Business Intelligence For Dummies
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When choosing a business intelligence application, your goal is put an effective Business Intelligence (BI) solution into place, and you're looking at processes and software. This list represents some of the more frequently used BI applications:

Source Data

  • Microsoft: SQL Server, Access

  • Oracle: Oracle 11g

  • SAP: N/A

  • IBM: DB2

  • Business Objects: N/A

ETL, Data Integration, Warehousing

  • Microsoft: Integration Services aka SSIS (formerly known as DTS)

  • Oracle: Warehouse Builder


  • IBM: DB2 Data Warehouse, Warehouse ManagerWebSphere DataStage (ETL) IBM Information Server

  • Business Objects: Business Objects XI R2: Data Integrator (ETL) Data Federator (virtualization) Rapid Marts (standard platform data marts)

Query and Analysis

  • Microsoft: SQL Server Analysis Services, Access, Excel

  • Oracle: Warehouse Builder, Oracle Hyperion Essbase

  • SAP: Netweaver BI

  • IBM: Various

  • Business Objects: Business Objects XI R2: Web Intelligence (query tool) Voyager (OLAP) Desktop Intelligence (query tool)

Reporting, Information

  • Microsoft: SQL Server Reporting Services, Access

  • Oracle: BI Suite Enterprise & Standard Editions: query, analysis, reporting, Siebel Answers, Interactive Dashboards

  • SAP: Netweaver BI

  • IBM: BIRT, Design Studio, Alphablox

  • Business Objects: Crystal Reports

Other Front-End Tools

  • Microsoft: Excel Pivot Tables, PerformancePoint 2007 (enterprise scorecarding)

  • Oracle: Oracle Data Mining

  • SAP: Netweaver BI

  • IBM: IBM Intelligent Miner (data mining)

  • Business Objects: Crystal Xcelsius (visualization tools), Crystal Vision (dashboard), InfoView (BI portal)

Specialty Apps

  • Microsoft: MS Sharepoint Server 2007 (report distribution)

  • Oracle: Business domain operational analytics applications, Hyperion System 9 Financial Management, Financial Planning

  • SAP: ERP Software, Financial Analytics (formerly Outlooksoft)

  • IBM: Websphere Content Discovery (unstructured search)

  • Business Objects: Information OnDemand (hosted BI solutions), Performance Management (Formerly Cartesis)

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Swain Scheps is Manager of Business Analysis at Brierley + Partners, Inc. and a technology veteran making his first foray into the world of book authoring. He wrote the masterpiece resting in your hands with a great deal of input and inspiration from BI guru and fellow For Dummies author Alan R. Simon.
In the late 1990’s Swain, along with most people reading this book, had his dot-com boom-to-bust experience with a company called. . .well, that’s not really important now is it. (Anyone interested in buying some slightly underwater stock options should contact the publisher immediately.) After that there were consulting stints at Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and Best Crossmark developing sales support applications and reporting tools. As of this writing, Swain basks under the fluorescent lights of Brierley, a technology company whose specialty is building customer relationship and loyalty management systems for retailers. The author has had the opportunity to learn from the very best as Brierley also provides unparalleled business intelligence and analytics services for its clients.
Swain lives in Dallas, Texas with wife Nancy and a mere four dogs. He writes about more than just technology; his work has appeared in Fodor’s travel guide books, military history magazines, and even another For Dummies book.

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