Business Intelligence Services
Business Intelligence Architecture
As a BI architect, it is necessary to engage with key stakeholders to understand their needs and the needs of their business. Such stakeholders need the right intelligence on which to base their decisions and create their future strategy. Once this 'intelligence' is understood, portals, dashboards and reporting systems can be planned and designed by the architect using the most appropriate technology such as web based applications or mobile apps. The architect then needs to extract and organise the necessary data. Such organisation of data involves the effective use of data marts i.e. extracting precisely the required data and creating the statistics which are to be measured, and the efficient creation of OLAP cubes if they are to be used.
Cubes allow architects to pre-plan the kinds of queries business users might make on data. Certain queries will be expected i.e. plotting a specific measure against a hierarchy such as time (year>quarter>month) or geography (country>region). An understanding of the data and likely report requirements will dictate the structure of the cube. Once built, these cubes will deliver complicated information very quickly and allow the user to expand and collapse the hierarchy to see information plotted by parent and child nodes of the hierarchy instantaneously. If the cube is correctly designed, it will also deliver 'drillthrough' where a paricular slice of data can be interrogated to get the precise data records which make up the statistic, removing the overheads involved in data users sending ad-hoc query requests to developers.
All the techniques described here, from the storage and extraction of data to the visualisation of graphics, can be implemented using The SAS System. SAS offers an extensive toolset, in which Clare Nicklin has a large amount of experience. Read More
Presented award for Outstanding Delivery in IT Development in previous role for designing and implementing a set of institutional dashboards for The Open University's executive board. Winner of Best Contributed Paper in Business Intelligence section at the 2009 SAS Global Forum in Washington DC for a paper documenting how to overcome problems in OLAP cubes using SAS Enterprise BI Server.