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If you are new to the macro-area of business intelligence and its tools, this glossary will provide an easy to find guide to some general and specific terms associated with the subject area.
Analytics: Technology approaches that process current and historical data to enhance business management performance such as, to establish policies, assist in making predictions, and multi-level decision making, to name a few.
BI - Business Intelligence: Technology and software applications used to collect, make available, and manipulate business information for effective reporting, planning and decision-making.
BI Consumer: A user of business intelligence information and the products it produces. The terms customer and stakeholder also apply to BI and may sometimes include consumers. However, a customer of BI information commonly refers to the business component or function that pays for the BI process or product. A stakeholder is an entity that has a legitimate interest in the information or product and can include users, consumers, customers, even stockholders and any other party given access to the intelligence.
Business Consumers: Business consumers are the rank and file members of the organization's functional business area teams.
Business Intelligence Reporting: A series of software tools and applications that provide advanced management information to decision makers from broadly disparate data sources.
CRM - Customer Relationship Management: Customer relationship management (CRM) is a generic business term that describes approaches used to exploit the inherent information associated with a company's customers. This includes many classes of BI techniques involving the capture, storage and analysis of customer information.
Dashboard: Includes digital dashboard, executive dashboard, or enterprise dashboard. BI tools used by decision makers to visually monitor the state of the enterprise. The term derives from the analogy of the automobile dashboard, from which the operator (executive) can drive or operate the business.
EEA - Economic Espionage Act of 1996: A Federal statute directed to theft or misappropriation of trade secrets. The law applies to BI due to the goals and practices of BI in regards to collection and analysis of both open and limited source information and the legal and ethical considerations involved.
Executives: Executives are the key decision makers within an organization. An executive's influence spans the strategic and tactical operations of the business and they are the main drivers of most policy components.
IT- Information Technology Administrators: IT Administrators are the BI user group including, information architects, technical support, and other IT professionals that configure, deploy and support the entire BI technology suite.
KPI - Key Performance Indicators: The term used for the most important information residing in a business' varied stores of raw data. One of the principle objectives of BI is to use research and analytical techniques to identify the KPIs and easily separate them from the chaff for processing into reports and other sophisticated management products.
Managers: Managers consist of the tactical-level executers of corporate policy and are responsible for directing most functional business area activities.
Performance Management: Performance Management is a collective term for the BI/management approach also known as business performance management (BPM), corporate performance management (CPM), or enterprise performance management (EPM). The discipline encompasses systems, methodologies, metrics, processes and software technologies used to identify ways to improve overall business performance.
Performance Planning: The product of applying performance management techniques to the planning and forecasting decision area. Performance planning provides keys to establish a reliable view of the future and empirically determine appropriate courses of action.
Professional Report Authors: Professional report authors, also called ‘power users', are expert authors that are the developer's ‘users of choice' for BI software, despite representing only five percent of users.
Scorecard: Robert S. Kaplan and David Norton introduced the concept of scorecards in 1992. Basically, it is a concept for quantifying business activities and strategies, to give managers a more sophisticated view of the performance of a business. It's ultimate value to BI lies in the relationship of performance driven quantified activities and strategies to the complex analytical and reporting abilities of BI.
DM - Data Mining: The exploitation of large volumes of data for subtle trends and patterns using complex software applications.
OODA Loop - Observe, Orient, Decide, Act: A concept originated by Col. John Boyd, USAF describing the decision cycle as "Observe, Orient, Decide, Act", particularly for strategic and tactical military applications. The approach was adapted for commercial use and frequently employed as a common component of BI. When employed iteratively, an OODA Loop is said to provide competitive advantage through creating a series of responsive, planned actions directed to known criteria instead of scattered, spontaneous reactions.
Performance System: A performance management term that refers to the subset of business intelligence tools that address data access, manipulation, and reporting on the functional business unit level.