Business Intelligence for the masses
Cost effectiveness, and reliable and measurable results, are
driving BI implementation in customer-focussed verticals such as retail, telecom
and manufacturing. Today, BI tools and their benefits are part of the business
mainstream. Kumar Dawada reports.
Knowledge is the antidote to fear
Ralph Waldo Emerson
For centuries, prosperous and successful businesses have depended on intuition
and the analytical skills of elite management personnel. Timing has always been
critical--the right decision at the right place and at the right time can be
sustained with insight, foresight and solid performance backups. The IT revolution
has, to some extent, reduced business insight to mathematical formulae that
have been standardised and made available as Business Intelligence (BI) systems
that dredge facts to support the best possible business decision from an organisation's
data stores. In practice, businesses deploy these solutions for competition
analysis, predicting trends, customer needs, buying patterns and behaviour based
on existing data.
IDBI Bank has developed its Business Intelligence in-house.
Sneha Khanna analyses the deployment at one of India's largest private
Banks cannot live without Business Intelligence as they rely heavily on technology.
IDBI Bank has its own internally developed framework for BI.
Says Sanjay Sharma, Corporate Head, Technology, IDBI, We
do not use a standard tool for BI. We built our own tools for customer profitability
and account profitability, looking at data from different dimensions and creating
product line related information.
IDBI preferred this option as they have the information on their core system.
Sharma says, Instead of extracting everything from the core system and
then dumping it somewhere and extrapolating from it, it is easy to work within
the organisation with a set of people and so we created the model internally.
We also used the external perspective of some experts and small organisations
where a set of people worked onsite to help us develop these models.
A PHASED IMPLEMENTATION
IDBI implemented BI in a phased manner. Firstly they looked at the larger picture
of their database to study the customer segments that they wanted to target.
Then they analysed and found out who the profitable customers were.
After detailed analysis of their customers, IDBI Bank created an analytical
and behavioural model. It took them around six to eight months to create the
Running an internal BI framework as it does, the bank rarely faces the problem
of data integration. Says Sharma, For CRM, everything has been developed
in-house. CRM and BI are running on the same data and so we dont face
the problem of data integration as there is no third-party involvement.
That changes when a tie-up arises. IDBI has a solution for data integration
issues in such instances. Sharma explains, We have many tie-ups with companies
such as BPCL, and more recently, Indian Airlines. In these cases, there is online
connectivity and backup is done using the ERP system for online interfacing
with XML as a message-based format and SSL for security. In these tie-ups there
is a predefined validation process.
At IDBI there is a specific format that needs to be validated and uploaded
into the core system for any exchange of data. So there is no inconsistency.
COUNTING ON BENEFITS
IDBI has benefited from day one, enjoying success apart from cost benefits.
Sharma explains, When there is a subset of data in a large database, BI
helps in targeting the mailers and phone calls that are part of any product
campaign. The conversion rate for direct sales and product relationship has
been almost thirty to forty percent.
In the past IDBI has launched many products. Consider for instance, when IDBI
launched the Card-to-Card Money Transfer. Recalls Sharma, When we realised
that there are lot of people using drafts and other methods to transfer funds,
particularly for individuals studying abroad or travelling, we launched Card-to-Card
Money Transfer where one is able to transfer from one visa debit card to another
non-IDBI debit card.
Another strategy which IDBI made and followed was when they observed that
every Diwali and New Year the number of credits in their customers accounts
increase as many companies directly credit accounts, some giving cash or cheques.
Sharma reveals, We launched gift cards not only targeted at individuals
but also at companies that can give an incentive or bonus equivalent to the
value of the card, which customers can use in shops or at ATMs. IDBI observed
that the customers with a balance of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 and with 10 transactions
a month might say yes to wealth management and offered them the service.
Sharma believes that for any organisation to evaluate its success for BI there
are some basic parameters, such as cost reduction over time, additional revenue
generated, quantum of sales growth and so on. Customers are getting the most
out of BI through value-added service.
If a customer has a balance in his account which has not been used for a long
time the bank offers advisory services suggesting mutual funds that he might
be interested in.
With business booming, the bank is now contemplating buying a packaged product.
Sharma reveals, Now we are planning to go in for a product instead of
managing all our BI needs internally, as our information store is growing.
