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Business Analytics for Managers: Taking Business Intelligence beyond Reporting by Jesper Thorlund, Gert H.N. Laursen

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Chapter 6. The Company's Collection of Source Data

Source data for business analytics is created by the company's operational systems—accounts entries are, for instance, created in the financial management system and sales data (order data) is created through order pages on the company's Web site. It is here that data quality is of the utmost importance, because this is where data is created.

This chapter will answer the question: How does a business collect source data? We will go through typical data-generating systems in the business's immediate environment, and we'll also look at the difference between primary and secondary data, as well as external and internal analyses. We'll be looking at initiatives to improve the data quality of source systems. Finally, we'll present a way in which a business can prioritize from which source systems to collect projectrelated data.

An interesting observation is that primary data from source systems meets an information need for a particular target group in the business. When the same data then becomes secondary data in the data warehouse framework, it meets a different information need for a different target group.

This chapter—and the concept of source data—might seem less relevant than the topics of the previous chapters as a topic for this book. However, consider that you are about to use information as a strategic innovative asset. This means that you should know your strategy in terms of which competitive advantages you want to gain in ...

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