Business Intelligence For Dummies
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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.

About This Article

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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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