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INFS2038 Business Intelligence

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INFS2038 Business Intelligence

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Course Code: INFS2038
University: University Of South Australia is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Have a look at the BI Tools and Installation Guide in the Resources section on the course website on how to download and install the software. The license key to activate the software is also included in the guide.
If necessary specify during the registration under “Job Title” Student and under “Organization” specify “School of IT and Mathematical Sciences”. Use your UniSA email address to register.When you download and install the software at home then you will install the latest version which might look slightly different to the version installed in the computer pools. However, the principle on how to use the software and relevant menus for the practical are the same.
Tableau is downwards compatible but not upwards compatible. This means you can open a Tableau file which you have created with an older version of Tableau in a new version but not the other way round. Be aware of this when you work at home and you want to bring your file to the practicals. It may not open.

A dashboard in business intelligence is a tool used to visualize data. It is a very useful tool as it provides crucial data necessary for a particular purpose (Sherif, 2016). The dashboard displays the metrics and current business data status and the overall company performance. Additionally, it shows the consolidation of the company and organizes the numbers in on a single window. Sometimes the business dashboard is referred to as enterprise dashboard. Dashboards can be categorized into three general groups: strategic, tactical, and operational dashboards (Spruit and de Boer, 2014,
p. 37). Operational dashboards are used by for the activities of the various departments within a company such as finance, marketing, manufacturing, and so on. Tactical dashboards are designed to be used by the company managers who need better understanding of the company processes. Strategic dashboards are designed to be used by the top management to monitor how the company is doing in achieving its strategic objectives.  This report has been prepared for the managing director of Tesla, Inc. which is a company that build electric cars, storage products, and produce clean energy.
Dashboard Users
A business dashboard is designed to be used by different users within a company. There are several categories of dashboard users, they include:
The executive and the Board
The CEO and the board of management are the top decision makers within Tesla, Inc. It the decisions made at this level that will determine the success of the business the company is running. As such, the top level users can use the dashboard in order to get insights of the operational analytics. This increases efficiency in the company operations and reduces the cost of running the business because the dashboard can be able to provide in-depth analysis of both internal and external data (Bera, 2016, p. 54).
Business dashboards gives an overview of the company business status and allows the top management to identify market trends across the whole business structure. Dashboard can further help the top management make important decisions that relates to innovation, business growth, and operational efficiency. Recommended dashboard for this group of users is strategic dashboard.  
Departmental Managers
Managers greatly depend on the business dashboards to make informed conclusions and provide market trends and the business performance using the data available. They use business dashboard to generate information that can be used to develop new and fresh business strategies (Eder and Koch, 2018, p.31). Managers have the responsibility of identifying business and market patterns, generating, and documenting all the business data that will support better and informed decision making within the company. This group uses tactical dashboards to carry out their role.
The business user
There exist two types of business users; power users and casual users. The difference is that the casual user employs the use of a business dashboard to examine predefined data sets while the power users have the ability to operate on complex data sets (Sharda, Delen and Turban, 2017). Both these users require the use of a dashboard in order to get better insights from the data available. These are the users that interact directly with the customers and thus require an operational dashboard that can be easily interpreted.
IT Personnel
Information technology personnel plays a key role when it comes to the use of dashboards. This is the team that makes sure that the other users get correct, accurate, and complete information from the data analytics. Additionally, they are responsible for ensuring that the infrastructure required by the dashboard is running and all the tools required by the users are available. They also enforce business intelligence security. As such, the IT personnel have been designed with a dashboard that will aid them perform all the tasks.
Benefits of Dashboard
Implementing business dashboard can be of great benefit to the Tesla, Inc. to identify potential opportunities and monitor possible threats to the company. Recently, attention have shifted to business dashboards because of the great benefits that it brings to an organization or business.
Business dashboards creates an environment where a business can identify and make use of the opportunities available for the company. Dashboards offer a centralized access and retrieval of up-to-date information for users. Therefore, users can be able to analyze and interact with the information in order to make data-driven, better, and smarter decisions (Calof and Richards, 2013, p. 42). It facilitates real time monitoring performance of the various business aspects. One can be able to analyze and visualize data and concentrate on KPIs (key performance indicators) across the business. Thus, a business can be able to get valuable insights of business performance and drive faster and more accurate decisions. 
Dashboards increase the speed and efficiency of accessing the business intelligence. Data can be access quickly and acted upon. Tesla, Inc. can be able to monitor how the various business sectors are doing using business metrics in real time (Babu, 2014). The company managers can quickly generate reports and make important decisions that will improve company performance. For instance, a particular car model is doing well in a particular region and not in another region. Data can be collected from the two regions and compared and conclusions can be drawn on what to be done in order to do better in regions with low sales. Apart from analyzing and reporting on the company, dashboards enables organizations to further analyze the data in order to identify new insights (Zheng, Fader and Padmanabhan, 2015).
