Operational Business Intelligence vs. Traditional BI
For years business intelligence platforms have been used in select departmental deployments or at the executive level to help senior executives gain better understanding of data and how it effects their business. The concept of operational business intelligence takes that and extends it to all employees in the organization. The idea behind operational business intelligence is that the Bi system should provide all the data a user needs when they need it to make decisions that are relevant to their job.
Role of Operational Business Intelligence in Business Management
Operational business intelligence is essentially the ultimate decision support tool. Through operational business intelligence, managers and employees can begin to make decisions based more on factual data than on simple intuition and "gut feel." Operational business intelligence can significantly improve a company's ability to respond to rapidly changing market conditions and can give managers and employees a greater sense of transiency in the organization.
Operational Business Intelligence and Data Sources
In order for operational business intelligence to be truly effective, however, one of the critical mandates is fast access to data. In order for operational business intelligence to be useful it must provide users with data that is as relevant as feasible; this obviously means having data from multiple sources in as short a time as possible. For this reason, implementing operational business intelligence with traditional BI platforms that rely heavily on data warehouses can be challenging. New tools are becoming available that make operational business intelligence much easier to create.
Operational Business Intelligence and Security
Another aspect of operational business intelligence that can cause issues is that of security. Traditionally, business intelligence systems have relied heavily on back-end security being provided through whatever frameworks information technology has established for the company, like Active Directory. This can cause problems with operational business intelligence since access to data sources often needs to be not just restricted, but also filtered - i.e users should be able to access some records. Again, new Bi platforms are becoming available that make security an integral part of the platform, making operational business intelligence easier.
Operational Business Intelligence Platforms
Among operational business intelligence platforms new tools from companies like EMANIO are making it easier to implement operational business intelligence. These new platforms provide not only the security and data management tools needed for operational business intelligence, but also provide easier to deploy and easier to use products that make a broad-scale deployment of operational business intelligence easier and less costly. For information technology to move from a departmental to an operational business intelligence model can often create significant headaches with platform that are difficult to deploy or that have many components.