Bonding BI with banking
A bank such as HDFC, with over three million customers spread
across the country, needs to have a vast Business Intelligence framework to
keep up with and analyse its customers' information. Let us examine how they
A bank such as HDFC, with over three million customers spread
across the country, needs to have a vast Business Intelligence framework to
keep up with their customers information and analyse it. Let us examine
how they do it.
Business Intelligence tools are the banking sectors lifeline,
helping to consolidate the vast volumes of data, and target the right segment
for the right scheme. Success helps in reducing costs tremendously.
WHEN THE NEED ARISES
HDFC Bank started using BI in 2001 when their customer base expanded to over
three million. Munish Mittal, Vice President, Information Technology, HDFC Bank
explains, Once we acquired critical mass with around three to four million
customers in 2001, we had to integrate customer data into a central customer
data repository to understand and review all services the customer was subscribing
to, as well as customer profitability, to devise a customer-centric framework.
Within six to nine months after the BI implementation, HDFC felt a tremendous
- Analysing customer behaviour and interaction with
- Devising a customer contact strategy and implementing
suitable channels such as direct banking.
- Analysing customer preferences for transaction channels.
- Identifying personalised needs based on relationship
value, and devising cross-sell strategies to arrive at the basic mission,
which is to be a one-stop shop.
- Devising a suitable product strategy.
- Refining new products
THE 36-DEGREE VIEW
HDFC began implementation by first creating a 360-degree view of customers
transactions, profitability, product acquisition, product holding, loan repayment,
ticket sizing and transactional trends of usage, which helped them to offer
many new things such as electronic bill cards.
Next, HDFC did data warehousing by analysing campaign management using a modelling
engine by Unica on top for studying customer behaviour. It took around eight
to nine months for HDFC to integrate data warehousing across product segments
in retail banking.
BONDING THEM TOGETHER
Bonding BI to customers and suppliers was another issue that HDFC had to deal
with and managed successfully. For supply chain relationship management
we have implemented solutions in the area of corporate banking, where the payment
between the automobile dealer and manufacturer as well as the supplier and the
same manufacturer can be executed in real time on the Internet, reveals
HDFC uses various Business Objects technology based end-user
reporting and personal OLAP tools to study the behaviour of supplier, dealer
and manufacturer transactions over the Internet to generate trends, devise pricing
strategy and create innovative use of product offerings.
- Arrive at a suitable fee-based service
on better channel utilisation by analysing behaviour on average balances
maintained by certain customer segments.
- Upgrade customer profitability across
various profitability bands by studying cross-selling strategy through
trends from BI framework, and offering alternative fee-based business
propositions to less profitable customers.
- Judge a delinquent customer before granting
a second-class/top-up loan.
For cleaning up data, HDFC has in-built health check-ups and for Extract Transform
Load (ETL) they have database administrators. Mittal explains, For ETL
we have database administrators who work with us to optimise ETL performance.
We use innovative and state-of-the-art storage technology to derive maximum
performance of IO (input/output) processing.
For data integration, HDFC has health checks, data standardisation, and data
enrichment as a part of their daily/weekly/monthly data warehousing processing.
HDFC is currently implementing a data quality and householding solution from
SAS for enhancement of its BI infrastructure.
Bajaj Auto: the turn-around move
Faced with a stagnating scooter market and increased competition
from local and MNC players, Bajaj Auto went for a major restructuring and streamlining
operation. It found a major ally in its enterprise portal and BI solution. It
helped Bajaj Autos phenomenal turnaround and reinstated it as one of the
two largest manufacturers of two-wheelers. Kumar Dawada reports
The intelligent thinker sees the invisible, feels
the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
In the late 1990s, Bajaj Auto, the leading scooter manufacturer, faced an identity
crisis. There was a shift from scooters to motorcycles, whose designs were sleeker
and more fuel-efficient. Urban youth as well as rural markets were patronising
the motorcycle market, effectively ignoring scooters. It was a do-or-die situation
for Bajaj Auto. It had to quickly adapt to the evolving market or be rendered
Bajaj Auto went for a major organisational overhaul and restructuring. Different
channels were created. The marketing network was improved. Product quality and
innovation was given priority; the supplier database, cost conversion ratio
and all other aspects of manufacturing and finance were improved.
PROJECT 110 PERCENT
In 2000, the companys business objective was code-named Project 110 percent.
The goal was to boost the companys topline by 100 percent and the bottom-line
by 10 percent. Bajaj Auto aimed at reducing its purchasing cost while increasing
retail sales, dealer profits and customer satisfaction. IT structure became
an important element in the overall business strategy.
