The BI Trinity

UPDATE: I had the honour of presenting “The BI Trinity” again last week, this time to the SQL Supper group based in London. I really enjoyed the informal setting and the group. Thanks for the questions and really sorry I had to rush for my train to get back the Isle of Wight. As it turned out I could have stayed for a pint as there was a local Pompey football game and I missed out on a seat on the last fastcat. I had to wait for a midnight ferry. Oh for a BI app and predictive p.a. that could have help with that decision making.


Last month I presented the final chapter of my trilogy on Business Intelligence to the Southampton @SQLSoton User Group and again in Newcastle at the @SQLNE user group on Tuesday. The presentation, entitled “The BI Trinity”, follows on from Star Schema Primer and Transitioning from “Reporting” to BI Solutions.

The BI Trinity presentation is composed of

  • Modelling
  • Reputation
  • The data analyst

Modelling business processes is at the heart of business intelligence. Many core application processes (supply chain, retail sales, insurance premiums etc) are well understood and models for these are embedded in applications across the enterprise. Whats exciting is the prospect of modelling the unique processes that cross the typical departmental boundaries within a business and attempting to enhance these with decision support solutions that go beyond classic reporting and measurement of what happened yesterday and what is occurring today.

Continuing with the theme I developed in “Transitioning”, I focus on “reputation” and how this is central to the success of Business Intelligence, the BI unit and the “data asset” that underpins the entire process.

examination of the data asset and the functional layers that can be used to effectively deploy BI Solutions and end to end information flow within an enterprise

examination of the data asset and the functional layers that can be used to effectively deploy BI Solutions and end to end information flow within an enterprise

Of course, in this scenario the data asset would also be used to administer the system of record for deployment of datasets (customers, products etc) into other core systems such as sales channel solutions (i.e. e-commerce website, store till system, call centre etc).

However, many legacy systems trap core data assets within their application architectures and represent one of the major challenges for enterprise solution re-engineering.

Finally, I review the historic role of the data analyst and examine how it has changed over the last two decades. New database in-memory technologies made practical by recent hardware advances, business intelligence is enjoying a resurgence as the new “old” kid on the block. Its a good time to be a data professional, but as always in computing, the legacy challenges are considerable.

Many of our civic systems are in dire need of re-purposing from monolithic production capture applications into lean information deployment systems that will cope with the challenges we face in this modern era.

The data analyst has a crucial role in this emerging world.


Please click here to view a HTML version of the presentation.

Some of my presentation material is sourced from Wikipedia. Please click where you see the Wikipedia logo to navigate to the source article.

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