Business intelligence (BI) is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions. Business Intelligence can almost work in any kind of business to provide useful analytics to the enterprise managers in the form of dash boards and pretty interfaces. Business intelligence can also predict future trends based on current data therefore help in policy making for organizations.
To run a competitive business these days one needs to manage its supply and demand very effectively. In this regard there can be many principal classification identifiers which show the current progress and forecast the future very effectively. Due to rapid business needs, these statistics should be able to project the current business dimensions very accurately for making best business decisions. The few problems that can be addressed by the supply chain domain are distribution network configuration, distribution strategy, trade-offs in logistic activities, inventory management and cash flow management.
These problems can be address at three different levels: Strategic (optimizing the locations and sizes, partnering with distributors and customers etc), Tactical level (production, transportation and inventory decisions etc.) and Operational level (daily production, source planning, inbound/outbound planning, production-to-supply level planning etc). Few of the challenges that can be faced in this domain are:
- To be aware of how much inventory they have currently
- What that inventory is worth
- What is their most profitable product
- Who is their best customer
- Who is their worst supplier
- How that inventory can be used effectively etc.
Business Intelligence can play a very useful role in this entire situation. Having lots of un-structured data may lose your focus on some critical information. Below are few dimensions where business intelligence can play its role effectively in this situation.
- Data Management (Managing mountains of data)
- Performance Management
Online storage requirements are approaching multiple petabyte (1 petabyte=1000 terabytes) for most of oil companies. There might be a lot of data which actually does not become useful information at multiple servers making no sense at all. First phase in business intelligence is to make sense of all that data and manage it all at a single place like a database server, where it is stored in combination of different facts and dimensions architecture. This actually helps in taking any dimension at run time and seeing how it will actually change a particular key process area for your results.
Some of the KPI’s of supply chain that might be of interest are: Inventory turns (how often the average inventory over a given period of time usually a year is sold in that same period), percentage of total stock that is not displayed to customers, sell-through percentage (percentage of units sold under a specific period) and Manufacturing schedule adherence etc. Some KPI’s related to oil and gas in general that might be of interest are: Meters drilled per day, strategic zones held under exploration license, percentage of market share of exploration expenditure, drilling costs and quarterly exploration expenditure etc.
Once all the data has been managed correctly, information from different sources gets added automatically to the database servers in a single coherent way. The single coherent way helps to see the results of our KPI’s in dashboards and different kind of reports which can be dynamically generated using multiple parameters thus requiring a simple drag-drop instead of doing any rework.
Business Intelligence can help in comparing different techniques and suggesting the better one’s for oil exploration. It can define patterns in existing techniques and how they can be optimized for maximum throughput. It can generate quarterly, monthly or yearly reports or any dynamic reports based on any dimension of users choice thus asking for minimum rework. Forecasting about the data is where business intelligence can define very useful patterns from the information provided. And if that data is synchronized and we want to change any dimension as the business changes it will automatically update the rest of dimensions.
To get better insights and comprehension in your business IT solutions having business intelligence is the way forward. This actually helps getting your work done efficiently in an organized and managed way.