November 18, 2007

Business Intelligence from Enterprise Architecture

There is an interesting article by Bill Cason in Architecture and Governance Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 that emphasizes the importance of business intelligence to not only “the business,” but also to the IT of the organization.

What is business intelligence?

“Business intelligence (BI) is a business management term that dates to 1958. It refers to applications and technologies that are used to gather, provide access to, and analyze data and information about company operations. Business intelligence systems can help companies have a more comprehensive knowledge of the factors affecting their business, such as metrics on sales, production, and internal operations, and they can help companies to make better business decisions.” (Wikipedia)

“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” (Arie de Geus)

“The renowned Dutch business strategist got it right…repeatable success depends largely on the ability to adjust course quicker than your competition can adjust theirs. A prerequisite to that course correction is, of course, an understanding of exactly which adjustments need to be made. In the business world, the means to that end is ‘business intelligence’ or ‘BI’ for short.” (Architecture and Governance Magazine)

BI provides an organization not only access to pertinent data, but also analytics that transforms the data into actionable information.

User-centric EA is the foundation for capturing data for developing business intelligence for IT. EA captures massive amounts of data scattered in silos across the organization. The data is unified in the EA—brought together from dispersed geographies, numerous systems (manual and automated), previously stored in varied formats, and managed by disparate individuals. EA harmonizes the data, analyzes and categorizes it, and serves up the information to end user. EA provides business intelligence—EA information can be harvested by BI software to provide valuable analytics; EA synthesizes business and IT information to support decision-making.

Business intelligence from EA is used for “cost optimization, asset maximization, lifecycle management, service delivery, impact analysis, gap analysis, as-is/to-be transformations, etc.” EA enables the CIO to lead by example when it comes to developing and using business intelligence, optimizing the management of IT in support of mission execution.

EA brings information to the table for enhancing decision-making. As W. Edwards Deming said, “In G-d we trust, all others bring data.”


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