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Business Intelligence Essay

T & F Company for the 3rd time has been ambushed by new developments in the industry. If this trend continues it will continue loosing its fair share of the market to the competition. Therefore the company has to be proactive in its approach if it is going to continue enjoying a leading role in this industry.

One important tool that it can utilize with far reaching effect is the Business Intelligence tool. Business Intelligence is management terms that enables the company through the use of technology gather and analyze data that affect the general performance of the company.  This will not only make sure that the company is not caught flat footed but will also remain ahead of the rest of the pack.

Business intelligence supports proactive strategic management by identifying the various changes that are taking place in the industry and giving information on the impact of such changes. (James O’Brien and George Marakas, 2001) Any company utilizing this powerful resource has a competitive advantage in the industry and will enable it edge out any threats in the market environment.

T & F Company could use various Business Intelligence tools which are applications that enable the company develop a business intelligence

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process which include management processes, operational processes and supporting processes. When this processes work in tandem with each other then the company is bound to have a very strong intelligence back up. There are various types of Business Intelligence tools that T&F Company could utilize, they include:-

Digital Dash Boards

This is a business management tool that is used (visually) to ascertain at a glance the status/health of the particular industry in question. It uses the performance indicators which enable the company monitor the market. It helps the company of any impending danger, action to be taken and summarizes the condition of the business. Specialized digital dashboards are able to track all corporate functions like human resources, sales and marketing, security, customer relationship management and other important company functions. (Business Week Magazine, (February 2006)

The success of the digital dash boards are dependent on the metrics selected to monitor the environment within which the organization exists. It enables the organization capture and report about various data points within an organization’s departments; this offers a snapshot of performance. There are certain advantages of using digital dash boards:

  1. Helps generate detailed report on new and emerging trends
  2. Visual presentation of the various performance measures that the company has come up with.
  3. It enables the company identify and correct any negative trends that might affect the performance of the company.
  4. Enables the company make informed and effective decisions
  5. Helps the company be able to measure the efficiency or lack of it within the organization
  6. Enables the company have a clear view of its goals and the strategic management systems to achieve such goals.

Data Mining

Data mining is another Business Intelligence tool that can enable the company have a confident way of assessing the new developments within the industry. Data mining can be defined as “the science of extracting useful Information from large data sets or databases” (D. Hand H. Mannila, P. Smith 2001).

Data mining involves sifting through large amounts of data and picking up the necessary information which would be of interest to the company. It helps the company easily identify trends within the data that would otherwise have been complicated. Therefore the user has the ability to identify key attributes of business processes and target opportunities. By using data mining the company is able to discover new knowledge and predict future events.

 Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

By definitions online analytical processing or OLAP is software that allows analysis of data in the real time. The data normally is assembled in a database. It enables the company to analyze different dimensions of multidimensional data (www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/OLOP.html). The core of the OLAP is the OLAP server that is located between a client and database management systems (DMSS). The server is able to pick up and compile and analyze data in the real time

One advantage that this business intelligence tool offers is that it is able to analyze the trends within a specific market because it is able to detect immediately any changes in the consumer behavior. The company is able in such situations to question the various changes within the market and is able to find solutions for them.

Conclusion

There are other various tools at the companies disposal which when properly utilized are able to transform the strategic planning system for T&F Company. However for the effectiveness use of the data generated from these tools the management within the company must be committed to making sure that the data is thoroughly scrutinized on a daily basis to detect any slight changes within the market. As it is, to have the data is one thing and putting it into use (the most important part) is another. Most companies fail on this later test stage.

Otherwise when Business Intelligence is properly aligned with the strategic Management process where the plans are comprehensively executed then the company is bound to be extremely proactive and not be “scooped” again.

REFERENCES

www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/OLOP.html: Accessed on 3 rd September 2007

Hand H. Mannila, P. Smith 2001. Principles of Data Mining.

        Mit.Press, Cambridge, MA

James O’Brien and George Marakas, (2001) Management Information Systems, 7th ed. McGraw-Hill

Business Week Magazine: Giving the Boss the Big Picture A dashboard pulls up everything the CEO needs to run the show   (February 2006)

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