Decision Support Systems and Business Intelligence solution
There are many terms that are used in business, finance, controlling, management, reporting, decision-making processes, many similarities, and many misunderstandings in business intelligence industry like: Information Systems (IS), Management Information Systems (MIS), Decision
Supporting Systems (DSS), Knowledge Management (KM), Executive Information Systems (EIS), Business Performance Management (BPM), Data Warehouse (DWH), Data Mining (DM) and many more. Users would like to know what it is and the connections between all these named terms.
Actually there is a permanent need of explaining all relations and roles of business intelligence industry, products and derivates and its role in decision-supporting systems. It is like talking about the pieces of one big picture. But we could not find a complete picture on a Web nor in literature. So it’s not clear even to those who are very deeply in BI or DSS industry, write BI documents, create and implement solutions, and similar tasks. If it’s not clear for those who offer DSS, MIS, BI solutions, how can it be clear for frustrated users who want solutions to their cumulative problems? Actually problems tend to only grow bigger.
Therefore we have published a big picture showing all relations in between named systems and methods. Missing only one link can bring failure to a complete picture.
… and here it is…
Starting from the bottom, data are exchanged between source systems creating and supplying processes. Beginning for every reporting process are source systems like ERP, CRM, Billing, Sales application, Provisioning, etc. to create simple reports and supply, if installed, data repository. Source systems are created for transactions (gathering and processing data), not for reporting purposes. Best would be to have implemented DWH as a data repository, but it’s not mandatory. Usually DWH cannot store/ should not store all reports from source systems, and that’s the reason why source systems reports are used in DSS, decision-supporting systems.
The proper feed into DSS data must be organized with Master Data Management (MDM) and Business Dictionary (BD). Sets of rules and definitions for insurance of data business logic and time consistency.
Business Intelligence and Decision Supporting Systems
Data from DWH, data repository, or source systems are being imported into Decision Supporting Systems. DSS is the equivalent synonym as MIS Management Information Systems. Most of imported data are being used in solutions like Data mining, Business Intelligence, and FCBI Financial and Controlling Business Intelligence as a specialized type of Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence is involved as a subset in Decision Supporting Systems – bigger system. Decision Supporting Systems include also decisions made upon individual data from external sources, management feeling, and various other data sources not included in business intelligence.
Business Performance Management and Business Intelligence
The goal of BPM (or Corporate Performance Management by Gartner) is to combine business with finance, and there are many developed methods like EVA (Economic Value Add), Score Carding, ABC (Activity-Based Costing), Six Sigma, and similar. Main precondition for BPM is to have properly implemented and functional Financial and Controlling Business Intelligence. Otherwise it will not provide trusted data.
Financial and Controlling Business Intelligence
It is a special kind of Business Intelligence specially improved and powered to support functionalities like reporting, planning, consolidation, master data management, workflow, analysis, and similar. Best example of FCBI functionality is that it prepares financially integrated data and prepares financial statements. Without it, it is almost impossible to make, for example, a Cost of Sales Profit and Loss Statement or Balance Sheet per Business Units in complex corporate environment. FCBI actually prepares official financial statements with derivates for internal usage. The controlling department role is essential in order to keep it running properly.
Total Controlling Concept
DSS should be based upon integrated solutions of all results coming from DM, BI, FCBI, BPM, external data, and management feeling for deep and detailed knowledge of what is going on in the company. It is a new practice from CFOs to force integration of business indicators and financial statements, so-called Financial Deep Field View. The best-developed type of Financial Deep Field View is Total Controlling Concept, combining most of DSS elements into one integrated platform made for nearly real-time business simulation.
In the end, Decision Support Systems and Business Intelligence systems are closely connected, BI supports with processed data larger system DSS. Without knowledge of all other processes and solutions within, DSS does not make much sense to compare only BI and DSS.