Furthermore, has enhanced and made better the decision making process for the company. A well designed dashboard facilitates thorough and quick analysis of the key data thus increasing performance of every functional department within the company. Rich interactive visualizations offered by the dashboard simplifies performance observation and makes the analysis task more intuitive. In-depth analysis and more solutions can be derived by employing visualization interactivity because it is an effective tool in handling the large amount of data facing many businesses every day. Animations within the dashboards make it easy to point out data impact and improve data discovery.
Integrating an effecting dashboard allows for flexibility as the company grows. Dashboards can be iterated to meet all the basic business intelligence needs to support the changing requirements of the business as it grows such as data preparation, administration, data connectivity, and self-service analytics. A good dashboard should be customizable, can be integrated, and extended. Dashboards should have the capacity to adapt to the work flows and business systems that change in order to positively impact on the users and ensure greater adoption (Pranoto, 2015, p.1).
Dashboards improve communications and enhance collaboration among workmates to share crucial insights and KPIs in order to make informed business decisions and ensure that everybody is working towards similar company objectives (Intelligence, 2016). Dashboards keeps users up-to-date on the latest data effortlessly. With schedule reports, in-built tools such as notes, ease of use, notifications, intuitive, and slideshows, users have the power to share key business metrics and monitor performance status with minimal assistance from the IT personnel.
Dashboards can be a great tool to monitor threats facing the business. The aspects of decision making is very crucial for any company and does not need any explanation. Modern business intelligence dashboards can be used monitor several threats including,
Identifying negative trends, correcting, and monitoring them-business management that is efficient should be made up of two-fold aspects, that is, stimulating and activating trends that bring more benefits to the business and minimizing the negative influence. Managers should try eliminate the negative trends that poses a threat to the company before thinking about the positive trends.
After identifying the negative trends, locate and analyze them then correct (Olsen and Dupin-Bryant, 2017, p. 139). Dashboards can be a great tool to monitor and ensure that such negative trends and threats do not reappear in the future. Dashboards can be used to monitor company performance and parameters. Companies are under constant internal and external attacks and many at times it is difficult to identify such threats. Dashboards can be a great tool to identify any potential threats as it would be easy to recognize any unusual trend within the business
Data Sources
The current technology has allowed companies and business to store vast amount of data and thus requires wide-open means between sources of data (Kekwaletswe and Lesole, 2016, p. 9). There are numerous sources that Tesla can generate data both internally and externally. Internally the company can generate data from:  
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)-Tesla have implemented ERP throughout the company in modules that address the specific needs of the various departments such as finance, human resources, and so on. A lot of transactional data is collected and stored by the ERP and used in business intelligence environment (Jamalpur and Sharma, 2015, p. 42). The company can analyze the data to get new insights and identify the various trends within the company.
Another source of data internally is the customer relationship management package. CRM collects and stores customer personal data and behavior information such as purchase behaviors, most preferred product among others. Such information is very crucial for the business because it would be easier to identify the target markets and know what customers like the most and why (McBride, 2015). Having such information will help Tesla serve its customers better and retain them while attracting more.
Databases are the main internal data sources for business intelligence. There exist many kinds of databases and vendors with different feature and architecture. Databases contains all the information regarding the company and its daily operations. The data can be examined to identify the trends and how the business is doing.
E-commerce web applications can also be used to collect important information for business intelligence. Information like the most viewed product, most rated product, underrated products and so on can be obtained and used to make important decisions within the company (Bose, 2016, p. 12). The company can focus more on the products that are preferred by many customers and try improve on the products that are not doing well in the market.
Third-party sources- the company can collect data from third party companies that have carried a survey about a particular phenomenon that may be of use to the company. Such third-party data may not make sense at the first time but in-depth analysis can bring out great insights that may boost the company. For instance, information like preferred car model, energy vendor, product colors, and so on can be obtained
Challenges of dashboard implementation
Business intelligence dashboards faces several challenges during implementation. Some of the challenges may be from the business owner but some may be due to data quality and availability.
Data quality- its quit difficult to get quality and relevant data for business intelligence. This challenge often comes up when the company is implementing a new system like a new dashboard. It is the data that ensures that the company takes advantage of business intelligence effects. To enjoy the benefits, the data collected should be of high quality. Getting a business intelligence dashboard that gives top-tier data is difficult and the company must spend time and money to identify the best solution.
The quality of data determines the quality of decisions that the company will make and eventually performance. If the data used was irrelevant and of low quality, the company may make decisions that may cost them resources and not achieve the objective set. As such, having high quality data is critical for any business intelligence solution. This is one of the key challenge that faces implementation of the business dashboard.
Data availability-the company may have the knowledge of where to get the data but accessing it may be a challenge. It can be difficult to get the data when you need them the most. BI dashboards cannot operate without data and thus it is necessary to unlock data that has been buried in system and are not accessible (Lans, 2017). Company may heavily fund the data collection process but may not meet the target in time to be used. Businesses are shifting to imaginative business intelligence solution in order to address this challenge. Without the data then even such solution may not work. Dashboards uses data that has been entered to generate reports on various aspects within the company for the purposes of decision making.
