Business Intelligence System

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management

Volume 1, 2006

Business Intelligence Systems
in the Holistic Infrastructure Development
Supporting Decision-Making in Organisations
Celina M. Olszak and Ewa Ziemba
University of Economics, Katowice, Poland
olszak@ae.katowice.pl

ewa@ae.katowice.pl

Abstract
The paper aims at analysing Business Intelligence Systems (BI) in the context of opportunities for improving decision-making in a contemporary organisation. The authors – taking specifics of a decision-making process together with heterogeneity and dispersion of information sources into consideration – present Business Intelligence Systems as some holistic infrastructure of decisionmaking. It has been shown that the BI concept may contribute towards improving quality of decision-making in any organisation, better customer service and some increase in customers’ loyalty. The paper is focused on three fundamental components of the BI systems, i.e. key information technologies (including ETL tools and data warehouses), potential of key information technologies (OLAP techniques and data mining) and BI applications that support making different decisions in an organisation. A major part of the paper is devoted to discussing basic business analyses that are not only offered by the BI systems but also applied frequently in business practice. Keywords: Business Intelligence, data mining, OLAP, ETL, business decision-making, knowledge management

Business Intelligence Systems in Decision-Making
Decision-making in management has always involved utilisation of different information assets. Contemporary economic conditions show that organisations are more frequently made to use external, dispersed and semi-structured sources of information. In today’s decision-making, it is necessary to reach for information. However, it is knowledge that has to be mainly looked for. Knowledge provides foundations for effective business activities. Procedural knowledge (explaining how to perform tasks and follow procedures) should be accompanied by declarative knowledge (indicating what has to be done), semantic knowledge (depicting relations between facts) and casuistic knowledge (that refers to some cases from the past). So-called tacit knowledge is a large part of knowledge in an organisation. Organisations that are interested to use knowledge in

decision-making are forced to work out
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Editor: Alex Koohang

Business Intelligence Systems

Nowadays, different groups of people participate in decision-making (stakeholders, customers, suppliers, etc.). The scope of a particular decision is in many cases of global nature. Regional and international interdependencies require wider exchange of information and knowledge sharing, and better coordination of activities undertaken in contrast to everything that took place in the past (Viehland, 2005).

Dispersion of information assets and their frequently tacit nature results in...
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