Since 2002, Bajaj Auto is using the mySAP enterprise suite, which includes ERP,
customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and product
lifecycle management (PLM), and is based on a transaction-processing model.
Hence, SAP-BIW (Business Warehouse) was added as an extension to the mySAP enterprise
suite to provide BI functionality and to ensure tight integration between the
transactions, the system and the BI.
Anil Khopkar, GM, MIS, Bajaj Auto feels that the SAP BI solution is best suited
for the manufacturing as well as the automotive sector. The reason for
deploying SAP BI solution was that SAP also builds and provides India-specific
solutions. It has a development lab in Bangalore and ensures strong product
support. There is also proper integration with previous products, says
Khopkar calls the BI initiative a necessity. The enterprise
suite and the transaction system were taking care of day-to-day business. However,
the BI deployment was required to meet corporate goals and objectives. Every
individual had targets to meet. The BI initiative was necessary to monitor and
measure target achievements. BI has enabled the organisation to move beyond
streamlined business transactions and focus on performance management,
||Bajaj Auto is an automotive manufacturer with 20
million vehicles on the road. Its network includes 15 regional offices,
14 warehouses, over 450 dealers and 1,200 plus outlets across the country.
||A full-fledged BI system to monitor and measure performance
at all levels that offers insights which can be acted upon.
||The company implemented SAP-BIW on account of its
tight integration with the mySAP business suite.
||The manufacturer is now able to measure the performance
of its day to day operations. The focus is on improving overall performance
including production, manufacturing and marketing.
THE CORRECT VERSION
Even when the business setup and processes are exceptionally good, the challenge
faced by an organisation is to ensure that the data available is a single irrefutable
version of the truth. The data placed in the BI solution must be able to reflect
the actual business transaction and measure it against the actual performance.
If the data is unable to correlate the weekly or monthly business transactions
or represent the business activities then it loses the confidence of decision-makers.
Our main concern was to ensure that the data available on annual, monthly
and even daily basis should result in action orientation on the frontline and
facilitate overnight decisions. What we needed was traceability of the data
transaction so that people would start believing in the information provided
by the IT system and take decisions accordingly, recalls Khopkar.
Bajaj Auto decided to focus on its core competency, manufacturing, instead of
IT intricacies. It partnered with IBM and then with SAP to take care of technical
details including data cleaning, readying the data sources and overall care
of data integrity. The content was ours. The technical and IT aspects
were taken care of by our support partners, confides Khopkar.
The BI initiative provided the company with tremendous data visibility
especially for retail and market sales. It also improved quality control and
cost structure. Visibility and availability of proper data makes people work
better because it shows them the exact status and galvanises them into action.
We make the information available at the proper level so that the concerned
persons are able to relate to their business target and make the best of it,
The BI deployment is used to measure all business functions, goals and targets
including marketing topline, market shares, customer satisfaction index and
dealer performance index. The company also has a business scorecard model and
a shareholder value system in place. Since there has been a single SAP system
for many years, there is tight integration and no compatibility issues.
Khopkar believes that unless you can measure something in business by performancxe
it cannot be achieved. BI has facilitated achieving business objectives. The
achievements are measured, monitored and made action-oriented.
To ensure freshness of ideas and infusion of new technology, Bajaj Auto constitutes
a core IT team with senior (level two) business people who represent the various
business functions. They spend two to three years and then go back to their
respective departments. The new person coming in their place introduces
fresh ideas, approach and technology and the new implementations are not challenged
or blocked by old mindsets formed by investing too much time in the IT department,
Khopkar feels that the intangible RoI is most important in a major IT deployment.
He explains, The performance measurement enables our people in their daily
operation and performance. We are now focusing on improving overall performance.
We have set our sights on achieving excellence in all areas including production,
manufacturing and marketing. We are also focusing on product innovations and
are getting recognition in the form of excellence awards.
Shoppers Stop: closer to customers with BI
Shoppers Stop wanted to make shopping a delight for
their customers. They also wanted to understand their customers needs
and provide better products while reducing costs and driving revenues. BI helped
them achieve their goals.
Unnikrishnan T M
The retail sector is getting more competitive locally and is
under siege from global retail giants such as Wal-Mart. The Indian retail industry,
which initially lagged behind in adapting new technologies, has quickly realised
that strategic use of technology alone can ensure their long-term survival.
