Business Intelligence

Published on: March 4, 2009

These days every system is getting smarter. Smartness is the measure of intelligent decisions. A smart device would mean something that can give decision with precision. Along with hardware and software systems, a business organisation is like a living organisms. Thus, if we start applying all the rules and conditions of survival of living organism, to a business organisation, then it turns out that it works. Amazing!! (But lets not go into it now. The point I was trying to make is smart decision guarantees survival. )

So, how do we monitor the processes running in an organisation and make a correct decision. I don't want to make a lengthy statement on organisational behaviour, but in short, every business processes needs to be optimized for efficient operations. One way in which it can be done is through the use of Business Intelligence (BI) Software. In brief, BI is the automation of the long and lengthy human involved processes.

Let see a simple case scenario :

The above diagram shows how a business professionals would go about trying to make a proper decision. Though the system is automated, there is lot of human factors involved which causes the delay and inefficiency in the system. Some of the delays in the systems are as follows:

1. Delay in the process of the request, from the business professional.

2. Inability of the business professionals to access the real data.

3. Communication gap between the two parties which is governed by the inevitable human factor.

4. Dependencies on human process, definitely decreases reliability and accuracy.

There is need for a revolution, like the one that happened during the Industrial Revolution. A complete automation of the time lagging human processes. May be we can call it "Information Revolution". Some of the lists of revolutions that we need in Business Intelligences Software are as belows:

  1. High integration or standardisation of data.
  2. Simple Pluggable Technology which would talk to any system.
  3. Useful Data Analytics and Reporting services.
  4. Customizable functions or processes.
  5. Variety of ways to export and share the reports. (Excel etc)
  6. Multiple Levels of Reports. (Explained here)
  7. Highly efficient user experience.

Among all the points, the 7th one has a higher weight as what matters at the end is not the innovative technologies or complex systems but rather satisfying user experience. Overall, the software must be able to integrate useful tools and avoid distracting features which add no value to the business processes.

But, can it be done with the technology that are available today? I would say, yes we can. We need to just focus into usefulness and don't get overwhelmed by the unnecessary features and make the software bully. It has to be the easiest thing to use on the face of earth. Google seems to be following this mantra. No matter how simple it looks, we all know behind this simplicity exist a complex engine. It has to be similar to that.

With these challenges and thoughts, we at InRev have been struggling hard enough to come up with an efficient system. We have called it " InRev Scoop ". We have been allowing the users to interact with the system and give their feedback, and it's inspiring to get all the good thoughts and suggestions from the people. Till the date, the system has been tinkered to get the most of user experience. You can check it out here.

The new ways of doing business it obvious through the creation of experience in the user which would increase the use of the products. As Plato said :

" The beginning is the most important part of the work."