|Business Intelligence (BI) for Less Than $25k|
|Written by Steven A. Miller|
|Monday, 28 April 2008 20:19|
April 27, 2008 — CIO — Business Intelligence (BI) provides valuable and meaningful data in a dashboard environment, but it can quickly become expensive. Associated Grocers (AG) in Baton Rouge implemented BI for less than $25,000. Senior Vice President Steven A. Miller explains how it was done.
I began learning the benefits of BI in 2006 by reading such magazines as CIO and DM Review. I was intrigued to find that companies that implemented BI found information that provided the basis for targeted investment and growth of their companies. I wondered what was buried deep in our data. Cost estimates for such enterprise-level tools grew well into the six figure range. Even after negotiating the lowest possible cost for a turn-key implementation, the cost was still too high for such a new technology deployment at AG. Justification was based on information that we expected to present, but required people to act on the information. Without the right system and people, the returns might not materialize. In October 2006, I attended a BI presentation from a local vendor at a business and technology trade show in Baton Rouge, La. The vendor showed me that by using Microsoft tools such as SQL 2005, report services and analysis services, a company could create a BI tool using Excel as a means for display. Since AG had recently standardized on Microsoft products through a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (MSEA), it was conceivable that this would be the most effective way for AG to get started on our BI quest, but we had no idea how to start. (Also read Four Tips for Better Business Intelligence.)Read more...