They have also pinpointed the areas where BI can be applied specifically to
India is a very complex retail market. Retailers not only have to contend with
geographical, cultural and linguistic diversity, but manage business complicated
by tax structures which vary from state to state. A successful retailer needs
not only the right products at the right place and the right time but must also
have the right price to be acceptable to the customer. In addition, the number
of products managed is very high.
Retailers are highly dependent on three types of Intelligence. First is merchandise
intelligence. This includes everything related to merchandise, from product
inventory to price and marketing. The second is customer intelligence, starting
from knowing the customers buying patterns to ensuring customer loyalty.
The third intelligence is operational intelligence. This ensures cost management
and includes reducing retail shrinkage due to theft by employees, shoplifting
by customers or vendor fraud. It also covers labour optimisation and proper
selection of the shopping mall site.
Shoppers Stop had a clear business objective. It wanted the customer to
have a personalised shopping experience. It wanted tailor-made promotions and
schemes unique to the buying patterns of specific customers. For this
we needed to understand how, when, where and in what combination the customer
buys merchandise, recalls Unnikrishnan TM, Customer Care Associate and
CTO, Solutions and Technology, Shoppers Stop.
It was also necessary to improve the decision-making skills of the organisation,
manage costs, increase revenue and provide better products to the customers.
It decided to use a BI solution from Business Objects as well as the SAS analytical
application. It uses the Business Objects solution for reporting and some advanced
analysis. We use a combination of Business Objects and the SAS solution
for trend analysis, promotion management, and customer behaviour, segmentation,
buying basket analysis, profitability and lifecycle analysis. We also use it
to understand the effectiveness of marketing efforts, says Unnikrishnan.
The BI solutions were chosen for their ready availability as well as optimal
cost at that point of time, he adds.
CLEANSING THE DATA
Before any IT initiative, the business requirements as well as the process to
be supported and workflow to be facilitated are carefully evaluated. This evaluation
process ensures that the business processes are aligned with IT before deploying
any IT solution including BI. We use extensive qualitative and quantitative
evaluation criteria. Every solution is graded on the criteria and vendors are
expected to demonstrate their products capabilities on all the criteria,
As BI analytics depend critically on data integrity and reliable data resources,
Shoppers Stop have models for collecting, updating, changing and deleting
data through the business processes. We ensure that the business process
supports the data lifecycle and has the necessary checks and controls to validate
the data being entered, says Unnikrishnan.
The data which is transferred from online transaction processing systems
(OLTP) has to be cleansed. As and when required, transformation is carried out
and then this data is loaded onto the data warehouse. But first, a data mapping
exercise that maps company-specific data to a retail industry standard data
model should be completed. In some cases, a company may build their own proprietary
data model. The choice may vary based on various factors, elaborates Unnikrishnan.
He adds, Our current BI applications are fairly compatible with the existing
ERP, SCM and CRM applications. Even if compatibility issues arise, enough Enterprise
Application Integration (EAI) tools and middleware applications are available
to resolve the issue and harvest the data into the data warehouse. ETL tools
too are easily available to extract data, and the transformed data can be easily
loaded on the data mart or data warehouse.
BI solutions are currently implemented to measure revenue parameters, customer
enrolments, profitability of a customer base or segment and total revenue earned
through the lifecycle of a customer. BI is also used to measure the merchandise
Business Objects is used for many business applications, business processes
and functions. We also use BI for our CRM activities as well as for other areas
of merchandising, inventory and sales as required, stresses Unnikrishnan.
The RoI depends on the application for which the BI is used. BI implementations
in some areas have paid rich dividends. Birthday mailers are sent out
to our loyal customers and the response to this initiative is phenomenal. We
also use BI during the festival season to increase traffic to the stores. Here
too the results have been encouraging, says Unnikrishnan.
Shoppers Stop has used various predictive methods and models to find out
which of its customers are likely to buy again and how much. This has helped
create a focused campaign and incentives for its high-value customer base. The
recent diamond mine festival was a big hit with high-value customers as was
its iPod giveaway scheme.
The organisation uses the information and analysis collected from the BI tools
to help it study the demographic details of the target markets and position
merchandise in retail store locations.
