Business intelligence can be viewed as those activities that an organization can use to gather market information as well as the activities in which their competitors are involved in. Business intelligence can also refer to those technical computers based procedures which are applied in the identification, extraction as well as examination of the business data.
Some of the business data that are usually analyzed in business operations include revenue on sales based on either departments, or the product in question. It may also include data related with incomes or costs. In the contemporary business world, the need for business intelligence has significantly increased. This is more so based on the fact that the level of competition has significantly increased. In order to succeed in such an environment, there is need for every organization to have effective business intelligence practices.
One of the models in business intelligence is associated with the supply chain. This is of great importance in development of SCI solution especially in the big companies. The main objective of this method is coming up with a typical SCI remedy that will provide collaborative as well as the global analysis.
International companies have significantly benefited from the business intelligence in its supply chain. It has played a significant role in improving their integrated supply chains. This entails a number of aspects in the supply chain including the reasons for certain deviations and their causes among others. This has also helped companies in understanding other information on sales like the time to fill the orders, inventory days of supply, order backlog among others (Williams & Williams 2007).
As an organization conducts its supply chain processes, it generates a wide range of data which can be of great significance in business intelligence. Through automation, an organization is able to generate useful raw data on delivery, return, planning and other processes. However, the organization is faced with a big challenge on determining the best method in making appropriate decisions. After collection of the raw data, then an organization uses various metrics and key performance indicators (Glatthorn & Joyner 2005).
In the supply chain intelligence model, the Supply Chain Operations Reference-model or SCOR plays a pivotal role as it provides necessary information in the management of the supply chain process (Ranjan 2009). This method has been for long been useful in providing appropriate information in making necessary decisions in the supply chain.
The SCOR model helps in building the relations between the manufacturer and the consumer, manufacturer to the supplier, as well as the suppliers and suppliers. It also helps in understanding the relations between the customer and the manufacturer as well as customers’ customers. This information is of great importance in making important decisions in an organization’s supply chain.
As already noted, business intelligence has a number of benefits to an organization. One of the main advantages of the business intelligence is that it contributes to improving an organization’s competitive advantage. This makes an organization better off compared with its competitors. This aspect enables organization to survive in highly competitive environment.
Business intelligence also helps an organization in making well informed business decisions (Glatthorn & Joyner 2005). This is the main factor that helps in building an organization’s competitive advantage. For instance, an organization may use business intelligence to identify the parts of the market where there is a shortage of a certain product. This information will help an organization in making supply decisions. For instance, this may involve increasing the volume of certain product supplied in such areas. This will enable an organization to increase its sales. Business intelligence also enables an organization to make perfect forecasts about the future.
Effective business intelligence practices helps the managers and decision makers to come up with the most competitive business strategies. This is based on the accuracy and well timed information. This implies that an organization is able to make the right decisions and in the right time. This helps in increasing the organization’s performance.
Through business intelligence, an organization is able to identify the kinds of products or services that customers are most likely to purchase (Williams & Williams 2007). The line managers will also be able to identify the time in which customers are most likely to purchase a certain product. This plays an important role in making distribution and manufacturing decisions. Business intelligence will also help an organization to identify the reasons that may cause their customers to shift to their competitors’ products (Ranjan 2009). Again, this information is of great importance as it guides the managers in making necessary decisions.
In conclusion, this discussion has clearly shown that business intelligence has a pivotal role in every organization. Through business intelligence, an organization is able to reveal the place of an organization in relation to its competitors, potential of the firm, customer behaviour in spending and the dangers associated with such behaviour to the organization and the political environment that affects an organization’s operations. This helps an organization in making the most effective operations decisions, which significantly determines the performance of an organization. It is therefore advisable for any organization to ensure that it applies business intelligence effectively in order to maintain a high level of performance.
Glatthorn, A. A. and Joyner, R.L. (2005). Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Guide. 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Ranjan, J. (2009). Business Intelligence: Concepts, Components, Techniques and Benefits. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 2005. pp. 60-70.
Williams, N. and Williams. (2007). The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.