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The Never Ending Story (Pt1):

With the Latest release of SQL Server Microsoft have really gone to town on BI. To understand this a little better I am going to run a series of interlinked blogs looking at this topic.

Today we will start with “What is BI and what goes to make it”

BI or Business Intelligence is a relatively new term but with old roots. The original concept is the same as it has always been:

To make better use of the information collected by a company/business to help the decision makers make their decisions faster and more accurately.

Over the computer ages whilst the goal has remained the same the name has changed! So we have moved from Executive Information Systems (EIS)through Decision Support Systems (DSS) to todays BI!

BI should be thought of simply as the following things:

  • The type of reports a business requires
  • The type of person that uses the report
  • The repository for the data
  • The way in which the data gets there


Reports tend to fall into one of three general classes:

  • Dashboard Reports: High level, highly summarised ‘tasters’ of the real underlying data. Used by time-pressed executives and strategic decision makers 
  • Production Reports: Large, very detailed reports have the same structure every time they are generated. These are used by administrators and tactical decision makers
  • Analytical Reports: These are some of the heart and soul reports driving BI today. They are the dynamic and usually interactive reports. These are used by analysts and the real ‘hands-on’ day to day managers

To meet these report needs the requirement for a ‘Data Warehouse’ was coined. In the next episode of this Never Ending Story we will be looking a what Data Warehouses are.


Posted on Sunday, May 21, 2006 7:04 AM | Back to top

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