Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

INFO TECHNOLOGY

Forewarned is forearmed in today's business world

In today's fast-moving and complex business environment, the winning companies are those that can make quick decisions and act on them immediately. But this kind of flexibility can only be successful when decisions are based on detailed, up to date knowledge.
The evolution of specialised enterprise applications which continually record data means that modern businesses are awash with information related to profitability, relationships with suppliers, financial health, competitor activity, shifts in the market, fluctuations in the cost or availability of resources.
Unfortunately, many managers cannot get at this information without filing requests for reports that may take days or even weeks to arrive, and by that time it is often too late to act for the best. These days, sophisticated databases and business applications are not enough to manage an enterprise - they must be used in tandem with a set of tools and applications collectively known as "business intelligence" software.

In today's fast-moving and complex business environment, the winning companies are those that can make quick decisions and act on them immediately. But this kind of flexibility can only be successful when decisions are based on detailed, up to date knowledge.

The evolution of specialised enterprise applications which continually record data means that modern businesses are awash with information related to profitability, relationships with suppliers, financial health, competitor activity, shifts in the market, fluctuations in the cost or availability of resources.

Unfortunately, many managers cannot get at this information without filing requests for reports that may take days or even weeks to arrive, and by that time it is often too late to act for the best. These days, sophisticated databases and business applications are not enough to manage an enterprise - they must be used in tandem with a set of tools and applications collectively known as "business intelligence" software.

Business intelligence tools, which sift and analyse data according to specific parameters, can make previously fragmented or inaccessible corporate information instantly available to anyone who needs it. A marketing manager, for example, can define a set of parameters to measure the success of a marketing campaign, and see the results on his or her desktop at the click of a mouse. He or she can then drill down into the data to examine any anomalies or unexpected results, compare these with related data from other areas of the enterprise, perform "what-if" queries to assess the significance of the anomaly, and make a decision to alter the campaign in view of this information. All of this can take place in the space of a day, rather than a week or month.

At the highest levels in the enterprise, business intelligence plays an important role in defining and re-assessing strategic direction. Up to date information from various parts of the business - financials, HR, sales, manufacturing, customer service - can be pooled along with pertinent internal and external data, to provide a snapshot of how the company is doing at any given moment.

This ability to make quick, informed decisions is invaluable at every point throughout the enterprise. If you know which customers are in danger of defecting, a rescue strategy can be launched immediately. Knowing which products are most in demand at any one time means that supply chain and production can be rapidly realigned to cope with any increase or decrease in demand. Knowing when a competitor is about to withdraw from one of your markets means that you can quickly capitalise on the opportunity. Forewarned is forearmed, and business intelligence tools provide the real-time access to data needed to spot trends, changes, anomalies, opportunities, risks and danger areas, often before they happen.

This column was prepared by Oracle Corporation. Questions can be sent to mfischer@at.oracle.com

Top stories

Námestie Slobody square closer to facelift Photo

The Bratislava city council wants to revitalise the square by the end of 2018

The winning project for revitalisation of Námestie Slobody square

Slovak hockey league will not rest during Olympics

Unlike the Slovak premiere hockey league, Swiss, German and Russian leagues will take a break during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Ice hockey is popular in Slovakia

Disputed fee for preferential treatment at doctors to be re-introduced

Patients unwilling to wait at the doctor’s office may be able to make appointments starting next year, for a fee of €50.

Waiting rooms are full of patients, illustrative stock photo

Gilden: Take the negative and make a positive from it Photo

The works of New York native, photographer Bruce Gilden, who has worked for five decades in the streets of the biggest cities, are on exhibit in the Kunsthalle (House of Arts) in Bratislava.

Bruce Gilden: Feast of San Gennero, Little Italy, 1984.