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February 2010, Vol. 1

Is self-service business intelligence the answer?

The term business intelligence has become a part of technology and business lexicon, but what does it really mean? Many people think that the term refers to data warehouses, and they would be correct. But there's so much more to BI. Business intelligence is the combination of technologies and processes for gathering, storing, analyzing and accessing data that supports decision making within a company. It includes decisions about data warehouses; reporting; data mining; extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes; and forecasting. The data that's acquired can be invaluable in terms of what you can learn about your business and customers. Because BI encompasses such a broad spectrum of technologies, it requires highly skilled technologists to manage it. So how does self-service BI fit into that puzzle? Self-service BI: Power to the people The goal of self-service BI is to empower end users so they can make decisions based on their own analyses, instead of forcing them to use only the data and reports available from a larger BI ...

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