|By Harry Trott||
|August 11, 2014 12:47 PM EDT||
The focus of a BI professional in an organization is to help get the right information to the right decision makers at the right time. In modern times, Big Data analytics has been one of the primary sources of business intelligence acquisition. Tools like Hadoop have revolutionized the way enterprise businesses interpret the millions of data points that they own about customer behavior and turn them into meaningful inferences. But before the data reaches this stage, it passes through the several modules of an ERP system - an ERP system handles the whole gamut of operations right from demand estimation, to inventory purchase, stockpiling, distribution, sales and revenue generation.
As a result, cloud ERP plays quite a crucial role in generating the most accurate information for business intelligence. Here are some ways it is done.
Getting All Data Into One Place : For an enterprise with multiple suppliers, warehouses, shop floors and distribution centers, the data accumulated from all these various locations could quickly add up to something quite complex. An ERP system puts all these various data points into one centralized location assisting in better channeling of data inputs for a business intelligence operation. To put it short, it's the critical first step to BI.
Data De-Centralization : Just as ERP helps in consolidating data from the various sources into one location, it also helps in de-centralizing the meaningful interpretation derived out of a business intelligence exercise back into the respective retail locations and warehouses. Business intelligence is the job of professionals with specific skill-sets that a manager at a retail store or a distribution center may not have. Through ERP, these managers get to benefit from business intelligence systems without having to do it themselves.
Enabling Greater Transparency : One of the main goals of a Business Intelligence team is to bring greater transparency in the organization through the implementation of actionable results and goals. This is only possible through a synergy between an organization's ERP and Business Intelligence systems. An ERP system, especially the leading cloud based services like NetSuite and Oracle JD Edwards are inherently designed to derive consolidated data and acts as the basic foundation on which a BI system can work on. A flawless implementation of ERP is thus crucial to extract maximun benefits out of a BI system.
Formalizing Data Management : A survey conducted by Business Intelligence research firm, Aberdeen Group, found out that businesses with best-in-class process management functions are twice as likely as others to have a formalized data management procedure in their setup. These companies view ERP as the primary platform for data management and business intelligence is viewed as an extension that will act as an overlay on top of the existing ERP setup. Consequently, ERP and BI systems need to work in tandem in order to establish a formalized data management setup.
Optimizing Work for BI : Regardless of all the big data tools available for deployment today, processing this data to generate meaningful information is still a time consuming process; albeit much better than how it used to be till a few years back. ERP helps in optimizing the resources available for business intelligence by making use of the in-built features to generate static everyday reports. This automation ensures that the business intelligence systems are only used for the more resourceful functions that are not routine.
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Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
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