Business Intelligence

Asia Market Experts (AME) – your business partner in Asia
• provides in-depth insights to empower decision making
AME assists, advises and executes,
• independently or in collaboration with others (market and IT professionals),
• market survey(s), market research, market analysis, competitive analysis
• financial modelling & valuation
• business Intelligence design
• throughout Asia.

Definition of business intelligence (BI)
Business intelligence shortened by BI is a comprehensive term that consists of
• systematically research and the best practices to get access to information
• the analysis of those generated info
• for the goal to improve as well as maximize business decision making and business performance
• and it also includes the supporting information technology service of applications, facilities and tools.
It is a set of skills, methods and tools for collect and transform raw data information right into significant and valuable information for business analysis objectives.

Systematically research cycle
Although most of the IT-knowledge platforms suggest and do want to make us believe “it is all IT” and emphasize on “big data”, the research process is absolutely key in business intelligence (BI).
The 9 core activities of the research cycle are subdivided into the following phases;
• start; research question, with the review to attain the correct question and assignment
• explore and prepare
• focus and develop the concept
• plan and decide/select data collection
• data processing design
• collect data
• data processing and ordering
• analyse and conclude
• final; report and present.
Nevertheless, today’s business intelligence modern information technologies can handle huge big data quantities of unstructured data information to assist determine, develop and create good underpinning or statements for strategic decision making and business performances.

Objective of IT in Business Intelligence
The objective of IT in Business Intelligence (BI) is to enable the very easy analysis of these data information collections. Supporting and assisting to make determining opportunities and also executing a reliable method based on the market, competitive and business understandings that can give businesses a competitive market benefit and long-lasting security.
Business Intelligence innovations offer historic, present as well as predictive insights of the business operations. Typical functions of business intelligence information technologies are;
• reporting (business performance management, executive dashboards, ranking, messaging, online),
• analytics (patterns, deviations, correlations, what-if’s, benchmarking, historical-current-predictive and prescriptive),
• data mining (extraction, online, text, (pre)-processing, models, metrics and statistical inferences),
• visualization (models, charts and tables)
• data quality management (DQM)
• data governance
• data security

Business intelligence benefits
Summary of the benefits of business intelligence;
• better business decisions making through faster and accurate insights
• improvement of data appropriateness
• raise data collection and storage
• enhance data affiliation connection to analytical models
• increases market and business knowledge
• eliminates uncertainty and guesswork
• permanent access to analyses of past, present and forecasts
• quicker acknowledgement of existing and new business-related inquiries
• effectively getting essential KPIs, metrics reports, signals
• permits various individuals to get targeted data information and personalized dashboards
• simplified interpretation through visualization
• improved insight into cost and revenue structures
• increase and development of efficiency by more suitable use of resources
• gives an in-depth knowledge to streamline operations
• understand customer behaviour and able to make customized offers (also up-selling and cross-selling)
• able to determine new income possibilities
• better logistics and inventory management
• improved internal team cooperation

Business Intelligence organisation and teams
Depending on the status of business intelligence within a company, the organization will be set up differently. Firstly, in the initial phase and in new or larger projects, one could set up the organisation, for example, according Prince2 method. This will be a temporary project organisation with a business case owned by the executive, a project board (which consists of the executive, executive senior user, senior supplier), a project manager and team leaders of the various disciplines, representatives of involved departments. This can be quite large because business intelligence is servicing of an entire company and must therefore collaborate with all departments. Departments as marketing, sales, production, logistics, procurement etc. and staff departments such as HRM, must provide knowledge and will be both data supplier and analysis user.
In an ongoing situation of adjusted, simple querying and evaluation of business data, the number of projects can be reduced, but nevertheless, the BI organization will have to be heavily occupied with several teams; specific IT expertise and skilled analytics professionals supplemented with professional knowledge of the departments. Mostly teams will be accountable to several executives; business development, finance and IT.

4 regular used decision-making methods
There are several frequently used business intelligence methods for decision-making, however, the extent of supported by technology and thereby to be regarded as complete business intelligent proof, will be very different depending on the chosen policy of the companies involved. That being said, most of us and the majority of businesses would certainly do effectively with these 4:
• market analysis
• competitive analysis
• SWOT analysis
• finance & accounting reporting

These business intelligence analyses can be utilized to sustain a large range of business decisions varying from tactical functional to strategic. Fundamental business operating decisions may include product pricing or positioning. Strategic critical business decisions may include priorities, objectives and directions with a big policy impact.
In all situations, business intelligence is most effective when it incorporates information originated from the business market; the external data information, with data from business internal sources such as financial & accounting and operations data information (internal).
Structured, combined and integrated, external and internal data will provide a much more complete understanding which, essentially develops an “intelligence” that obviously cannot be achieved by any kind of single collection of data.

IT and business intelligence software tools demonstrate that they are a strong believer in automated predictive management information. For sure, this is a splendid and unstoppable development, but there are certainly marginal comments to be made.
Up until just recently, lots of top-level business decisions made by execs were based partially on personal experience, instinct and guts feeling as well as partially on the business performance of the past. However, in a firm that’s utilizing business intelligence method to its maximum, the insights are significantly more clear. Real-time structured data are feasible, enabling decisions to be made based upon up-to-date information instead of outdated info of annual reports. Analytic reports to examine any type of variable elements can be instantly generated, as well as patterns, can be determined in the current situation as it is still occurring rather than afterwards. In normal business operations business intelligence (BI) will take (for a part) the “presuming best guess conception” out of decision-making, and could however even make next step in development. It gives a statement, the groundwork when utilized with artificial intelligence, machine learning tools, can make a business predictive.
This certainly applies to enterprise resource planning (ERP), an integrated management system of core business processes, which has and can improve the production and the data acquisition efficiency. Today it is quite simple to connect an ERP solution to business intelligence platform and receive actual and forecasting data analysis.

