Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Richard T. Herschel (Saint Joseph's University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7362-3.ch043
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Big data is driving new forms of competition, new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and providing unique ways to interact with customers. Big data is comprised of a wealth of unstructured data that is being transmitted and captured by organizations to enhance business intelligence efforts. The forms that big data takes include text, video, voice, location data, social media, and its growth is exponential. Big data encompasses multiple dimensions, including volume, variety, velocity, veracity, variability, and complexity. Despite the opportunities that big data presents, organizations are having difficulty managing it, especially in the areas of data management and data governance. Executive involvement is critical to ensuring quality data for business intelligence as well as to ensure that their firms will be able to attract the necessary talent to effectively engage in BI analytics. It is recommended that management take a common-sense approach to dealing with big data to ensure that data-driven decision making is not compromised.
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The amount of data in our world has exploded exponentially such that data, especially unstructured data, is now referred to as “big data”. Where measures of data were once gradually evolving from megabytes to terabytes, the sudden phenomena of big data accelerated these measures to volumes expressed in petabytes (1,024 terabytes) or exabytes (1,024 petabytes). The new influx of data is derived from billions to trillions of records of millions of people—all from different sources (e.g. Web, sales, customer contact center, social media, mobile data and so on). The data is typically loosely structured and often incomplete.

Big Data is the natural result of four major global trends:

  • 1.

    Mobile computing

  • 2.

    Social networking

  • 3.

    Cloud computing

  • 4.

    Moore’s Law [processing power doubles every 2 years]

Key Terms in this Chapter

Big Data: It is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured.

Master Data Management (MDM): It is a technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets. Master data is the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies and chart of accounts.

Data Governance: It is a combination of people, processes and technology that drives high-quality, high-value information. The technology portion of data governance combines data quality, data integration and master data management to ensure that data, processes, and people can be trusted and accountable, and that accurate information flows through the enterprise driving business efficiency.

Unstructured Data: Unstructured data (or unstructured information) refers to information that either does not have a pre-defined data model or is not organized in a pre-defined manner. Unstructured information is typically text-heavy, but may contain data such as dates, numbers, facts, or video content as well.

Data Steward: A data steward is a job role that involves planning, implementing and managing the sourcing, use and maintenance of data assets in an organization. Data stewards enable an organization to take control and govern all the types and forms of data and their associated libraries or repositories.

Business Intelligence (BI): It is a business management term which refers to applications and technologies which are used to gather, provide access to, and analyze data and information about their company operations.

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