FUTURE OF RETAIL BI
BI will help the retail sector in understanding the customer. This insight will
be used to make proper business decisions pertaining to various areas. In BIs
future is a fusion of intelligence with business processes.
||Aiming to position itself as a global retailer, Shopper's
Stop is a family store delivering a complete shopping experience. It is
a retail venture of the K. Raheja Corporation with operations in Bangalore,
Hyderabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon and Kolkata. About
50,000 customers visit a Shopper's Stop every day. The company has a national
presence of over 6,00,000 square feet of retail space and stocks over 250
brands of garments and accessories.
||Make shopping a delight by understanding the customer's
needs, provide better products and reduce operational cost and boost revenues.
||BI solutions from Business Objects and SAS.
||BI has helped the company craft focused campaigns
and offer incentives to its high-value customers. It has helped the organisation
study the demographics of target markets and position appropriate merchandise
in its retail stores.
Home loans and BI
With a network of 51 branches and 106 service stations in India,
DHFL has a large network, a wide customer base, and a comprehensive product
portfolio. The company uses BI to consolidate data and create reports that give
it a deeper understanding of its business. Sneha Khanna reports
There are many big national and international players today in the housing
finance industry. There is competition for space and market share. Free and
fair access to the knowledge base, and appropriate business information are
the key factors that help a company stand out in a service-based industry. Making
information available in a snapshot is the strategy that Dewan Housing Finance
Limited (DFHL) has been following.
For a company providing financial assistance, Business Intelligence (BI) is
a backbone which forms the very basis of existence. Says Satish Kotian, Head,
IT, DFHL, Due to the nature of global competition, there is always pressure
on profit margins and hence the cost of acquiring business, cost of delivery
and delivery method are key factors in the success of any organisation.
Another reason which made DHFL choose BI was that this information was being
used by various functional departments of the company as well as disseminated
to various agencies as per their requirements. Says Kotian, Crystal Reports
captures the data in a processed and semi-processed form, and gives users the
flexibility of customising business reports.
To deploy Crystal Reports at DHFL, a core team was formulated for gathering
the complete set of business and process information required for MIS. Another
team was formed to evaluate the products available in the market on the basis
of their capability to process data, security, portability, reliability, speed
and deployment including scalability and future usability.
- Standardisation of reports
- Decrease in user dependency
- Security of information
- On-demand information
- Rapid development /deployment
- Transmission of reports
- Data highlights
- Ease of generating exception reports
- Nearly correct business forecasts and
Having deployed Crystal Reports approximately three months ago, DHFL is now
in a better position for customer segmentation based on income range, saving
potential, employment opportunities, loan size and geographical spread. Kotian
says, Business data is collected at every instance across the organisation,
all over the country, and Crystal Reports gives us a Business snapshot
at one go. DHFL has been able to get a grip on recovery and defaulter analysis.
After applying the BI tools, the company was able to analyse its collection
data by area, group and industry.
||Dewan Housing Financial Corporation offers different
loans to lower and middle income group. It was established in 1984 having
a network of 51 branches and 106 service stations.
||Internal Business setup and Crystal report
||Summarised form of information at a snapshot.
INTEGRATION ON THE WAY
After the data is collected and processed, the next step is data integration.
DHFL is validating old data, gathering and updating missing information and
then migrating the data so that it is compatible with the data generated by
its ERP and CRM systems and ready to use for BI.
The Home Loan Application is the companys core application, where it tries
to completely remove any form of data redundancy. Data appropriateness is automatically
checked and verified as a part of the process validation.
CLEAN UP THE BAGGAGE
After data integration is data cleanup for which DHFL totally relies on the
BI setup as a reporting tool. Says Kotian, In a service industry like
ours, data cleaning is the most important aspect. BI has helped us to identify
real critical parameters which significantly impact our business. Immediate
detection and intervention is possible through the analysis of such reports.
DHFL hopes to complete the entire data transfer process of cleaning and transferring
data in 6 to 12 months.
For benchmarking, according to Sanjay Deshmukh, Business Development Director,
Asia South, Business Objects, Business Objects BI application can
help Dewan Housing Finance identify trends in its business.
With this data, DHFL can decide which customers are likely defaulters and which
customers can be cultivated further to cross-sell other products.
The team can now spend less time accessing information, and more time on qualitative
analysis. Users are able to analyse available information better.
|DHFL is using an in-built application
deployed on IBM eServer series (AS/400) as a central server environment.
It is an online browser-based application, developed on top of IBM Domino
server. DB2 is used as a database. The application software covers all operational
aspects right from registering the enquiry, front-end processing, and servicing
and loan account maintenance. All the mail users connected to the application
are using iNotes Web Access. It supports front-end retail processes, and
back-end mortgage servicing.
