Saturday, August 8, 2009

The ERP/BI Connection

Nowadays, with the complexity of the business, the companies have a lot of data, but the most companies don't transform effectively the data into information to make better decisions. Based in this issue and with the necessity to do "more with less" in this time of tight economy, the Aberdeen Group published an interesting report entitled The ERP/BI Connection: Adding Value through Actionable Intelligence, written by David Hatch and Cindy Jutras, both Vice Presidents of the Aberdeen Group.

They published in the Executive Summary: "Prompted by volatile markets and a troubled economy, the need to reduce costs is the top business driver impacting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) strategies. Combine this need with the ever-increasing need for transparency to both public and privately held companies and the marriage of ERP with Business Intelligence (BI) becomes the perfect storm, igniting improved performance and visibility. This report serves as a benchmark to those companies seeking these results."

According the report, the main requirement behind BI Deployment is to improve the speed of access to relevant business data, and it is the key to transparency, visibility, and informed decision-making.

The report makes some recommendations to the companies:
- Take an integrated approach: Form cross-functional teams for implementation and continuous improvement of ERP; use BI to extract intelligence at each step
- Form a "competency center" or "center of excellence" that is comprised of key management from both IT and line management
- Provide formal BI training
- Develop a mechanism to notify decision makers of exceptions; use BI, workflow, and event management to manage alerts and notifications

"ERP can transform data into information but BI tools are required to complete the transformation from information to intelligence," defines the report.

"The good news is that BI tools have reached a level of maturity which can elevate executives from the depth of the details, bringing them to a higher operating level where they can add strategic value to the organization. The ability to provide better decision support with integrated enterprise data is an important factor in turning data into actionable intelligence. The synergistic relationship between ERP and BI can indeed be the perfect storm, igniting improved performance and visibility", the authors conclude.

The report can be downloaded in the Aberdeen's site (registration required).

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