The outing on the cruise hosted by my company had been a complete disaster so far. A sheer waste of time, all the presentations about the way to conduct business & the business intelligence solutions and the meetings amongst the celebrations. I wonder who gets such fancy ideas to entertain us the corporate people on a ship!

All in the name of Fun at work.

A breath of fresh air on the deck seemed to be a better option, until I found myself waking up on a dreadfully silent island not remembering how exactly I got flung off the ship. Terrible fate. Almost like Gulliver in the age old classic or Tom Hanks in the Castaway. Both options as petrifying as the other!

And then came the sound……….


Castaway to Nowhere


 

BI Land

A quick hustle & bustle in the bushes made me come back to my guard. And what I saw peeping out of the vegetation was not only unbelievable it was straight out of my laptop for sure. Expecting a ferocious being was only normal but this was completely unexpected.

It was a pie-chart, the same sort of a chart that I keep pestering my assistants with most of the times. Pulling at it was a, hold your breath, a dashboard trying to get the small colourful chart back onto its place. And me, I was just a tiny toad in front of these huge beings. They did not even notice me. Curiosity got the better of me and I started following these things with caution.


Into the BI Land


This was Business Intelligence Land, soon I discovered. The BI Land was it real, was it man-made or was it my imagination?

And I followed the first road sign that made sense! I had been at loggerheads with most of my advisors and kept myself and the enterprise away from this. Business Intelligence Services is something I despised.

And that was not all, upon entering, there were gates to different parts. What was I thinking? Was it for real?

BI ServicesThe Interesting Gates in the BI Land

My head was swimming. And then I heard the booming voice………


The Business Intelligence & Analytics Class


A huge jumble of Big Data looked over me through its reading glasses to remind me that I was late for class! Hey no, a big mistake I was the boss of a very powerful enterprise. No one orders me around. As a principle, I do not listen. I hate BI and there was no need for me to understand why my enterprise needed BI. But I had no choice.

The class was full of non-believers of BI to be let-off only if we attended the course with earnesty, passed the test and took an oath to implement Big Data, BI & Analytics in our own organizations.

And then the endless course began with chapters of alarming lengths!

Chapter1 – What is Big Data & BI

Big Data, Business Intelligence & Analytics are trending today. Enhancing almost every industry around, this is an effective combination of techniques to be implemented by organizations to comprehend their own data and make it actionable.

The early years of these niche services saw curious examinations of the approaches of capturing & curating data and many being skeptical about this new concept examining data to decipher the hidden meanings, predict trends and co-relate all this to generate meaningful information. Working completely in sync with the structured and unstructured data from multiple channels, these are solutions to generate actionable insights into the enterprise’s own data.

Chapter 2 – The Challenges for Business Intelligence

The multiple V’s of the Big Data challenge the abilities of Business Intelligence Services.

  • Volume
    • The large volumes of data generated by machines, networks and individual on systems like social media the volume of data ready for analyzing is more than huge
  • Variety
    • Forms of data both structured and unstructured generate from data sources like spreadsheets, databases emails, devices, videos, PDFs, photos, audio and more
    • This variety of diverse variety of data besides posing challenges for storage makes generating Intelligence a challenge too
  • Velocity
    • The velocity at which data flows in from sources like transactions, machines, human interactions, communication networks, social media websites, mobile devices is not only huge, it is unimaginable
    • The real-time insight into these huge data sets is achieved by BI

Chapter 3 – Who Requires Big Data & BI?

Enterprises collecting data without a unified comprehensive platform to analyze & infer from the large collections of unmanaged data require BI & Big Data in the true sense.

There are sure signs to identify that it is time to fill the missing link.

  • Comprehending the data stored, becomes too complicated because of complex processes
  • No integration in place to let data flow seamlessly between workflows
  • The enterprise does not have self-service reports & dashboards to analyze trends, competition and sales
  • When the stakeholders of the enterprise, the Employees, partners, associates and customers expect to avail information in a self-service mode
  • The reports from various systems can no longer co-relate and fail to produce a comprehensive image
  • Workflow and decision making are adversely affected by the inefficiencies in generating information on time
  • A real-time visibility into various workflows is not available

Chapter 4 – The Advantages

BI offers the new age tools to enterprises to consolidate their businesses.

  • Sentiment Analysis
    • This is a prevailing tool offered by Big Data services and Analytics with an aim to offer engaging customer experiences constructed from knowledge based on customer behavior
  • Personalized Marketing
    • Big Data captures data from multiple sources; Points of Sales, Orders, Surveys, Feedbacks, Interactions to collate and derive actionable information with analysis. Revealed are interesting customer preferences a tool to build behavioral patterns
    • This facilitates personalized marketing increasing the chances of confirmed sales
  • Multichannel Marketing
    • A seamless multichannel marketing exercise across multiple channels like social media, personal visits, brick and mortar stores, websites or even phone calls can be realized with the aid of Big Data & BI with a personal touch
  • Predictive Modeling
    • Predictive models organize the data available in the Big Data repositories and judge the market demands
    • Combining these assessments with the essential variations in the business models, service plans and product designs result in fruitful evolution of businesses
  • Increasing Efficiency of Operations
    • Production related parameters can be tapped too and insights into the operational inefficiencies can be used to propel corrective actions.
  • Workforce Efficiency & Retention
    • Big Data captures logs of the workforce in or out of the premises.
    • Efficiency parameters analyzed provide mature insights to the managers to mentor workforce appropriately

In a Nutshell – Back to Reality


 

The course could have continued indefinitely for me and the chapters started making sense to me as well. It could have been too much sun on the deck that day on the ship but soon I was jolted back to reality by the attendants on the ship fussing over a fatigued passenger almost ready to faint.

But my reverie did drill some sense into my arrogant self. All the arguments with my senior team members trying to convince me about BI & Big Data were not in vain after all. I do agree that business intelligence services refine themselves every passing day and become an integral part of almost all processes in the enterprise. With increasing number of technological advances and the changing preferences of the users of enterprise data, BI & Big Data solutions become a memorable affair to happen for the enterprises!

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