Information Systems and Business Intelligence Tools

In the 2Ist century, the quality of information, data relevancy and the format of administration and management processes have evolved in the business world. Most business organizations have adopted information systems and business intelligence tools to consolidate, integrate, and manage business data to have a competitive edge in their markets. Organizations utilize information systems to support managers in decision-making and facilitate data flow connecting internal and external links in their environment. Business intelligence tools are used to help enterprises understand the existing business concerns about their competitors and market conditions and enable them to develop strategies that provide a competitive advantage.

In pursuit of the strategic objectives, organizations and businesses tend to use business intelligence solutions that enhance performance and reduce operation cost. Use of these applications and programs in business activities helps enterprises make fast and accurate decisions and choose implementation strategies that result into excellence in product and service delivery to their customers. This paper aims at expounding on what information systems and business intelligence tools are, their application, benefits and will illustrate examples adopted by public and private sectors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Part A

Definition

The information systems are interactive computer applications that help to collect and process data that aid in making business decisions. Organizations use such information systems as transaction processing systems (TPS) and customer relationship management systems (CRM) to have a technological leverage in the administration of business activities.

Application

Transaction processing system is an information system that collects the data, stores, processes and generates outputs depending on the user inputs from data collected. According to Davoren (2016), TPS can be used in ticket booking system where a traveler makes a purchase online. In this case, one can not only book flight tickets, but also select the seat and flight schedules (Davoren, 2016). It is the input for the transaction processing system. The airline database will update the list and remove the selected seats, leaving unselected seats. This component is a processing part in TPS information system. It is a real-time processing of the business operation. The airline system will analyze the data and generate a copy of the ticket and the bill as the outputs.

Customer relationship management system is an information system that allows interaction of companies with it clients or business with its partners. Companies use CRM to match the marketing and sales efforts. This information system allows product feedback from the customers and enables trading partners to collaborate in the process of development of an idea and problem resolutions.

Benefits

The advantages of the information systems (IS) are the ability to present the users with the real-time information required and perform a business operation effectively. Unlike computer databases, which record data, information system stores and convert raw data into the format suitable for the users. The format can be modified if the need arises. This data is easier to use, interpret, and analyze in making business decisions.

Examples

Dubai Road Transport Authority (Dubai RTA) uses customer relationship management as one of the ERP information systems that are connected to its departments. RTA has the broad range of services including parking, advertisement, and tracking vehicles. Most of the services this Dubai transport authority offers have direct contact with their clients. The transport authority needs to create the clear view for their service users. CRM systems are connected to the various departments involved in handling and processing data from internal and external sources. Communication channels, such as call center and posts, enable the organization to track transport providers, follow up the lost and found items, and respond to customers’ inquiries, complaints, and statements.

Dubai Islamic Bank is an example of an organization that uses transaction processing system. TPS information systems are used in opening bank accounts and running ATM operations. Dubai Islamic Bank TPS offer efficient operations to the United Arab Emirates citizens, a smooth flow of data and continuous progress of bank operations. For instance, when opening the bank account, the input is the data entered indicating account holder information: identity number, address, and amount of money deposited. The process is storing personal information into transaction and master file. The new account opened is the output (Blogger & uaeu2007, 2012).

Part B

Definition

Business intelligence is an application that gathers, integrates, and analyzes business information. Business intelligence (BI) tools collect stored data, either current or historical, and analyze it to predict possible business operations. BI systems and instruments are used to enhance business performance and optimization (Martin, Jekel, & Simons, 2012). There are different business intelligence tools available to large and small organizations. Among them are online analytical processing (OLAP) and digital dashboards.

Applications

Online analytical processing is a computer software used by analysts to extract and view data selectively. This machine processing software stores the data in the multidimensional database where during the analysis, it tracks the dimensions intersection, retrieves, and displays the data. Also, OLAP is used as a data mining tool that retrieves transaction information, which is essential in trend analysis (Ahramovich, 2011).

An example of OLAP application is an instance when a user is required to analyze product data and display the spreadsheet indicating the company products sale for the month while comparing the product data of same month stored the previous year. The analysis also includes the comparison of revenue figures for the same month but with different products.  The analytic process that involves multidimensional data helps achieve the required results. This complex relationship will be possible because each multidimensional database has an attribute. The attributes have sub-attributes that can be imported from relational database to create a multidimensional database of the OLAP.

Business intelligence dashboards are data visualization tools used to indicate performance and metrics for an organization. Dashboards gather data and arrange the metrics and numbers and display a single point of view. The data visualization helps a user in interpretation and data presentation in graphs, charts and other illustrations that simplify the understanding of complex issues.

Most business organizations want to depict the performance of trend of their activities visually. Digital dashboards have already been implemented in the marketing. Businesses use dashboards to monitor and evaluate brand recognition and sales. The relationship between market growth and product awareness is well illustrated graphically with the use of the chart to show marketing efforts and performance.

Benefits

OLAP systems have immense benefits to businesses dealing with data analysis. OLAP uses aggregations to combine dimension granularities that help many organizations in accessing multidimensional data. The systems’ ability to model complex relationships that are not inherent in SQL is another advantage for its users. The dashboard is beneficial to its user in many ways. One of the benefits is that it gives an overview of the whole organization system at a glance. The platforms allow interactive play with the data that provides the user with customizable insight that indicate the status of company performance at any point in time.

Examples

Sage enterprise intelligence is a case of the digital dashboard used in Abu Dhabi. It is one of the best software in accounting and finance, and most companies in the United Arab Emirates widely use it. Sage enterprise businesses provide real-time access to extensive enterprise information that enables a business to host business logic applications, such as budgeting. Oracle online analytic processing is among the many multi-dimensional analytic software used in Abu Dhabi in predictive modeling and interactive visualization used to get a meaningful insight into the data.

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