Business intelligence may be an abstract word at first, but it does take an increasingly important place in today's businesses.
To sum it up, business intelligence is all the means and the tools used in the data processing in order to optimize the choices made by the decision-makers and finally boost the company's performances/results.
ETL tools are the most important tools in the Business intelligence field. They are capable of (as their name suggest) Extracting Transforming and Loading the data (in a datawarehouse for example)
But no matter how understandable I try to be on this topic, it remains abstract without an example :
I am going to take an example related to the production :
Let's say that you have you have four sources of data displaying the product's name, the product's quantity, the production for each workgroups and finally for each subsidiary.
And now if you want to analyze them altogether and be able to "zoom" on a particular category you can't make do with simple excel tables for example since you have four dimensions.
That's, for instance, when etl tools come into play allowing you to locate the potential problems (a falling in the production for a particular workgroup, components that have been wasted...) to understand them and eventually correct them.
Simply put it allows you to have a dynamical representation of the data thus enablling you to cross-analyse it.
Of course such a thing can be done by programming (hardcode) but you need some technical background, to handle it.
Of course, etl tools can be used for other purposes :
- migrating data
- Loading data in databases
Therefore, the purpose of the topic is to discuss Business intelligence and the etl tools you use on a daily basis.
Hope it is going to be productive :)