BI Basics – Who Needs Business Intelligence
Now, we know what is BI and the necessity of BI, but next question we need to ask before building a BI application is Who Needs Business Intelligence?. In other words, we need to know who are the target audience of the BI application.
Who needs BI?
Getting an answer to this question is very important before designing a BI solution. In fact one of the basic questions which we need to ask before designing any solution is “Who are the end users/consumers of this application?”, as this will help to understand various requirements/needs that the solution should meet.
Simple answer to this question is “Every Decision Maker in an Organization needs BI”. Now the question is, who are the decision makers in an organization? Well, pretty much everyone in an organization is a decision maker and people at different levels make decisions of different level/scale/magnitude.
Let’s consider a simple scenario of a multi-national BPO with call centers across the globe. In this organization, there are people at different levels – CEO at the top, Upper Management, Middle Management, Leads & Managers, and Call Centre Executive as depicted below.
In this organization, everybody makes decisions but at different levels. A call center executive makes decisions related to the day-to-day calls being attended by him/her. Leads & Managers track the calls and make decisions about the calls successfully closed, re-opened calls, issues, escalations etc. Middle Management makes decisions about things like utilization of resources at a larger scale, response times etc. Upper Management and CEO make decisions of a very large-scale may be at the level of a territory or country and across the globe respectively.
As part of their decision-making, individuals at all the levels depicted above require different levels of information for making effective decisions and their informational needs vary in terms of different parameters like level of details, scale of goals (long-term or short-term), and acceptable data latency etc. Hence a BI application built for this kind of organization should be able to cater to the needs of people at all these different levels and should help them make informed decisions.
Hope that helps in understanding the type of users who require a BI solution.
Until next time, happy learning!