Enterprise business intelligence tutorial

In this enterprise business intelligence tutorial, learn how BI applications can help organizations make sound decisions.

Enterprise business intelligence (BI) applications and technologies are helping companies make targeted and appropriate decisions at a time when good business judgment can make or break an organization. BI applications are highly varied and adaptable: They can target enterprise missions broadly or meet a specific purpose, can be built for enterprise-wide use or for a single department and might be created by an executive decree or be driven by user demand.

CIOs at any point in the BI spectrum can bolster their strategy with this enterprise business intelligence tutorial, which provides advice for both new and experienced users on ramping up BI initiatives, discusses how BI success can be measured and explores what lies ahead for these technologies.

This guide is part of SearchCIO.com's CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

Table of contents:

Some background on enterprise business intelligence

It might have seemed like just another buzzword, but before 2011 was out, the need to mine big data was topping many a CIO agenda, upending long-established practices for data management.

By the time the calendar turned to 2012, all eyes were on big data analysis -- how to make sense of this wealth of information to maintain, enhance and expand the business. Accordingly, attention also turned to business intelligence (BI).

Learn more in our FAQ “CIOs focus on BI strategies that meet needs of big data analysis.”

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What goes into a successful enterprise BI program?

To realize the benefits from BI insights and to use their investments in leading-edge BI capabilities effectively, organizations must think about the big picture in terms of enterprise information management, rather than just in terms of on-spot BI solutions.

They also should steer clear of such specific feature sets as fancy dashboards and state-of-the-art hardware and software. Focusing on the big picture means making sure the organization has a strong foundation in place in terms of people, processes and data management.

Learn more in “Business transformation depends on getting the foundation of BI right.”

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Enterprise business intelligence in 2012 and beyond

Information projects are in resurgence right now because that's where the world is moving. We’re beginning to exhaust the process opportunities. Most Fortune 500 companies have done their big ERP; that's been going on since the 1990s.

This is not to say companies will not continue to do some work [in ERP], but the real action right now is in business intelligence, as well as [in] collaboration and anything at the customer interface -- from either understanding the customers' patterns, performing customer service or empowering salespeople through IT to be better at their sales jobs.

All of these line up with information and analytics. What remains to be done for IT, increasingly, are those information projects, not the process projects.

Learn more in “2012 IT budgets favor BI projects, end-to-end IT services delivery.”

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Business intelligence services and big data quiz for CIOs

The evolving understanding of business intelligence (BI) services and big data highlights the importance of data analytics in the enterprise. Companies are pursuing BI engagements to capitalize on an increased availability of metrics, but they also run the risk of drowning in too much data.

CIOs play a central role in keeping BI digestible and useful for their organizations. Have you kept up on the latest trends in business intelligence services and big data?

Test your BI IQ