Part 01: Definitions, Concepts, Architectures

I started this blog to write about my daily, weekly or monthly impressions of my actual job. But what I have learned in the last years was that the basics of business intelligence are not in everyones mind. A lot of guys and girls are confused if you talk about Business Intelligence (BI), data warehousing (DWH) and the other very important words.

The problem in our discussions are not my partner`s education or experience, it is simply the total loss of terms and their meaning. When I talk about Business Intelligence or any other topic of my area of expertise, I have always a definition of it in my mind. Before I write about any topic in the future, I will provide a definition first. And after this definition, I will write some basic explanations to introduce you in my world of BI & DWH. Do you know what I mean? I will explain it in the next paragraphs.

My definition of “Business Intelligence”:

“Business Intelligence is an initiative in user companies in order to collect, transform and provide data for users to plan, control and steer the company to achieve the company´s goals.“

You can simplify the message of this definition further to:

„Use data to reach your company`s goals“

But we return to the first definition. What I want to show is that Business Intelligence is not a technology-driven topic. It is one part of it and most of the people in the world focus on this issue. You have some many consultancies and analysts which talk, write and speak about the vendor`s products (like SAP, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAS, Tableau, Qlik and all the others) but only a few experts who concentrate on the topics BI strategy, BI organization and business requirements. If you do not focus on these topics, your business intelligence project or initiative will not succeed. I promise.


My definition of “Data Warehousing”

“Data Warehousing is an initiative in user companies in order to collect, transform, store and provide data physical or logical for Business Intelligence purposes. Part of this initiative is a data warehouse, which is the central repository (Single Point of Truth, SPOT) of integrated data from one or more disparate sources and contains historic as well as actual data.”

In other words, “Data Warehousing” means someone (maybe a team) collects, transform, stores data from other systems in a central database. This database is the central point of data for further analysis. Other databases should not be considered for data analysis.


My definition of “Business Intelligence Strategy”

„Business intelligence strategy is a high level plan to achieve one ore more goals with the given technological, organizational and business circumstances under conditions of uncertainty.“

In other words, a Business Intelligence Strategy is a plan to how people use and work with data to reach the company`s goals. Read more about the elements of a Business Intelligence Strategy here.


About Tobias Riedner
Tobias Riedner foundet in 2015. He works and worked as innovator, consultant, analyst and educator in the fields of business intelligence and data warehousing. He learned a lot from the best consultants, managers und educators in the past and shares his knowledge worldwide. He works for a steady growing traditional company which is a leader in industry 4.0.