Business Intelligence and Decision Support Tools

Published in Enabling Technologies

In the new business era, large volume of business information is created by every organizational operation. The effective collecting, handling, analysing & communicating of this unstructured, raw data unveils the way to the strategic management’s “holy grail”, the desirable competitive advantage. 

Business Intelligence (BI) offers the technological, theoretical, methodological framework which enables the mentioned data exploitation so as to provide organizations with meaningful business insights.

ICAP Business intelligence capability is a discipline made up of several related activities, including data mining, online analytical processing, querying and reporting combined with consulting services.
Decision Support Tools are critical part of the BI technology. They are computer-based applications that serve the solving process of a wide variety of decision making problems by offering great data interaction, modelling and analysis. Thus, organizational information can lead successfully to business action.
Our customers use BI to improve decision making, cut costs and identify new business opportunities. BI is more than just corporate reporting and more than a set of tools to coax data out of enterprise systems. CIOs use BI to identify inefficient business processes that are ripe for re-engineering.
With today’s BI tools, business users can jump in and start analyzing data themselves, rather than wait for IT to run complex reports. This democratization of information access helps users back up—with hard numbers—business decisions that would otherwise be based only on gut feelings and estimations.
Although BI holds great promise, implementations can be dogged by technical and cultural challenges. We help our customers to ensure that the data feeding BI applications are clean and consistent so that users trust it.
One crucial component of BI—business analytics—is quietly essential to the success of companies in a wide range of industries. Examples:
For example, many restaurant chains are heavy users of BI solutions. They use BI to make strategic decisions, such as what new products to add to their menus, which dishes to remove and which underperforming stores to close. They also use BI for tactical matters such as renegotiating contracts with food suppliers and identifying opportunities to improve inefficient processes. Because restaurant chains are so operations-driven, and because BI is so central to helping them run their businesses, they are among the elite group of companies across all industries that are actually getting real value from these systems.
Also, in retail, big retailers uses vast amounts of data and category analysis to dominate the industry. Amazon and Yahoo aren't just e-commerce sites; they are extremely analytical and follow a "test and learn" approach to business changes. Capital One runs more than 30,000 experiments a year to identify desirable customers and price credit card offers.
Good BI systems need to give context. It's not enough that they report sales were X yesterday and Y a year ago that same day. They need to explain what factors influencing the business caused sales to be X one day and Y on the same date the previous year.
Like so many technology projects, BI won’t yield returns if users feel threatened by, or are skeptical of, the technology and refuse to use it as a result. And when it comes to something like BI, which, when implemented strategically, ought to fundamentally change how companies operate and how people make decisions, CIOs need to be extra attentive to users' feelings.
In business intelligence projects we do take into consideration all the factors which will result in a successful and meaningful project. Therefore take care of: 
  • Data quality by making sure data is clean
  • Train users effectively
  • Follow an iterative approach deploying quickly and then adjust as we go. We evolve as the business evolves 
  • Design the right architecture from the start. We take an integrated approach to building a solution protecting our customers from locking themselves into an unworkable data strategy further down the road
  • We define ROI clearly before we start and outline the specific benefits expected to achieve. Furthermore we do a reality check every quarter or six months.
  • Focus on business objectives.
Our service offering creates business added-value by 
  • Aligning organization towards its objectives
  • Providing meaningful business insights through in-depth analysis
  • Identifying new business opportunities; boosting both up-selling and cross-selling
  • Reducing information bottleneck by allowing end-user’s data interaction without the IT Specialists’ involvement
Business Intelligence and Decision Support Tools implementation:
  • Provides adequate, elaborated, exact, up-to-date information on demand
  • Enables faster and efficient problem solving
  • Enables effective data mining
  • Reduces the labor costs by automating the data manipulation and exploitation process
  • Reveals the organizations’ Big Picture; ability of examining thoroughly where it has been, where it is and where it is heading to
  • Enhances the organization learning process; raw, unstructured information is transformed into business knowledge
ICAP Management Consultants have been involved in sophisticated Business Intelligence and Decision Support Tools implementations at many firms, across industries and can demonstrate extensive experience which can be applied to several leading Business intelligence Tools. 
Our differentiation lies in:
  • Expertise in the process, not just the technology. Focus on the business issues and on the optimization of the process through the selected solution
  • Platform Independence. Experience with the State-of-the-Art Business Intelligence Platforms and Decision Support Tools. 
  • Industry Experience. Experience in implementations across a range of industries



About us

ICAP Group – with 1.300 employees – is the largest Business Information and Management Consulting Group in Greece, with a strong presence in Southeastern Europe.

At ICAP Consultants, our vision is to become the recognized regional leader in Business Consulting enabled by Technology and Business Analytics. Our strategy relies on uniquely combining a superior industry-focused business consultative approach, consumer & business data, analytics and data integration technology solutions. Our unique and innovative solutions differentiate our customers and provide them a competitive advantage.

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