Course 117:
Introduction to Business Intelligence (BI)

(3 days)


Course Description

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of business intelligence is to support better business decision making. This course provides an overview of the technology of BI and the application of BI to an organization’s strategies and goals.

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce the concepts and components of Business Intelligence (BI)
  • Evaluate the technologies that make up BI (data warehousing, OLAP)
  • Define how BI will help an organization and whether it will help yours
  • Identify the technological architecture that makes up BI systems
  • Plan the implementation of a BI system

Who Should Attend

Managers, executives, anyone involved in strategic organizational thinking, technologists, and IT architects who have to develop and implement the BI technology.


Basic understanding of computer technology.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Understanding Business Intelligence

  • The Challenge of Decision Making
  • What Is Business Intelligence?
  • The Business Intelligence Value Proposition
  • The Combination of Business and Technology

Unit 2: Business Intelligence Technology Counterparts

  • Data Warehousing
    • What Is a Data Warehouse?
    • Data Marts and Analytical Data
    • Organization of the Data Warehouse
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
    • Distributing the Enterprise
    • First ERP, then Business Intelligence
    • The Current State of Affairs
  • Customer Relationship Management
    • CRM, ERP, and Business Intelligence
    • Customer Decisions
    • Decisions About Customers
  • Business Intelligence and Financial Information

Unit 3: The Spectrum of Business Intelligence

  • Enterprise and Departmental Business Intelligence
  • Strategic and Tactical Business Intelligence
  • Power and Usability in Business Intelligence
  • Finding the Right Spot on the Continuum
  • Business Intelligence: Art or Science?

Unit 4: Business Intelligence User Interfaces

  • Querying and Reporting
  • Reporting and Querying Toolkits
  • Basic Approaches
    • Building Ad-Hoc Queries
    • Building On-Demand Self-Service Reports
    • Enhancing and Modifying
  • Data Access
    • Pull-Oriented Data Access
    • Push-Oriented Data Access
  • Dashboards
    • EIS Is the Engine
    • Metric System and KPIs
    • Business Intelligence Dashboards
  • Briefing Books

Unit 5: On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP)

  • What Is OLAP?
    • OLAP and OLTP
    • Operational Data Stores
    • Variations in Data and Approach
  • OLAP Applications and Functionality
  • Multi-Dimensions
    • Thinking in More Than Two Dimensions
    • What Are the Possibilities?
    • Drilling and Pivoting
  • OLAP Architecture
    • Cubism
    • Tools
    • ROLAP
    • MOLAP
    • HOLAP
  • Data Mining
    • What Is in the Mine?
    • Start with a Question
    • Examples

Unit 6: What’s Next?

  • Visualization
    • The Basics
    • Unconstrained Views
  • Guided Analysis
    • The Business Intelligence Two-Step
    • How to Guide the Guides
  • Handling Unstructured Data
    • Identifying Photographs

Unit 7: Business Intelligence: Is It for You?

  • How Do You Know?
  • Customizing Business Intelligence
    • Start with Questions
    • What Good Is the Information?
  • The Business Intelligence Project Plan
    • Planning the Plan
    • Resources and Roles
    • Risk Management
    • Data Migration Issues
  • Human Factors
    • The Business Intelligence Technology Team
    • The Users Don’t Want It
    • What Is It For?
  • “Could Be” as Opposed to “Should Be”
  • Choosing the Right Size, Shape, and Cost
    • Architecture Alternatives
    • User-Oriented Architecture
  • Best Practices

Unit 8: The Bottom Line

  • Ideas to Use
  • Where to Go for More Information

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