It is expensive to implement business dashboards- the cost of implementing a business dashboard is high and raises primary concern among the various companies and businesses. Additionally, the cost of putting in place IT infrastructure, hiring professionals, and acquiring the right software is high. In order to ensure that the company does not spend a lot of cash, it is necessary to carry out research on the best solution and train the current employees on the new system rather than hiring new ones to use the system (Yermish et al., 2018, p. 61). The company should enjoy the benefits that are brought by the BI solution and not spend more resources on it.
Method of implementing the Dashboard
Project planning- this is the first stage of the business intelligence life cycle and this entails planning for the business project. Planning ensures that proper checklist has been developed and describes the roles and responsibilities of every member of the project team (Ali and Miah, 2018, p. 51). Planning also prioritizes project task according to order of volatility.
Business requirement definition- this is the second phase in the implementation of the dashboard. The key project members develop appropriate estimates of the project. Also the team should clearly determine the business requirements of the company by conducting interviews in order to collect data for the purpose of documentation.
Data analysis- after conducting the interviews and collecting sufficient data, the next step is to analyze the data in order to get deeper insights of the stakeholders’ opinions regarding the project (Vitt, Luckevich and Misner, 2018). Data analysts plays a vital role in this stage.
Dashboard application design- this is the fourth stage where the development team will be tasked and designing the dashboards on paper before actual development. Designers are needed in this stage.
Front-end development- upon approval of the dashboard design, the development team now embarks on the process of developing the dashboard. The front end should meet all the requirements set out in the second stage of identifying business requirements.
Testing and management release- upon completion of the development process, the dashboard is subjected to various levels of testing like user tests, functional tests, integrity tests, and so on to ensure that all the functionalities have been captured (Wenger, 2017, p. 715). Upon approval, then the dashboard is released for use by the company.
A well-discipline is required to implement a dashboard system. This ensures that tangible outcome is attained from implementation. Business intelligence dashboards improve alignment and focus in order to gain competitive advantage. Dashboards gives full access to the company data and this allows the team streamlining business operations to identify the important KPIs and align the company activities with the set objectives. Dashboards enhances the work habits and drive behavior of the users.
Furthermore, users can access and connect to the company data easily with similar capabilities and experience across all the sources of data, that is, OLAP, data files, big data, and operational databases. Dashboards increases competitive advantage of the company through analysis and visualization of actionable data and consolidated company information.
Reference List
Ali, M. and Miah, S. (2018). Identifying Organizational Factors for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 9(2), pp.47-63.
Babu, K. (2014). Business Intelligence: Concepts, Components, Techniques and Benefits. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Bera, P. (2016). How colors in business dashboards affect users’ decision making. Communications of the ACM, 59(4), pp.50-57.
Bose, R. (2016). Discovering Business Intelligence from the Subjective Web Data. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 2(4), pp.1-16.
Calof, J. and Richards, G. (2013). The Role of Intelligence for Developing Better Government Programs: Managing What’s Outside the Government Using Foresight, Intelligence, Business Analytics and Dashboards. Sécurité et stratégie, 12(1), p.42.
Eder, F. and Koch, S. (2018). Critical Success Factors for the Implementation of Business Intelligence Systems. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 9(2), pp.27-46.
Intelligence, E. (2016). Integrating Business Intelligence (Bi) with Enterprise Business Applications Can Add Value for End-Users. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Jamalpur, B. and Sharma, S. (2015). Data Mining and Business Intelligence Dashboards. International Journal of Asian Business and Information Management, 3(4), pp.39-44.
Kekwaletswe, R. and Lesole, T. (2016). A Framework for Improving Business Intelligence through Master Data Management. Journal of South African Business Research, pp.1-12.
Lans, R. (2017). Data virtualization for business intelligence architectures. Amsterdam: Elsevier/MK.
McBride, N. (2015). Virtuous Business Intelligence. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 6(2), pp.1-17.
Olsen, D. and Dupin-Bryant, P. (2017). Combining Business Intelligence And Stock Market Data: A Primer For Data Analytics And Business Intelligence. Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR), 29(1), p.139.
Pranoto, H. (2015). Opportunities and Benefits Implementation Business Intelligence Application on Health Center. ComTech: Computer, Mathematics and Engineering Applications, 6(1), p.1.
Sharda, R., Delen, D. and Turban, E. (2017). Business Intelligence. Pearson Australia Pty Ltd.
Sherif, A. (2016). Practical business intelligence. [Place of publication not identified]: Packt Publishing Limited.
Spruit, M. and de Boer, T. (2014). Business Intelligence as a Service. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 5(4), pp.26-43.
Vitt, E., Luckevich, M. and Misner, S. (2018). Business Intelligence. Redmond: Microsoft Press.
Wenger, F. (2017). Dashboards. Controlling, 24(12), pp.715-715.
Yermish, I., Miori, V., Yi, J., Malhotra, R. and Klimberg, R. (2018). Business Plus Intelligence Plus Technology Equals Business Intelligence. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 1(1), pp.48-63.
Zheng, E., Fader, P. and Padmanabhan, B. (2015). From Business Intelligence to Competitive Intelligence: Inferring Competitive Measures Using Augmented Site-Centric Data. SSRN Electronic Journal.

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