Chapter 6: Enhancing Business Intelligence Using Information Systems

Business intelligence
the use of information systems to gather and analyze information from internal and external sources in order to make better business decisions
Continuous planning process
a strategic business planning process involving continuous monitoring and adjusting of business processes to enable rapid reaction to changing business conditions
collections of related data organized in a way that facilitates data searches
something data is collected about, such as people or classes
a collection of related records in a database where each row is a record and each column is an attribute
a collection of related attributes about a single entity
individual piece of information about an entity in a database
Data model
a map or diagram that represents entities and their relationships
Entity-relationship diagram
a diagram used to display the structure of data and show associations between entities
Data type
the type of an attribute in a database (text, number, or date)
a technique for making complex databases more efficient and more easily handled by a database management system
Data dictionary
a document prepared by database designers to describe the characteristics of all items in a database
a business document that contains some predefined data and may include some areas where additional data is to be filled in, typically for a single record
a compilation of data from a database that is organized and produced in printed format
Report generators
software tool that helps users build reports quickly and describe the data in a useful format
method used to retrieve information from a database
Structured Query Language (SQL)
the most common language used to interface with databases
Query by example (QBE)
a capability of a DBMS that enables data to be requested by providing a sample or a description of the types of data the user would like to see
Operational systems
the systems that are used to interact with customers and run a business in real time
Online transaction processing (OLTP)
immediate automated responses to the requests from multiple concurrent transactions from customers
Informational systems
system designed to support decision making based on stable point in time or historical data
Master data management
consolidating master data so as to facilitate arriving at a single version of the truth
Master data
the data that is deemed most important to the operation of a business
Data warehouse
an integration of multiple, large databases and other information sources into a single repository or access point that is suitable for direct querying, analysis, or processing
Extraction, transformation, and loading
the process of consolidating, cleansing, and manipulating data before loading it into a data warehouse
Data cleansing
the process of standardizing the format of data retrieved from different systems (such as differences in the way dates or zip codes are stored) and removing inaccurate records
Data mart
a data warehouse that is limited in scope; contains selected information from data warehouses so each separate data mart is customized for the decision support applications of a particular end user group
Scheduled reports
report produced at predefined intervals to support routine informational needs of managerial level decision making
Drill-down reports
report that provide greater detail, so as to help analyze why a key indicator is not at an appropriate level or why an exception occurred
Exception reports
report providing users with information about situations that are out of the normal operating range
Key-indicator reports
report that provides a summary of critical information on a recurring schedule
Ad hoc queries
request for information created due to unplanned information needs that is typically not saved for later use
Online analytical processing (OLAP)
the process of quickly conducting complex analyses of data stored in a database, typically using graphical software tools
OLAP server
the chief component of an OLAP system that understands how data is organized in the database and has special functions for analyzing the data
Measures (facts)
the values and numbers users want to analyze
a way to summarize data such as region, time, or product line
OLAP cube
a data structure allowing for multiple dimensions to be added to a traditional two dimensional table for detailed analysis
slicing and dicing
analyzing data on subsets of certain dimensions
Data mining
a method used by companies to discover "hidden" predictive relationships in data to better understand their customers, products, markets, or any other phase of their business for which data has been captured
Data reduction
reduces the complexity of the data to be analyzed; this can be achieved by rolling up a data cube to the smallest level of aggregation needed, reducing the dimensionality, or dividing continuous measures into discrete intervals
Association discovery
a data mining technique used to find associations or correlations among sets of items
Sequence discovery
a data mining technique used to discover associations over time
data mining technique grouping related records on the basis of having similar attributes
data mining technique grouping instances into predefined categories
Text mining
analytical techniques for extracting information from textual documents
Web content mining
extracting textual information from Web documents
Competitive intelligence
information about competitors used to enhance a business's strategic position
Web usage mining
analysis of a Web site's usage patterns, such as navigational paths or time spent on different pages
Clickstream data
a recording of the users' path through a Web site
a Web site's ability to attract and keep visitors
Business analytics
applications that augment business intelligence by using predictive analysis to help identify trends or predict business outcomes
Predictive analysis
business analysis techniques focusing on identifying trends or predicting business outcomes
Decision support system (DSS)
a special purpose information system designed to support organizational decision making
What-if analysis
an analysis of the effects hypothetical changes to data have on the results
conceptual, mathematical, logical, and analytical formula used to represent or project business events or trends
Artificial intelligence (AI)
the science of enabling information technologies to stimulate human intelligence as well as gaining sensing capabilities
Intelligent systems
system comprised of sensors, software, and computers embedded in machines and devices that emulate and enhance human capabilities
Expert system (ES)
a type of intelligent system that uses reasoning methods based on knowledge about a specific problem domain in order to provide advice, much like a human expert
a way of encoding knowledge, typically expressed using an "if-then" format, within an expert system
Fuzzy logic
type of logic used in intelligent systems that allows rules to be represented using approximations or subjective values in order to handle situations where information about a problem is incomplete
the matching of user questions and answers to information in a knowledge base within an expert system in order to make a recommendation
Neural networks
an information system that attempts to approximate the functioning of a human brain
Intelligent agent (bot)
a program that works in the background to provide some service when a specific event occurs
User agents
agents that automatically perform a task for a user, such as automatically sending a report at the first of the month, assembling customized news, or filling out a Web form with routine information
Buyer agents
agents that search to find the best price for a particular product you wish to purchase
Monitoring and sensing agents
agents that keep track of key information, such as inventory levels or competitors' prices, notifying the user when conditions change
Data mining agents
agents that continuously analyze large data warehouses to detect changes deemed important by a user, sending a notification when such changes occur
Web crawlers
agents that continuously browse the Web for specific information; also known as Web spiders
Knowledge management
the process an organization uses to gain the greatest value from its knowledge assets
Knowledge assets
the set of skills, routines, principles, formulas, methods, heuristics, and intuitions (both explicit and tacit) used by an organization to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability
Explicit knowledge asset
knowledge asset that can be documented, archived, and codified
Tacit knowledge asset
knowledge assets that reflect the processes and procedures located in employees' minds
Best practices
procedures and processes used by business organizations that are widely accepted as being among the most effective and/or efficient
Knowledge management system
a collection of technology based tools that include communication technologies as well as information storage and retrieval systems to enable the generation, storage, sharing, and management of tacit and explicit knowledge assets
Social network analysis
a technique that attempts to find groups of people who work together, to find people who don't collaborate but should, or to find experts in particular subject areas
Knowledge portals
specific portal used to share knowledge collected into a repository with employees, with customers and suppliers, or the general public
the display of complex data relationships using a variety of graphical methods
Digital dashboards
a display delivering summary information to managers and executives to provide warnings, action notices, and summaries of business conditions
Soft data
textual news stories or other nonanalytical information
Hard data
facts and numbers gathered from organizational databases
Visual analytics
the combination of various analysis techniques and interactive visualizations to solve complex problems
Geographic information system (GIS)
a system for creating, storing, analyzing, and managing geographically referenced information
GIS; resemble a transparency containing different information about an area