A report on 7117IBA Business Intelligence Systems identify a business intelligence application in an industry

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7117IBA Business Intelligence Systems

Business Tool Feasibility

Executive summary

The report aims to provide critical details of BI feasibility for an organization. The organization faces issues in decision making and predictive ability development. Therefore, an SAP Business object business intelligence tool has been selected. The advantages of this tool reflect that it develops the predictive ability of companies, and provide real-time access to data. The data can be transformed into meaningful information for better decision making. The disadvantages of the tool are high cost, issues in implementation, and lack skills of the team and lack of customer service support by the vendor. Literature review suggests that BI tool is found good in developing strategic decision-making ability of an organization. It also reflects that predictive ability of the organization can also be enhanced. Therefore, the organization is recommended to adopt the SAP BI tool by considering the customer service support, cost factors, ability of team and ability of the tool to upgrade. 



The organization has issues accessing real-time information. The resultant effect is poor coordination amongst the employees of the organization who do not make a well-informed decision and good strategies. The existing system for information sharing does not provide real-time predictive analysis. As the organization faces current changes in the market due to changing preferences of customers, and legal and political impact, it needs to identify the likely impact of these changes. But, with the present information system, it is unlikely that the organization can develop predictive analytics ability.  The organization mainly uses decision support system that is an independent system and has a weak relationship with another existing system. As the organization now thinks to move to the enterprise system, it is essential to identify one business intelligence tool to gain benefits of the enterprise system. Therefore, the report aims to identify one business intelligence tool that can cater to the needs of the organization effectively. For this purpose, a critical analysis of a chosen business intelligence tool has been carried out. 

Literature review

The literature review regarding business intelligence reflects that it is an umbrella concept creating a decision support environment for people in management (Alter, 2004; Lönnqvist, & Pirttimäki, 2006). Business intelligence is introduced by the Howard Dresner in 1989 that is a set of methods and concept to improve the decision making of an organization by using factual factors and computerized support system (Nylund, 1999). Ghoshal and Kim (1986) have referred business intelligence as a philosophy of management and tool helping firms to manage business information and further refine it to make an effective decision. 

BI is identified as offering automated decision-making process and analysis. The automated decision making is about the sales, product preferences, demands of customers, and business conditions, etc. the business intelligence system uses a data warehouse consisting of huge database. It also uses statistical and mathematical data as well as artificial intelligence. Along with this business intelligence tool uses online analytical processing and data mining (Berson, & Smith, 1997). According to Eckerson, (2010) BI should be able to offer tools such as end-user query, production reporting, dashboard/screen tools, OLAP, tools of planning and modeling, and tools of data mining. 

BI relevancy is known by its ability to improve decisions of a business by using information from various sources and by applying previous experience to formulate clear understands of the dynamics of a business (Maria, 2005). The analysis of data is integrated with the tool of decision analysis by a business intelligence tool that provides correct information to the right people for the whole organization. 

Business intelligence is considered between managerial and technical viewpoints. In this, the managerial approach considers business intelligence as a process to gather the data from outside and inside of an organization and to integrate for information generation that is relevant for the decision making the process. The technical approach takes into account the business intelligence as a set of tools supporting the unstructured decisions process.

The core of business intelligence is an accumulation of information, its analysis, and distribution. The objective of business intelligence is to provide support to the strategic decision-making process. 

By strategic decision making, those decisions associated to the organization vision, goals, mission and objectives implementation and their evaluation are considered but the operational decision is related to everyday work and more associated to decisions execution (Petrini, & Pozzebon, 2009). Bose (2009) in this regard considers business intelligence as a process to obtain the correct information to the correct people at the correct time. The business intelligence is thus assisting managers to make decisions for an enterprise’s performance improvement. 

Here it is relevant to mention the SAP business objective BI tool that allows the organization to fetch and connect any data both unstructured and structured. These data can be OLAP cubes, relational databases, social media, e-mails, etc. the sap business objects BI tool is found easy for use by users and offers personalize and flexible visualization. Benefits such as clarity and flexibility of this tool, as well as the low maintenance cost and short implementation time, makes the tool ideal for the company to implement. The business can obtain the best resources for supporting decision-making process (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). 

There are certain components of the SAP BI that are illustrated in detail here. First, is the SAP BI launch pad? It provides the main web interface to companies. The company can open the published business objects BI documents and maintain them. These documents can be pdf files, dashboards, webl, crystal reports, etc. this component can group the information and make reports on the basis of the focus area, business area and data type (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). 

Another component of SAP BI is Sam business objects information design tool or IDT. This component allows information representation of a business that is stored in a data warehouse or transactional databases (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). The terminology used by this component is not technical therefore, users can speak the same language for dissemination and retrieval of information that they analyze. This component allows users to make many universes according to business needs. Such universes can be connected to various sources ranging from sap system to non-sap system and include relational or OPAL databases (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). 

Next component is the SAP Dashboard Designer that allows users to make visual display panels. It contains the most significant information summary that assists the analysts to monitor, analyze and formulate the best decision (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). Dashboards are used in most cases for operation monitoring, for key performance indicators, and for improving business results by setting up alerts. Next component is the SAP crystal reports that are used to formulate static reports. These reports are easily understandable by business users and these reports can be a hundred percent customizable. These reports are accessed as per the demand (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019).  The SAP crystal reports are able to connect with non-sap and SAP system. Next component is the web intelligence that is a considered as a self-servicing tool for strategic use. This tool permits users to manage information and to conduct ad-hoc analysis (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). There are various customizable and interactive reports created by this tool such as charts, formulas, and table based reports, etc. these reports permits the user to conduct analysis with desired results. Another component is the SAP Business Objects Explorer that is known as data exploration software. It permits users to formulate data visualization with few clicks (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). The tool assists users to search for particular components in layers of the business. Users can share the created visualization by using offline and online data from computers or from mobile devices. Next component of SAP BI is the SAP business objects live office (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). It is a perfect tool integrating tools of SAP business objects BI with the environment of Microsoft office. By using this tool, users can be able to make a connection with elements of SAP business objects BI into PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and word (“SAP business objects BI,” 2019). 

