Business intelligence (BI) is an application used for giving meaning to raw data that an organization has. The raw data is cleansed, stored and applied with business logics to be useful for enterprise users to make better business decisions. This data can be presented in the form of reports and can be displayed in the form of tables, charts etc. which is efficient and easier to analyse and make business decisions.

During all business activities, companies create data about customers, suppliers and internal activities. Based on these data’s, employees of various departments like HR, Finance, Accounting, Marketing etc. prepare their work plan.

Business Intelligence spans a varied set of toolset, of which the Data Ware House consolidates and loads the data from the different Source Systems, while reporting tools like Query Designer, Web Application Designer, and Analyzer are majorly used to create reports which display the data consolidated by the Datawarehouse for analysing purpose.

Business Intelligence is a SAP product which majorly focuses on providing its customers/organizations with a user friendly and very useful form of representing data that could be helpful for analyses purpose and making business decisions.

 

In summary, Business Intelligence tools transform raw data into reports which used for decision making and business forecasting.

Why do we need Datawarehouse & BI ?

Organizations have different kinds of data such as finance, Human resource, customer, supplier data etc., which can be stored on different kinds of storage units such as DBMS, Excel sheets, SAP R/3 systems etc...Even the company's internal data is often distributed across many different systems and is not particularly well formatted.

A Data Warehouse can help to organize the data. It brings together heterogeneous Data Sources which are mostly and differing in their details. Using BI Tools one can derive meaningful reports

What makes SAP BI more effective BI tool?

  • Single point of access to all information is possible through BI. The data from various sources can be accessed at the single place(i.e BI).
  • Data collected from various sources are presented in the form of reports which is efficient for analysis of the data at a high level.
  • SAP BI provides easy to use GUI and better formatting
  • Some of the key functionality that makes SAP BI better than rest is its ability to analyze multidimensional data sources in both web and MS office environments, flexible dashboards, mobility and a flexible, scalable BI platform. 
  • SAP BI is known for its awesome query performance, while requiring little administration
  • Mobile BI for end users on the go
  • Easy Integration with other platforms

SAP BI/ Data Warehouse Vs. OLTP systems:   

OLTP(Online Transaction Processing):   

These systems have detailed day to day transaction data which keeps changing. For example, R/3 or any other database.

OLAP(Online Analytical Processing):

These systems have data for analysis purpose. The input for this system is from OLTP systems. The data from the OLTP systems is made use to prepare the data for analysis purpose.

Business Intelligence is an OLAP system.

OLTP Systems (Operative Environment) DWH/OLAP Systems(Informative Environment)
Target Efficiency through automation of business processes Generating Knowledge

(Competitive Advantage)
Priorities High availability, higher data volume Simple to use, flexible access to data
View of Data Detailed Frequently aggregated
Age of Data Current Historical
Database operations Add, Modify, delete, update and read Read
Typical data structures Relational(flat tables, high normalization Multidimensional Structure
Integration of data from various modules/applications Minimal Comprehensive
Dataset 6-18 months 27 years
Archiving Yes Yes