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Articles: business intelligence

Using business intelligence for competitive advantage
Author:Mark Davis

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The Process

This Business Intelligence Process (BIP) is equally suited to any corporate application of any description. Its base function is for general and specific information handling requirements, and provides both focus and direction to support and enhance all forms of commercial processes. Businesses using a business intelligence methodology are able to develop intelligence based information systems, capable of serving the purpose of inquiry and analysis to gain a competitive advantage.

The methodology consists of a number of functions performed in a logical flowing manner, and its success is dependent on each function being carried out correctly. The BIP applies techniques that allow a transition from the conventional practice of reaction to a more proactive application.

The process is a cyclical pattern and works in an iterative fashion. At any time during the methodology there is scope to return to the beginning or subsequent phase, and repeat the process to identify information deficiencies. For instance, data collection will be a component that requires constant examination, therefore utilising the iterative philosophy of the model. It is difficult at the outset to identify and collect every data requirement due to:

  • data being such a dynamic commodity;
  • the information universe is a continuous flow;
  • a change or progress in direction;
  • availability of data during the phases of a particular project.

Other data requirements will become obvious as a project develops. With the iterative functionality in place, it is possible to continually return to the direction or data collection component. Therefore sourcing the data as it is identified to maintain control until the completion of the project.

Data collection is a continual application and must take into consideration, what is and what is not available, and what is known at the time of the initial gathering. The overall aim is to identify and collect data requirements as the project proceeds, and comprehend all the information deficiencies before its completion.

Setting the Objectives >>