To know what is business intelligence refer to my previous blog.
When does one Need an Business Intelligence Tool?
Business Intelligence tool becomes your need when you dont have sufficient amount of analytical reports to support your decision Making. Business Intelligence tools becomes imperative when your Decision making manager doesn't have necessary data or numbers in right time to make the decision. The decisions made out of gut feeling does not make sense always.
To understand the above statements its good to know that why can't we get the necessary data or numbers from the existing systems:
Lack of reports available in Existing Transcational/ERP Systems: The existing systems such as ERP/Transcational systems give only statistical reports pre-defined or designed at the time of implementation which is mostly restricted to few numbers. At that point of time we dont really realize the need for more analytical reports becoz of lack of data. After the implementation of ERP systems the Management would very well require the Operational Managers to use the data being entered through Transcational Systems or ERP. At this juncture the existing ERP system would not be suffice to solve your problems.
Ability to Integrate Dis-separate Database Applications: There might be a production Monitoring system which is very native to the machinery and there could be another Inventory management system to track your production. There is very little chance that these two applications to speak to each other and give insight to the status of production and inventory co-relating both information. If the both applications are of two different vendors with two different database its more complicated to get in sync both of their views and provide an soution to competent reporting needs. Basically when it comes to hetrogenous data sources available in an organisation it becomes difficult for an ERP system to manage all.
Lack of Prioritizing the Report Preparation Activity: The IT Team who does this job of solving the reporting needs fall prey to irregular priorities and Infrastructure realted problems. They get trapped to the daily problems faced by the IT Infrastructure chaos which exists almost everyday. Then the Priorities are not organized or recorded many request go in air. Hope we discussed various factors which are contributing to the non-availability of analytical data helping decision making.
In the next blog we will see how a Good BI solution can make difference to your IT Infrastructure and reporting needs of the organisation.