Justifying a BI System

08/26/06 | by Clarise | Categories: Business Analytics, Computers and Internet, Business Intelligence
Smaller Jotting BI JustificationIt is easy to make generalizations in justifying a Business Intelligence System. Commonly used are:
  • Saves money
  • Helps enterprise to be more competitive
  • Have informed decisions
  • Improve productivity
and many others.

To face the critics of your BI system, quantify and provide specifics for your statements. For example, instead of just saying, it saves money, illustrate how the BI system saves money. If the pain point of your organization, for instance, is that one does not have a central repository of customer information so it takes accounting X amount of time creating an invoice because each time an invoice is created, one has to create a spreadsheet, getting information from multiple sources. It is effective to show how saving the time of accounting and billing the customer faster provides X amount of savings per month. As part of your justification, provide an estimate for the potential increase in receivables per month then multiply by the monetary amount of the average customer transaction.

A BI system that is aligned with business objectives and is able to maintain its economic justification gets buy-in and continuous support from the enterprise.
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Multidimensional Cube - Simple Explanation for Users

08/16/06 | by Clarise | Categories: Business Analytics, Computers and Internet, Business Intelligence

The concept of multidimensional cube is a good way to help users understand how they may want to query the multidimensional database or create OLAP reports. The dimensions of a cube are stored in a database table.

The data cube in the diagram below is composed of there dimensions: Customer, Product and Time.

Data Cube

This cube would allow query BY customer, BY time and BY product. Hence, sample query could be selecting a customer BY time and BY Product.

Additional dimensions (e.g. sales territory, sales person, etc) increase the size of the cube geometrically.

 

Joy and Sorrow

08/14/06 | by Clarise | Categories: General Thoughts

Felt a little down today .. then I remembered this ...

The deeper the sorrow carves into your being, the more joy it can contain... end quotation by Kahlil Gibran

Carving

 

Commercial Open Source Appliance by Sun and Greenplum

07/26/06 | by Clarise | Categories: Open Source, Open Source, Business Intelligence

The online article Sun and Greenplum Launch Commercial Open Source Data Warehouse Appliance for Business Intelligence by DMReview.com announced the use of Solaris 10 OS and Bizgres MPP "to deliver a turnkey appliance capable of analyzing hundreds of terabytes of business data at a better price-performance than virtually any product on the market". It sounds really neat (and we’d love to play with such an appliance &#59;D) but as I read the article, I couldn’t help but wonder if the market is ready for it. Yes, there is a lot of buzz about Open Source BI right now but are enterprises really investing on new infrastructure and technology?

 

Forward and Backward Pass in Time Management

07/09/06 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

There are two terms related to Critical Path that one may encounter. These are the terms Forward Pass and Backward Pass. These terms are related to ways of determining the early or late start [forward pass] or early or late finish [backward pass] for an activity.

Forward pass is a technique to move forward through a diagram to calculate activity duration. Backward pass is its opposite.

Early Start (ES) and Early Finish (EF) use the forward pass technique.

To determine the Early Start of an activity, factor in all its dependencies and see its earliest start date.

Consider the following simple diagram (durations are in weeks):
Simple Network Diagram of Forward Backward Pass example
Click to view original size

The Early Start (ES) for Activity B is 4. Why? B comes after A. A starts on week 1 and finishes on week 3. So the earliest that B can start is week 4. For simplicity, I think of it as: The duration of preceding activity + 1

The Early Finish (EF) is the earliest calculated time an activity can end. To calculate Early Finish, (ES for the activity + Activity Duration) - 1. From the diagram above, we can compute the EF of activity B as [(4 + 3) - 1] = 6. Hence, the EF for Activity B is 6.

Late Start (LS) and Late Finish(LF) use the backward pass technique. You can think of backward pass as calculating backward to see how much an activity may slide without affecting the finish date.

Late Start (LS) is the latest time an activity may begin without delaying the project duration. The simplest way one can compute the LS is adding the float to the activity Early Start. Using the simple diagram above, we know that Activity B is on the critical path, hence has a float of zero. Also, Activity B's ES = 4. Hence, LS = (0 + 4) or 4. Note that if an activity has a float of zero, ES and LS will be the same. &#59;)

Late Finish (LF) latest time an activity may be completedwithout delaying the project duration. One can compute LF by LF =(Activity's LS + Activity Duration) - 1. So the LF of Activity B = (4 + 3) - 1 = 6. Note that since activity B has a zero float, EF = LF.

:idea: For memory trigger, if the float of the activity is zero, the two starts (ES and LS) and the two finish (EF and LF) are the same. Hence, If float of activity is zero, ES = LS and EF = LF.

 

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This blog contains thoughts that range from non-technical to technical. Its name is derived from "Yakity Blah Blah" a column I once had that discussed a cornucopia of ideas. Who am I? I'm Clarise Z. Doval Santos, providing Project Management and Technical Leadership for data management and analytic, data science, IoT and sensor analytics ecosystems 37.652951177164 -122.490877706959

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