Business Intelligence is a set of concepts, methods, and technologies designed to pursue the elusive goal of turning all the widely separated data in an organization into useful information and eventually into knowledge.
This information has historically been delivered to an organization's analysts and management through reporting and analysis capabilities, but increasingly BI is being delivered to all parts of an organization by integrating smarter capabilities into the applications and tools that people use to perform their everyday jobs. The most successful BI solutions can create exceptionally valuable capabilities for an organization, such as the ability to proactively spot opportunities to increase revenue or improve operational processes and practices.
In the past, BI projects have often suffered from over-hyped attempts to highlight the potential value without consideration of the work that is required within an organization. Simply building a BI capability doesn't mean that it will easily be able to move off the whiteboards and out of the server rooms and into the hands of a user community that is ready and prepared to do something with the information. The best BI solutions pay as much attention to the "business" as the "intelligence," and in this book we look at both sides with a focus on the practical aspects required for success.