of the system is to let its users slice and dice the information from their organization's numerous databases without having to wait for their IT departments to develop complex queries and elicit answers.
Although it is possible to build BI systems without the benefit of a data warehouse, most of the systems are an integral part of the user-facing end of the data warehouse in practice. In fact, we can never think of building a data warehouse without BI Systems. That is the reason; sometimes, the words ‘data warehousing’ and ‘business intelligence’ are being used interchangeably.
Below Figure depicts how the data from one end gets transformed to information at the other end for business information.

Roles in Business Intelligence project:
A typical BI Project consists of the following roles and the responsibilities of each of these roles are detailed below:
  • Project Manager:
    • Monitors the progress on continuum basis and is responsible for the success of the project.

  • Technical Architect:
    • Develops and implements the overall technical architecture of the BI system, from the backend hardware/software to the client desktop configurations.

  • Database Administrator (DBA):
    • Keeps the database available for the applications to run smoothly and also involves in planning and executing a backup/recovery plan, as well as performance tuning.

  • ETL Developer:
    • Involves himself in planning, developing, and deploying the extraction, transformation, and loading routine for the data warehouse from the legacy systems.

  • Front End Developer:
    • Develops the front-end, whether it be client-server or over the web.

  • OLAP Developer:
    • Dexlops the OLAP cubes.

  • Data Modeler:
    • Is responsible for taking the data structure that exists in the enterprise and model it into a scheme that is suitable for OLAP analysis.

  • QA Group:
    • Ensures the correctness of the data in the data warehouse.

  • Trainer:
    • Works with the end users to make them familiar with how the front end is set up so that the end users can get the most benefit out of the system.


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