BI Analysis Questions, Answered


Business Intelligence, or BI, the technological, software-driven method of analyzing raw data for the purposes of making better, well-informed business decisions, is more vital these days than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions surrounding BI.

    • How are BI business requirements defined and analyzed? It’s best to utilize model-driven analysis as opposed to traditional text-based review. Presentations in the former, such as activity diagrams, dimensional models, process maps and transition diagrams are more easily absorbed and understood than the indented outlines and bullet lists typical of the latter. Model-driven artifacts yield clear and concise visual representations of business requirements.

  • How do physical BI business requirements differ from conceptual BI business requirements? Conceptual BI business requirements represent the requirement from the viewpoint of the business user, whereas Physical BI requirements pertain – from a technical perspective – to the implementation of conceptual requirements. Conceptual BI requirements are rooted in business questions and represented by means of, among other things, activity diagrams, dimensional models, metric calculations, ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) process maps and unstructured queries. Physical BI requirements are visually represented using physical database designs, star schemas, ETL system transformation and source system physical data models.
  • How does a strategic BI requirement differ from a tactical BI requirement? Tactical BI requirements are valuable for informing near-term or immediate decisions and are driven by the continuing, day-to-day processes of business. Strategic BI requirements are fodder for the long-haul, addressing decisions relating to trends. They long-term business goals and vision.

Sometimes you will hear from business analysts discuss the difference between a functional or nonfunctional requirement.  Functional requirements typically are the exact reporting requirements that are needed to deliver the basic functionality, where the non-functional requirements address, look, feel or other equally important needs.

In many cases the strategic vs. tactical requirements are both just as important and can lead to process or functional changes in how organizations are collecting or updating information.  What we like to see are tactical requirements with have roll up reporting, or strategic BI requirements that allow you to drill down to the data.

Having this drill up and drill down story in your business intelligence enables your organization to tell the story from a strategic to tactical level and have good supporting alignment of process, visibility and accountability.

  • How does business intelligence differ from big data? In the simplest terms, big data refers to the techniques, tools and technologies used to find, collect and process digital data in all its volume, variety and velocity, the “three Vs” that are typically associated with big data. Volume refers to the amount of accumulated useful digital data generated inside and outside of an organization. Variety refers to the fact that this data takes many different forms – images, text, stats, etc. Velocity refers to the speed at which data – whether from internal or external sources – is generated, as well as the efficiency with which that data is put to use for informed decision making.
  • How do BI business requirements differ from transactional business requirements? Transactional business requirements refer to whatever procedures, tasks and duties a business may be obligated to carry out, whereas BI business requirements analysis represents the sort of quandaries that need to be addressed in order to effectively make business decisions.

Our experts at Advisicon are here to answer any and all of your questions, as well as offer in-depth trainings on a wide variety of BI topics. Contact us to learn more!


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