The Data Warehousing Institute defines business intelligence as:
The process, technologies, and tools needed to turn data into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into strategies that drive rewarding business action. Business intelligence encompasses data warehousing, business analytic tools, and content/ knowledge management.
The leading authority on BI Data Warehousing Institute highlights the vital role that data warehouses play. Regrettably, the warehouse includes its value behind the scenes. Its job is to supply data to the prominent tools and applications with which users connect. This background role can conceal its significance, especially given that BI solution vendors regularly highlight the significance of the data warehouse.
Technically, it is not necessary to develop a data warehouse in order to create a BI environment. As a result, there are numerous low quality solutions in the market that prevent the use of data warehouses. Those advocating these options frequently recommend that the absence of a data warehouse is an advantage. They are following the old marketing concept, “If you cannot fix it, feature it.” What many BI pioneers have found, however, is that taking the short cut around data warehousing will certainly put you on a path that causes wasted time and money.
When a data warehouse is used with important data, good things begin to happen. Examples of the many ways in which data warehouse-based BI systems provide value to their users consist of:
Generation of scheduled reports: Moving the development of reports to a BI system increases consistency and precision and frequently minimizes cost. A greater number of better reports arise from the power and capability of BI tools. The creation of reports straight by end users is much easier to achieve in a BI environment.
Packaged analytical applications: A growing variety of exceptional analytical software applications are coming onto the marketplace. These packages supply predefined reports and metrics that business units can use to measure their performance.
Ad hoc reporting and analysis: Considering that the data warehouse gets rid of the need for BI tools to take on deal processing, users can analyze data much faster and create reports more easily. The tools that feature BI systems also have the tendency to greatly enhance the analysis function.
Dynamic presentations through dashboards: A growing number of managers desire access to an interactive screen of updated crucial management data. Sophisticated display screens that show actual time information in innovative, highly visual form are frequently called dashboards. The name originates from the similarity to the control panel on an automobile.
Drill down ability: The leading BI systems all allow users to drill down into the information underlying the summaries in reports and dashboards. The presence of a data warehouse makes it practical to use this capability as much as required. Without one, puts the concern on a user’s access to application data.
Rules and regualtions: Sarbanes-Oxley and related regulations create demands that deal systems can not constantly support. Well-designed BI options can make sure that the required data is retained in the data warehouse for as long as is required by law.
Metadata: Data warehouses sit between source applications and BI tools, creating a perfect chance to predigest some of the data. Metadata is specified as “data about data.” It can include something as easy as an average. Data warehouses can be made use of to produce and store a good deal of metadata of possibly terrific value.
Support for operational process: The production of a sound BI infrastructure is frequently the very best way to meet particular continuous business requirements. The most typical example is to help with the consolidation of financial outcomes within complex organizations, particularly those whose divisions use various software systems. Satisfying regulatory reporting requirements is another typical circumstance.
Data mining: The impressive software tools that can sift through mountains of data and reveal concealed insights work best on a data warehouse.
Security: A data warehouse makes it much easier to provide safe and secure access to those that have a genuine need to certain data and to exclude others. This long list of benefits is what makes BI based on a data warehousing an essential management tool for businesses that have actually reached a specific level of complexity.