Business intelligence (BI) tools are programs, software, and applications that are designed to help locate, retrieve, analyze, and document data. More simply, business intelligence tools are designed to make the flow of data manageable, allowing organizations large and small, the ability to turn unstructured data into something actionable.
One of the most important reasons why you need to invest in an effective BI system is because such a system can improve efficiency within your organization and, as a result, increase productivity. You can use business intelligence to share information across different departments in your organization. This will enable you to save time on reporting processes and analytics. This ease in information sharing is likely to reduce duplication of roles/duties within the organization and improve the accuracy and usefulness of the data generated by different departments. Furthermore, information sharing also saves time and improves productivity.
There are two different types of display boards that appear to be similar, but would actually be used for different uses.
- Business Intelligence Dashboard– This displays the information that is currently in the works of the company. Everything displayed here will be an up to date report on what the company is doing. This is the board that shows the company what departments are succeeding in, and which ones need a little more attention.
- Performance Scoreboard– Here, the information displayed is in comparison to the company’s overall goals. The company’s current numbers will be aligned with their corresponding goal values, which allows them to dictate if they are on track with their projections.
Business intelligence goes beyond the profit and loss statement and balance sheet to give insights into the true health of an organization. Many BI applications can integrate with your accounting software to find out trends that would otherwise remain hidden from the executives. Business intelligence is not limited to tracking KPIs (key performance indicators), it includes forecasting to avoid bottlenecks and time-critical decisions like purchasing or hiring. By showcasing data from multiple angles BI can highlight problems that would normally be missed out in traditional analysis techniques.
Ndimension Labs is striving for new trend and building an application for some high end customers.
Some of the Dataflow activity diagram.