How wise is BI
We start talking about Business Intelligence around the 1950s.
The term, known at the academic level, was popularized within Italian companies especially after the first years of the second millennium.
In the 1990s we usually talk of database in order to collect statistical data, and programming languages to read them and make them useful information for the analysis of the business reality.
Towards the end of that decade, IT tools began to enter the companies in order to support and speed up the creation of reports. At the same time, we are starting to talk more and more about Data Warehouse and the support tools for data preparation and analysis are becoming more and more advanced: Business Intelligence enters into all business realities and each company creates its own dedicated IT environment to Business Intelligence (BI).
The BI becomes indispensable because it allows to standardize, to make the company information content unambiguous and easy to use, it speeds up the ability to describe past events and can identify the factors that led to particular situations. The adoption of specific tools for the implementation of models and statistical logics on historical data makes it possible to anticipate and predict the behavior of the environment that revolves around the company.
Increasingly powerful and sophisticated hardware and software allow BI to evolve from predictive to prescriptive capacity. Large volumes of data converge and mix, application and functional skills, mathematical algorithms and new technologies that allow the application of logics on data not previously possible. Today our computers and our machines equipped with “intelligence” are able to learn and evolve, are able to improve and reach conclusions to which the man could arrive only with great effort. The innovative algorithms that allow to prevent negative situations and to optimize decisions can be applied to the operational processes of the companies but also to any phenomenon of the environment that surrounds the man, while the interaction between man and machine becomes increasingly easier and immediate.
The only limitation to predictive, prescriptive and preventive analyzes is the ever-increasing demand for computing power, but perhaps the time is not so far when new processors and new generation memories will change the way we study the company reality and in general many of the phenomena of our life: it will be the dawn of a new “revolution”.
BI in Ethica
The affirmation of SAP on management software at the end of the century and the flourishing of entrepreneurial initiatives by qualified professionals to bring new-generation ERP into companies, have been the ideal environment for BI specialists to collect and analyze information in order to generate reports and dashboards to support management decisions.
ICM.S and Altevie Technologies, a successful start-up on SAP R/3 of those years which then gave rise together with Espedia to the Ethica Consulting group, attracted young talents from the beginning by setting up a BI Competence Center of recognized excellence in the market.
SAP Business Warehouse (BW) was the first attempt by SAP to create a unified environment where all the functions are encapsulated to meet the needs of data collection, manipulation and display. When the BI was still limited to specialized products and environments, Altevie was among the first operators to test and make the new solution known to the market.
With the development of SAP BI products, the BI Practice in Altevie and in the Group is also growing, reaching over 50 experts in a short time. SAP BW is used for multiple views and analysis on company data, for management Reporting, for Planning and Consolidation of Financial Statements.
After a few years, SAP Business Objects is added to the BI suite, a set of integrated tools that allow you to combine the need for data exploration, dashboarding and Story Telling, giving quick answers. The numbers that describe the company can be viewed with powerful tools, but above all they can be “told”: you can explain the facts, why events happen and then you can show the numbers in a logical and consistent sequence, with a simple and clear graphical representation, all with a single tool.
At one time there was talk of Data Warehouse with aggregate data storage, with monthly updates and only in some cases daily, because the memory space had a significant cost and the update times were long. Today, with new technologies, there is even talk of Real Time and SAP has created HANA, an “in memory” environment that speeds up data update processes, with transactional detail in real time.
The Ethica BI Competence Center, which has its focus in Altevie, has acquired an important design experience on the new platform, has realized data models and complex Real Time and Near Real Time logics, both on BW on/for HANA with HANA stand alone architectures and BO user interface.
It has also created prototypes and implemented projects on the subject of Big Data by developing sophisticated reasoning and Machine Learning algorithms operating in real time on large volumes of constantly changing data. He addressed issues such as fraud control, optimization of deliveries in various contexts, analysis of static and video images also by drones. Our Data Scientists amaze us every day with new ideas to apply to companies and with new research to test.
Today, information technology is Cloud, an important change that leads application suppliers to directly manage, maintain and optimize software and make applications available as remote services, to which users can access with security.
In this context, Ethica moves towards the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), an environment that integrates the reporting and predictive functions, also addressed directly to a Business type user thanks to its ease of use.
Management software and Business Intelligence represent today a unique and integrated reality, taking a direct step on the company’s operational processes, with analysis, interaction and control capabilities increasingly close to real time, with an increasingly pervasive presence of technology in the enterprise and in human life.