Business Intelligence And ERP Systems
Business intelligence [BI] is the only way to extract full value
from corporate data.
ERP systems manage business operations, collecting critical data
such as who your customers are, what they buy, when they buy it
and what kinds of problems you may be having. Yet ERP systems do
not reveal most of this information to the business, and where the
information is available, it is not configured and presented in
a format that is readily usable to support day to day tactical decisions.
Predictive analytics converts ERP data into actionable information.
Integrated ERP BI vs Stand Alone
Most leading BI vendors such as Cognos, SPSS and SAS and more
horizontal solution providers such as Teradata, Unica and Oracle
have developed integration solutions into ERP systems as well a
other line of business applications such as call center, marketing
and revenue assurance.
ERP vendors may also bundle BI solutions into their enterprise
packages at little additional cost, in an effort to shortcut a BI/ERP
roadmap. Unfortunately the BI component generally falls short of
best-of-breed BI solutions. Stand alone BI solutions better integrate
with other applications to extract data from more sources.
SOA and BI
BI and predictive analytics leverage investments in service-oriented
architecture [SOA]. SOA services are highly customizable. So if
they are already being used to integrate your enterprise applications,
they can also be customized to monitor the business activity flowing
over those systems. Both Cognos 8 and Business Objects XI are built
SOA initiatives often get isolated as small, localized deployments
with little strategic visibility or scale. By exposing BI and ERP
services through SOA, a more strategic business case can be made
for further deployments.
Value of BI Integration To ERP
Data contained within ERP systems is generally only visible through
labour intensive, canned departmental reports. For many of these
reports, the information is only available to siloed groups of end
Releasing data through portal accessed dashboards makes the information
visible to the entire enterprise, enabling different users to drill
down and across data, for analysts to perform their own hoc analyses
and reporting, typically reducing IT report building staff by 20
Viewing all tactical data held in an ERP system gets an enterprise
out of reactive mode and supports the organisation further along
the BI Maturity Cycle towards an insightful model where predictive
analytics modules are used to identify customer satisfaction problems
before they occur or as soon as they occur, thereby preventing churn.
Other business users integrate BI capability in the value chain
to improve and eliminate workflows.
Using BI to increase the benefits from ERP transforms your ERP
system from a cost of doing business into a strategic asset. It
also fosters tighter integration between your IT department and
the rest of the company.
Next: Using BI For Decision Making
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