Common Operational Data Sources in Business Intelligence

Part of the Business Intelligence For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Businesses digitally store a tremendous amount of operational data, and for business intelligence to function, it needs wide-open roads between data sources. Mainframe legacy systems still form the foundation of many companies’ data centers because of their ability to process and harbor huge quantities of data, but their data is notoriously difficult to get to as many of the legacy applications are obsolete, proprietary, or pre-standards software. Other options for data sources are:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Often implemented throughout the organization in modules that map to specific business domains, such as supply-chain, human resources, finance, accounts payable, and so on. ERP systems store a lot of transactional data used in today’s BI environments.

  • Customer Relationship Management: A common data source for business intelligence, CRM systems do just what they say: they process and store customer profile and behavior information, like purchase activity.

  • E-Commerce: Web applications can act as source data systems for business intelligence platforms by feeding real-time sales activity.

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