Chapter 12. Business Intelligence Components

The use of business intelligence systems has been steadily gaining in popularity as companies use increasingly larger amounts of data to make strategic and tactical decisions. Business intelligence systems allow business analysts to answer fundamental business questions, such as:

  • How many of a company’s products have been sold in specific geographic areas over particular periods of time?

  • Who are the company’s most reliable suppliers?

  • Have particular product campaigns been successful?

  • Who are the company’s most valuable customers?

Analysts work with both prebuilt reports of real-time and near-real-time transaction data (in online transaction processing systems and operational data stores) and historical data (often accessed from data warehouses and data marts). They may also wish to pose their own questions through ad hoc query tools, perform more sophisticated trend analysis and forecasting through online analytical processing (OLAP) tools, and possibly build and leverage custom mathematical models to predict outcomes in which a very large number of variables are present through data mining. All this information can then be pulled together for viewing in a single desktop via a dashboard or a portal.

Oracle Application Server enables the deployment of business intelligence tools used by business analysts, as well as the business analysis applications created by software developers. Because the Oracle database is the typical target database ...

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