Organizations leverage business intelligence (BI) to analyze their historical and present data to derive insights and predict future outcomes. A BI Solution has multiple phases and leverages people, processes, technology, and data. To launch an effective BI solution, you should first understand a BI architecture and analytics process.
Business Intelligence (BI) refers to collecting, integrating, analyzing, and presenting business data. A BI Architecture is a framework of technologies and tools used to run a BI and analytics solution. Businesses can deploy a BI Architecture on the Cloud, on-premise, or even a combination of both. Still, in either case, there are a few common characteristics between all these scenarios. BI Architecture collectively supports the BI process's different stages, from data ingestion and storage to reporting and visualization.
There is no perfect formula for a BI architecture as there are many systems across sourcing, modeling, and presenting data. Below is a diagram that displays the four core areas of a BI Architecture.
Organizations can use various systems to capture and store transactional and operational data. These sources can be internal (CRM, Salesforce, ERP, etc.) and external (emails, excel, web), structured, and unstructured.
To analyze data effectively, we need to consolidate it first. This process is called ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform, Load. After extracting data from different sources, we transform it to get a unified view of the data and then load it into the data warehouse (Azure SQL Database in our example). Another option is ELT (Extract, Load, and Transform), in which data is extracted and loaded as is and transformed later for BI use. Azure Data Factory is a managed cloud service built for complex hybrid ETL/ELT and data integration projects.
Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) is a database built for data analysis and reporting. It contains data extracted from various operational and transactional systems, internal and external sources, transformed to make the data consistent, and loaded for analysis. A data warehouse will help achieve cross-functional analysis, summarize data, and maintain one version of the truth across the enterprise.
A Data Model provides aggregated information and reduces a query’s response time compared to a relational database. Data Models are the layer between an enterprise data warehouse and reporting tools. In our example, a semantic layer (Azure Analysis Services) is a business representation of corporate data that helps end-users access data autonomously using common business terms. It maps complex data into familiar business terms such as product, customer, or revenue to offer a unified, consolidated view of data across the organization.
Data visualization is a graphical representation of information and data. Using visual elements like charts, graphs, and maps, data visualization tools provide an accessible way to see and understand trends, outliers, and patterns in data. Knowing the story behind data makes data visualization a powerful tool for sharing and communicating information. There are many reporting and visualizing tools on the market. For example, Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Excel, or self-service analytics tool Power BI.
Data analysis enables end-users to draw insights and support decision-making to gain information from data. Data-driven organizations focus on analytics adoption and enablement by getting the data in the hands of the users. During this phase of a BI Solution, end users can derive insights from the analytics and make recommendations that bring value to the business.
Read more about Overcoming Barriers to Analytics Adoption through this Whitepaper.
Written by CCG, an organization in Tampa, Florida, that helps companies become more insights-driven, solve complex challenges and accelerate growth through industry-specific data and analytics solutions.
CCG understood our project needs very well, they are very responsive and we could not ask for anything more. The solution they provided fit perfectly with our expectations and business goals.GOP Data TrustChief Data Officer
I cannot overstate the delight we experienced from the outcome of our project. I would not only recommend CCG to any company, but question why they would engage with anyone but CCG.PgiDirector of Customer Success
Working with CCG is like working with extended team members. Consultants become an integral part of the work bringing expertise for cutting edge design and development.Hillsborough County Public SchoolsChief Information and Technology Officer
CCG's team is positive and eager. They are a great big bunch of wonderful people trying to make a difference.Hillsborough County Public SchoolsDepartment Manager
I knew CCG's technical expertise and dedication to quality results would be invaluable to our project success based on our past partnerships. We could not have implemented in the short timeframe like we did without their assistance. CCG is #1 on my speed dial for successful project implementation.InCommDirector, Financial Information Systems
It was evident from the onset of negotiations through the implementation that CCG took their role in the partnership to heart and we believe it has been instrumental in our success.Interval InternationalDirector of Marketing
CCG works very hard to understand and align with our needs. It truly feels as though we are on the same team!Fortune 500 HomebuilderBI Manager
CCG came to our company in a time of much change. Their team partnered with ours, continually delivering with professionalism and efficiency. We would not be where we are today without the expertise CCG brought to the project.PSCU Financial ServicesSenior Program Manager
CCG has a good industry knowledge, we are very happy that we chose to work with CCG. They have been a great help strategically and are helping us make important decisions.Minneapolis Public SchoolsHuman Capital Coordinator
Other Vendors use the word Partnership, but CCG actually means what they say. I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and willingness to work with us as a true Partner, not just another vendor.PODSCIO
Our CCG Consultants are total rock stars: very thorough with a solid knowledge of the financial services industry. As a bonus, they are very easy to get along with – a great fit for our team.Raymond James Financial ServicesSenior Manager of Enterprise Data
CCG's team are all amazing. Thank you, CCG, for all that you do to make us great and keep our credit unions moving forward!PSCU Financial ServicesVP Enterprise Analytics & BI
Other Vendors use the word Partnership, but CCG actually means what they say. I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and willingness to work with us as a true Partner, not just another vendor.PODSChief Information Officer
CCG's Team is very professional and responsive. They are making our job very easy.Rollins, Inc.Senior BI Analyst
CCG did an excellent job! Their team was very flexible. They gave us everything we asked for and then some.Rooms To GoSenior BI Architect
I'm amazed at the talent at CCG, not just the skillset - they're really good people. We've already referred them once and will do so again!Ruth's Chris Hospitality GroupCIO
CCG did a great job! We're extremely impressed with what was built in a short time. CCG has delivered ahead of time and with best practices, it's been a pleasure to work with them.VologyVP of Analytics
2502 N. Rocky Point Drive, #650, Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.968.3238 | Fax: 813.200.1357
8000 Avalon Blvd. Suite #100, Alpharetta, GA
Phone: 404.328.7298 | Fax: 813.200.1357