The key benefits obtained by the SAP BI business intelligence suite are as illustrated. It provides on-premise deployment. Along with this, the tool assists to create real-time business intelligence. It enhances the autonomy of users. The tool is found good in consuming information in a personalized, simple and dynamic way (SAP business objects business intelligence suite,” 2019). The tool thus provides a flexible architecture and it can accommodate few users to many users and a single tool to various tools as well as interfaces. Thus the tool provides support to the changing needs of a company. The tool uses the latest intelligence technologies as well as various data sources to make a scalable and flexible platform that ensures effective decision making and real-time business intelligence access. The tool permits users to transform the data into information and disseminates information to those people who seek them. This is done by SAP BI tool by using extensive applications for business intelligence.  The tool also offers benefit such as optimizing the performance across different landscapes. 

Another benefit of the tool is the well-known brand that serves the niches (Team Post, 2015). There are massive resources used in the tool and this is well reflected by the SAP having more than 3 billion annual revenues. It has captured near about one quarter market share. The scalability offered by this software is nearly endless. The crystal reports server and crystal reports suit needs of medium to small sizes business. Another advantage of this tool is its ability to handle various kinds of tasks (Team Post, 2015). Therefore, standardized practices on the business objects have been practiced by various fortune 500 companies.  Integration ability of this tool is very satisfactory as it can be connected to various data sources such as XML and OLAP. Various numbers of integration points such as Java, SharePoint, .NET, and Microsoft office are possible with this tool (Team Post, 2015). Data governance feature of this tool is also rewarding for companies. The solid administrative ability of this tool is another big plus of this tool.  

But there are certain cons of this tool as well. One con is it is quite expensive (Team Post, 2015). The initial and the lifetime cost of the business object do not make it desirable. There are requirements to spend millions for such software as well as additional 18-20 percent cost incurred for maintenance (Team Post, 2015). There are numbers of servers required by this tool. Such extensive hardware and servers’ requirements make it a little undesirable. Cost of hardware, maintaining servers’ expenses and administrative costs are drawbacks of this tool. Upgrading of this tool is also difficult. Many business objects users complained about migration experience difficulty. It is also found that companies using business objects 3.1 complaints it most difficult to enhance or upgrade (Team Post, 2015). Another drawback of the tool needs a highly skilled team for development. It is found that end users cannot create reports or make dashboards application by them. The customer's service experience is tried by SAP to be improved but the support of customer service is still not proper (Team Post, 2015). 


As the decision making in the organization is poor, the role of business intelligence tool is found viable and this is well supported by the various researches. As the organization is facing challenges due to changes in demands of customers and other environmental changes, it is found that the BI evolution enhances the ability of an organization to develop analytical BI. According to Ranjan, (2008), BI can transform the data to provide such information that is result oriented and business driven. Wu et al., (2007) defined business intelligence as gathering information, analyzing data and information and access to the data and information to formulate better decisions for the business. According to Elbashir et al., (2008) BI system is a system of reporting and data analysis that enable managers to make good decisions.  Therefore, the BI system is found to enhance the ERP system effectiveness. Jalonen and Lonnqvist, (2009) opine that BI generates such reports and analysis about the trends of the business environment and about internal organization matters that assist in making better decisions. 

Sharma and Djiaw, (2011) opine that business intelligence enables knowledge sharing between an organization’s employees. According to them, the BI tool must be required for the enterprise system.  According to Lin et al., (2009) outputs, requirements conformance, and support to the efficiency of an organization are the most important factors for BI effectiveness. It is also found that BI should be proactive and for this, essential components of this tool include data mining, real-time data warehousing, seamlessly follow-through workflow, data visualization, refinement, and automated learning, and other characteristics. The BI strategic use reveals enhancing performance management of a corporate, optimization of customers’ relations, decision support, business activity monitoring, offering standalone BI applications for strategies or operations and business intelligence management reporting (Negash, & Gray, 2008). 

The tasks carried out by the BI reflect forecasts creation on the basis of historical data, conducting what-if analysis, ad hoc access, and generation of strategic insight. 

These benefits suggest that BI tool implementation can be advantageous for the chosen organization

Conclusion and recommendations

The conclusion drawn by the literature review reflects the usability and feasibility of the BI tool for the organization. it can cater the needs of an organization such as understanding market trends, understanding customers demands, and other external factors changes, gaining insights about future strategies, developing predictive ability, etc. therefore, it is found that SAP business object BI tool can be very helpful to tackle the present issues faced by the organization. 

The recommendations to implement the BI tool in the organization require considering a skilled team for implementing the BI tool. As it is found a major weakness while launching the BI tool in the organization, it is essential for the chosen organization to tap the best talent for implementing the BI tool. Second, the cost factor is crucial and therefore, the management of the company must take into account the actual costs of implementing the BI tool in the organization and this can assist the team to formulate good strategies cost-wise. Also, the BI tool needs to be considered in terms of its migration ability and scalability. These factors consideration ensure the organization to reap the good advantage of SAP business object business intelligence tool. Next, the organization must take into account that the vendor provides good customer’s service to ensure that implementation of this BI tool is streamlined. 

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