Business Intelligence Process

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Yritysstrategia ja kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
Degree programme
98 + [3] s.
The modern businesses of today are constantly affected by increasing global change and uncertainty. This has resulted in an increased focus on having well-functioning Business Intelligence systems, to understand and predict the changes in the external environment. Business Intelligence is defined as the collection and analysis of information on markets, new technology, customers, competitors, and broad social trends from both internal and external sources of information. Even though formal intelligence systems are nowadays considered essential organizational capabilities, few theoretical frameworks are available on how to effectively set up such systems and, particularly, how to analyze the intelligence needs in an organization. This theory gap serves as the objective of the literature review in this thesis; to develop a generally applicable framework for designing Business Intelligence operations and for performing an intelligence needs analysis. The framework is applied on a case company currently in need of intelligence activities. The aim of the case study is to investigate how an organization should organize its Business Intelligence operations to best answer to the intelligence need. Also, the case study further analyzes the findings in the light of related theories such as knowledge management and information sharing, to find possible contributions to the field of Business Intelligence as well as new concepts to introduce to BI theory. Special attention is on how intra-organizational dynamics influence the use of BI sources. The results of the study indicate that the lack of organizational intelligence is due to internal asymmetries. Experts are not sharing the information they have, i.e. expertise often already exists within the organization without being properly disseminated. Therefore increased focus should be put on knowledge sharing and improving the communication and information flow between knowledge seekers and knowledge providers. The study also shows that there is a clear difference between data and knowledge. Findings suggest that intelligence operations should dedicate their efforts on rapidly collecting and sharing data in a structured manner and leave the analysis of information to expert managers. These findings are believed to contribute valuable insight to both Business Intelligence theory as well as related theories such as knowledge management and information sharing.
Vuori, Timo
Thesis advisor
Anhava, Juhani
business intelligence, information sharing, intelligence systems, knowledge management
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