No doubt business intelligence (B.I.) provides many benefits. The ability to generate ad-hoc reports, dashboards and scorecards in real time is important to helping companies make more informed decisions.
However, with the ever-growing volume of data inside companies today, it’s become limiting to rely just on B.I. to quickly capture data in ways that generate meaning and add business value. B.I. does reasonably well within a certain range of volume and/or velocity of data. If you add a variety of different data formats, though, using B.I. alone won’t suffice. Although advanced analytics applications come close, they do not abstract business logic, a key element to making data more efficient.
Business Process Management (BPM) technology is the missing link. Although BPM solutions have been around for more than a decade and serve well to automate processes that support different business operations, their capabilities have become more sophisticated over time and align with other improvement methodologies such as Six Sigma. With the ability to also leverage analytics dashboards and B.I. interfaces, BPM is proving to be a key technology for making B.I. more productive through its flexibility to meet changing business needs.
Today, many organizations use B.I. and BPM technologies for separate purposes. But together, B.I. and BPM deliver more efficiency and insight in real time, enabling forward-looking planning and decision-making.
For example, in a sales-order application, the right process methodology should be in place as the order moves through the stages of approval, inventory checking, shipping and invoicing, along with B.I. in order to provide data analysis. As BPM abstracts business logic, the right data is readily available to the right users when decisions need to be made. And, because BPM automates processes, there is significant time and cost savings through the elimination of technical code re-writes and redundancies. Another example of the power of BPM and B.I. working together is in the mortgage loan approval process; having B.I. integrated into this process ensures the real-time value of credit scores is available as loan interest rates are being calculated.
In the past few years, companies have continued to adopt open source frameworks to help drive down costs and increase efficiencies. In fact, open source technologies for analyzing Big Data, such as Hadoop, are now in high demand. It’s easy to see why. Hadoop stores, processes and analyzes large data sets consisting of structured and unstructured data. By connecting BPM and B.I. with Hadoop, data is processed and analyzed faster, bringing greater insight to both processes and performance.
According to Forrester, companies utilize less than 5 percent of available data. When considering the best way to improve your company’s performance management, think about how much more efficient and potentially prosperous your company can be if you’re using B.I. in combination with Big Data and BPM tools to leverage that other 95 percent.
Miguel Valdés Faura is the CEO and co-founder of BonitaSoft, a global provider of business process management (BPM) software that provides commercial services and support to more than 350 customers. BonitaSoft has offices in France, the United States, and China, and recently recorded their 1,000,000th download of Bonita Open Solution. Follow Miguel on Twitter.