For those that read the DBCF database blogs which I post here from time to time, you will notice my move into business intelligence solutions full time since the beginning of this year (2007) under the BIDIS Microsoft alias (bidis@microsoft.com). I wanted to write a brief entry here to sort of wrap-up a few comments about the pervasiveness of BI in business today that we see and that I have encountered in working with our customers, business decision makers and industry leaders.

Saying that BI is pervasive in today's business structure can seem very much like marketing hyperbole. Personally, I think it really does not do justice to the fact that I believe we are trying to put across here. The takeaway for me that I wish to highlight is that business intelligence as a solution to every day business problems such as common pain points including customer profitability, revenue management, customer churn analysis and customer segmentation, touches nearly every business in every sector. BI, when done right, is truly a solution to the issues that are raised by those problem areas.

I'll just spend 1 paragraph here focusing on a single area within the problem space I mention above. Let's take Customer Profitability, which Microsoft Services packages as a ready-to-deploy module within the Microsoft Enterprise Cube solution. A deep, analytical 360 degree vision of your customer is the only true way to decipher his and her effect on your business operating income, revenue streams, margins and profits. To be able to analyze your customer base at this micro level provides strategic advantages over competitors and enables you to understand your customers better than ever before. Turning vast amounts of data into knowledge is not only pervasive, but necessary to compete and win in your business.

The way that this is done is to extract the data points needed to form our pre-built Profitability Anlysis cubes through our ETL layer and into the analytics layer provided by Microsoft PerformancePoint Server. SQL Server 2005 in the engine that drives this functionality and provides the ODS for the data storage while the analytical charts, KPIs and scorecards are surfaced through MOSS 2007 and ProClarity.

For more information on Microsoft packaged BI solutions, please send an email to this alias: bidis@microsoft.com.

Thanks and take care! Mark