Business Intelligence at Canadian Tire
The overall purpose of Business Intelligence systems and software is to manage and analyze data in a manner that would support effective decision making. The BI initiative could help Canadian Tire to manage and analyze its data in a way that would allow the company to consolidate and integrate some of its information systems. The information provided in the case indicates that CTC is operating and supporting many different operation systems, mainframes, hardware platforms, database management systems, production applications and desktop-based application and tools. Consolidating and integrating some of these systems would assist CTC not only in managing data more effectively, but also in cutting costs on the maintenance and management of its information systems. This is true of any information system that has room for consolidation and integration improvements. For instance, in the reading “The Quest for Customer Focus”, Continental Airlines was able consolidate its previous 85 to 90 database systems into just a 2 database systems. Merging the databases helped Continental improve its information system by creating a consensus between the data analysis with regard to matters such as who the most valued customers are. Integrating their information systems also helped Continental to eliminate costly problems such as customers being able to get more than one flight voucher for bumped flights, because gate agents and telephone agents were unable to determine if the customer had already been compensated using the previous system.
The case mentioned 10 common challenges of business information implementation: “budget constraints, data quality, understanding and managing user expectations, culture change, time required to implement, data integration, education and training, ROI justification, business rules analysis, and management sponsorship” (Haggety &Meister, Pg. 6). In the case of CTC, we believe that most important challenges that Eubank and Wnek had to consider were budget constraints, data integration and time required to implement. Implementing a new BI system can be costly and the information in the case indicates that CTC was spending a great deal of money on the systems that it currently has in place. One of the goals of implementing a BI system is to become more cost-effective, however implementing the system itself will be costly. According to the case, only 30% of the BI systems that are launched are actually successful. With larger organizations requiring more complex BI systems, the chances of successfully launching a BI system on time and within the budget are considerably lower. Data integration will also be an important factor to consider. As mentioned earlier, CTC had been using multiple different operating systems, hardware platforms, etc. In order to meet the goal of managing data more efficiently and cut costs, many of these systems will likely need to be consolidated and integrated. Lastly, Eubank and Wnek must keep in mind the amount time required to implement the business information system, as they had quick win requests that were currently pending.
When considering the challenge of budget constraints, it should be considered that resources invested in the business information system now could lead to costs of maintenance and management of the information systems being cut in the future. Consolidating and integrating the existing system would significantly reduce costs for CTC in the future. It is also worth mentioning that if the BI system is successful it could improve business operations, which could in turn increase profits. When making decisions regarding the BI system, Eubank and Wnek had to bear in mind the goals of implementing the system and make their decisions with these goals in mind. When facing the challenge of data integration, we would also keep in mind the goals of managing data more effectively and cutting costs. We would...
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