Automated BI analyses for operational management is mostly available. However, referring to the mentioned research cycle, in business development situations such as emerging markets, green-field and brown-field investments, and some M&A situations, the data is usually not present, not yet ordered or no models are available.

Simile with competitive intelligence
Although the phrase business intelligence is occasionally an equivalent for competitive intelligence, due to the fact that they both support decision making, business intelligence utilizes modern technologies, procedures, and applications to examine primarily internal, structured data information. Competitive intelligence accumulates and analysing info regarding and is focusing on competitors strong and weak points. As comprehended generally, in an optimal situation, business intelligence should include competitive intelligence.

Simile with business analytics
Business intelligence and the term business analytics are very often mentioned as they are interchangeable, however, there are different definitions. Business intelligence is predictive as the method refers to gathering business data information to discover information mostly through queries, reports, as well as online analytical processing and has also an intelligent alert tool.
Business analytics, meanwhile, makes use of statistical analytics and also measurable, quantitative tools for predictive statements such as anticipating modelling. We believe business analytics can be used just as competitive intelligence as a stand-alone method or can be integrated with business intelligence. In the last option; avoid overlap and the choice of appropriate technology is essential.

Market analysis, competative analysis and SWOT analyses
To market properly, companies require information or knowledge or what we nowadays call intelligence. You might subsume intelligence either as market or competitive intelligence. Both of these intelligence kinds assist businesses advantages in the market as well as need a substantial, constant research. Nonetheless, they a have different intention and focus and therefore should not be confused in strategic and marketing planning process.

Market analysis
A market analysis is actually precisely what is in the term; identifying the unique qualities of a certain market and assessing this information, to make both critical tactical as well as strategic decisions that will define the policy.
By carrying out a market analysis, one will get beneficial data that will certainly help understand market – f.e. customers patterns, needs, proper pricing which should be fine-tuned to company’s priorities – the company’s market strengths while simultaneously eliminating vulnerabilities.
In the preliminary phase market analysis is an examination of a broader and basic scope.
In next phase of a target market section, the analysis should get more specific and it is essential to develop a very clear concept of the target at an early stage. Focus is a requirement, as not everybody is a prospective customer and by narrowing you will also guide the marketing budget more efficiently. Market analysis should include; existing and future market size, market patterns, market growth predictions, profitability, cost structure, distribution channels, success elements.
A more extensive elaboration of business intelligence decision-making market analysis can be found elsewhere on this Asia Market Experts site.

Competitive analysis
A competitive analysis is where you study and dissect the competition, which is an essential element of a corporate strategy. Undoubtedly, it’s a smart idea to understand the competitors and not to keep some blind spots about the competition. So the queries will be the marketing strategy on competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, what are the success factors, what is their marketing mix, their market share, new market entrants etc. In this a competitive analysis should minimum include; strategy and distinctiveness, history, financial position, product/market combinations, marketing (f.e. share, promotional mix, marketing budget, customer loyalty, pricing), facilities and personnel. A more extensive elaboration of business intelligence decision-making competitive analysis can be found elsewhere on this Asia Market Experts site.

SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) is a method for determining and examining the internal (organisation) and external aspects that could have an effect on the feasibility of a business, project and/or product.
A SWOT analysis is commonly utilized at the beginning of or a section of a strategic planning study and normally it is executed by using the four-square SWOT analysis template. The method is considered an effective procedure for decision-making since it allows an entity to reveal opportunities for success that were formerly unspoken or to emphasize threats before they become too stressful.
A SWOT analysis is an excellent business intelligence decision-making method and its components are;
• Strengths: Internal qualities as well as sources that sustain an effective business outcome
• Weaknesses: Internal (negative) qualities as well as sources that antagonize an effective end result
• Opportunities: External aspects that the entity could profit from or utilize to its benefit
• Threats: External aspects that might endanger the entity’s business success.

Finance & Accounting Reporting and Enterprise resource planning
Financial accounting concerns the recapitulation, reporting and analysis of financial transactions relating to a business. In recent years, the financial administrative systems have been developed into enterprise resource planning (ERP) as we have mentioned before; an integrated management information system of core business processes. ERP modules grouped together are processes such as accounting, human resources, customer services (CRM), sales, procurement (SRM), production (PLM), distribution (SCM), project management, corporate governance. Extensive enterprise software like ERP – enterprise resource planning and others like, asset management or (field) service management is absolutely a business asset as it is strong in streamlining transactional processes. However, for the application of management information, it is still partly inadequate; it (mostly) lacks analysing patterns, visualization, advanced modelling options and data warehouses. It is therefore recommended to opt for an ERP software provider that seamlessly connects to or has an integrated solution for business intelligence software.

Resume
Business intelligence often provokes confusion due to excessive and incorrect use of terminology and (like so often) an overpowering of the IT component. In our view, research knowledge and the old trusted analyse modelling (as a basis for complex automated models) is still key to make good business decisions and that all starts with the collection of correct data-information.

If you do want to receive additional information: please contact us for a non-committal first consultation.

Asia Market Experts (AME) – your business partner in Asia
• provides in-depth insights to empower decision making
AME assists, advises and executes,
• independently or in collaboration with others (market and IT professionals),
• market survey(s), market research, market analysis, competitive analysis
• financial modelling & valuation
• business Intelligence design
• throughout Asia.