BI has a tremendous impact on business once installed. It produces the right information at the right time, which is key element for the success of any business enterprise. BI is the art of knowing and gaining the business advantage from data. Whether it is marketing competition, customer retention, inventory control, financial modeling, or even in national security, BI is the answer. BI can answer a company’s critical questions such as, why market shares are going to competitors; which products contribute the most to profit; how can business become more profitable; why some divisions are not profitable; which plants produce at the lowest cost; how can productivity improve; which parts of the world are the most profitable; who are best and worst customers; where is money being lost or made, etc.
BI answers these questions by analyzing and comparing business historical data. Data is created by business activities or data from outside sources like Excel, customs data bases, competitors information, etc. to study a particular group of people or customers. Such information is used by businesses to understand their business trends, their strengths and weakness, and to analyze competitors and the market situation.
In addition to determining trends, another push to implement BI comes from, the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which affects corporate financial reporting, and accounting rules for publicly-held companies. To be in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, BI systems will be needed to insure the timely and accurate analysis of business data. Thus real time BI is not only relevant but key to achieving compliance.