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Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

You must be wondering what is the above imageor title is about. Yeah, it is about the first project I get into. Where the client was using all the above process to generate a report, which will help them to manage their financial planning. So now you must be having an idea that what this blog is about i.e; using Business Intelligence, EPM, ETL and ERP how the financial decisions are taken.
Here the client uses the different processes to achieve their goals. So let’s dive in and try to understand the process. 
Note - In this blog, you will get an overview of each process and its high-level architecture.
Enterprise Resource PlanningFirstly let's start with Enterprise resource planning (ERP), most of the companies store data through ERP. It is a process whereby a company manages and integrates the important parts of its business. ERP system stores both operational and non – operational data. An ERP management information system integrates areas such as purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance, and human resources. ERP systems focus on automating transnational processes.
ERP software integrates all areas of operations – Product Planning, Manufacturing Processes, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, and Procurement. 
So in my project client stores business data through ERP systems below figure shows a high-level view of how different departments of data is integrated through ERP. This data is structured data which is organized in a meaningful manner. But there are many sources where unstructured data is generated in the company in the form of excel files, images, videos etc.  To manage and bring this data into the required format ETL is used.
ERP Major Software’s Providers
Oracle - JD Edwards Enterprise One, JD Edwards World, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Fusion, PeopleSoft,  Oracle Retail, NetSuite.
Microsoft - Microsoft Dynamics (a product line of ERP and CRM applications)
SAP - mySAP, SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Business One, SAP Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA.
Extract Transform Load -  Extract Transform Load (ETL) is the process, where an ETL tool extracts the data from different source systems then transforms the data like applying calculations, concatenations, etc. and then load the data into the Data Warehouse system.

Let's understand each process in ETL -
Extraction –  Data is extracted from various sources like ERP and NON- ERP databases, Excel files, PDF etc. into the staging area. Extraction strategies are used for the data which are updated or modified at the source systems. Following are the types of extractions.

Transformation – Data extracted into a staging server is raw data and cannot be used as it is. It needs to be Cleaned, Mapped and Transformed. Basic and Advanced transformations are two types of Transformations.
Load – Data loading fetches the prepared data, applies it to the data warehouse or to a database where data is going to be stored. There are two types of loads, Initial and Incremental loads.

So here the data from different ERP source system and also Non – ERP system(unstructured data) data is Extracted, Transformed and Loaded into the data warehouse/EPM staging layer (EPM database). EPM staging layer is the database for the EPM system where ETL data is stored.From which EPM application retrieve data.
While working in financial management, reports are created based on Actuals and Forecast data. ERP system has the actual data which is processed by ETL from which reports can be created. But forecast data need to create based on actuals by EPM systems. So the data is now processed by the EPM system. 
ETL Major Software’s Providers –
Mircosoft - SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). 
Enterprise performance managementEnterprise performance management (EPM) is a process and software system designed to help organizations link their strategies to their plans and to execute it. It is a field of business performance management which considers the visibility of operations in a closed-loop model across all facets of the enterprise. Specific to financial activities in the office of the chief financial officer. It helps with processes such as modeling, planning, consolidating, reporting, and analytics. Many modern EPM platforms include embedded BI and analytics tools, which can be used to report and analyze data from EPM applications and other sources.

  • Source – Source is where data comes to the EPM system. These data can come from ERP systems, Business Process, different data warehouses, and even CSV files, Excel files etc.
  • Enabling Technologies – The data which comes from a different source is in different formats and has some invalid data which is not related for the report. Data management and Integration tools like ETL are used to transform the data in a meaningful manner and store it in data warehouses.
  • Data Warehouse – Data warehouse is a central repository for all the transactional data in one form.
  • Data Marts – Data mart is the subset of Data warehouse in which different functional areas of an organization is stored. Here data is available in both Relational and Multidimensional.
  • Applications – In EPM Strategy formulation, Business planning and forecasting, financial management, and Supply chain effectiveness are four major domains. All the domains have specific applications to assist in modeling data and creating reports.
  • Enabling Technologies – These technologies assist the user to generate reports at the client level.
  • User Interface – User Interface is the destination where reports are presented to the client in mobile, MS office etc. Here client can input data and generate reports.
Through the EPM system budgeting and forecast data is created. Now to build reports from this data, we need a reporting tool! Which can show this simple data into graphs and charts. So below is the report after processing the data in reporting tools. 

 Final report
EPM Major Software companies –
Oracle – Hyperion, OBIEE
Microsoft - Power BI.

Mostly I have covered the overview of each process. There are many ways of creating reports. Here I have shown one way. The above processes what we did are part of Business intelligence. So lets sum the blog with defining Business intelligence.

Business Intelligence – BI is a terminology representing a collection of processes, tools, and technologies helpful in achieving more profit by considerably improving the productivity, sales, and service of an enterprise. Or simply we can say BI delivers relevant & reliable information to the right people at the right time with the goal of achieving better decisions faster. For this BI requires methods and programs to collect structured and unstructured data, convert into information and present it to improve business decisions.


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