DHFL is using Crystal Enterprise
XI report writer from Business Objects to consolidate data and present
it in a summarised form.
Reliance Infocomm: Saying hello with BI
Using BI from the companys inception has helped Reliance
Infocomm (RIC) face market saturation and stiff competition, manage rapid growth,
control the enormous data flow between systems, and achieve its business goals.
When Reliance Infocomm launched its telecom service, it had
to face not only market saturation and stiff competition from established players
but other major challenges as well. It had to address business opportunities
such as offering products and services.
These opportunities included products not already available at competitive rates,
customer acquisition, customer retention and up-sell. These were identified
as key growth drivers and RIC felt that Business Intelligence (BI) was the critical
SETTING BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
To begin with, RIC had well-set business objectives for the BI solution. This
included increasing competitive edge by understanding the customer better, improving
product positioning, providing better customer service, making optimal use of
IT resources, better and effective campaign management, getting maximum benefits
from cross-sell, up-sell opportunities as well as other available business opportunities.
It also included taking care of churn management, revenue management and controlling
||Reliance Infocomm is a pan-India telecom service
provider. Its services cover mobile and fixed line telephony including broadband,
national and international long distance services, data services and cater
to more than five million customers.
||The company wished to use BI to tackle the twin problems
of a saturated market and stiff competition, manage rapid growth, control
the enormous data flow between systems and achieve its business goals.
||A customised BI solution.
||The company is using BI to measure a variety of business
processes, trends and to generate actionable information at different levels.
A CUSTOMISED SOLUTION
Rajiv Gupta, Head, Decision Support System, Reliance Infocomm says that the
BI solution at RIC is customised and consists of components such as Extraction,
Transformation and Loading (ETL) tools, database, pre-formatted or canned reports
and On Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools.
We had discussions with several consultants including HP and IBM, and
evolved a RIC-specific BI solution by choosing appropriate tools and vendors
for the BI components. The primary reason for a customised solution was that
it gave us the flexibility of choosing best-of-the-breed solutions for each
component. This approach helped us leverage the available tools and products,
RICs key requirement is to have a scalable and open architecture
which provides an unparalleled response to business requirements in an efficient,
accurate and timely manner. It is also necessary to source the data from multiple
systems, transform it based on business rules and store them in a repository
at granular level to ensure that each transaction of the customer is captured
and available for analysis, says Gupta.
Other criteria for choosing the BI solution included flexible infrastructure
for BI and analytics, strong administration capabilities, fast access and split-second
response. The customised BI solution was implemented after ensuring that
it fully satisfied all key requirements, provided easy integration with available
tools, products, components and domain knowledge, while providing a strong BI
experience, reveals Gupta.
In RIC, the BI solution was implemented right in the beginning. This ensured
that it became the only system to provide information to all users spread across
a large geographical area. As this system has grown with the organisation
and is built based on business inputs, it has become a part of RICs everyday
life. To ensure data integrity we have standardised some business and IT processes.
This includes business requirement gathering, application development, data
retention policy and processes, quality and testing. We have also developed
an enterprise data model across all objects and have common development standards
and policies, explains Gupta.
Gupta says, RIC is already using the BI solution for customer lifecycle
management, sales monitoring, channel profitability, collections management,
network optimisation, product development and optimisation, and customer service.
INTEGRATE WITH ALMOST ANYTHING
RICs BI solution has the ability to integrate with almost all types
of source and target systems. This has also allowed us to automate even the
interfaces between systems. It is scalable to accommodate increases in source
and target systems, record volumes and the number of users, elaborates
He adds that the BI solution also provides information at all levels. The top
level is provided with dashboards for Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and exception
reports. The middle management is provided with trends and analysis. The field
staff benefits from operation and actionable information at the line item level.
The BI solution is tightly integrated with all kinds of source systems. It sources
information from Provisioning, CRM, Billing, Mediation, and ERP, and has the
ability to write back to them.
RETURN ON BI
Gupta feels that RIC has benefited immensely from the investment made on the
BI solution. More than 2,000 users currently use it across geographical locations
very effectively. In time, the solution will be rolled out to more business
areas and more users.
In the near future, RIC plans to update its BI solution to include predictive
analysis, corporate performance management, dash-board and scorecard management,
strategic enterprise management including business planning and simulation,
and information workflow management.
Gupta feels that the next generation of BI solutions will not only show patterns
from past data but also plan for the future in real-time. Predictive analysis
will become more powerful and it will soon be possible to analyse live data.