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Financial Business Intelligence: Trends, Technology, Software Selection, and Implementation



Financial Business Intelligence: Trends, Technology, Software Selection, and Implementation

Nils H. Rasmussen, Paul S. Goldy, Per O. Solli

ISBN: 978-0-471-26785-0 October 2002 304 Pages

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Turn storehouses of data into a strategic tool

Business intelligence has recently become a word used by almost every CFO, controller, and analyst. After having spent the last decade implementing Enterprise Resource Planning software and other mission critical solutions, companies now have large databases with transactional data sitting in their computer rooms. Now, finally, the technology has reached a point where it is possible- in almost real time-to quickly and easily analyze the financial data in the corporate databases, to be able to make more intelligent business decisions. This book will help financial managers understand the trends, technology, software selection, and implementation of financial business intelligence (financial BI) software. With a dictionary of business intelligence terms, a comprehensive list of Request for Proposal questions, and examples of popular financial business intelligence reroutes and user interfaces, this book enables managers to measure their companies' business intelligence and maximize its value.


Part One: Evolution of Financial Business Intelligence.

1. History and Future of Business Intelligence.

History of BI.


2. Leveraging the Power of Business Intelligence Tools.

New Breed of Business Intelligence Tools.

3. Why Consider a Financial BI Tool in Your Organization?

Defining the Financial Datawarehouse.

What Is Your Company's Business Intelligence Readiness?

Part Two: BI Technology.

4. Platforms and Differences in Technology.

Financial and Nonfinancially Focused Tools.

Who Are the Players?

Unix versus Microsoft as a Platform Choice.

5. Performance: Getting Information on Time.

Fast Enough for Your Business.

Periodicity Considerations.

Data Storage Methodology (ROLAP, MOLAP, or HOLAP?).

6. Building the Datawarehouse/Mart.

Important Success Factors.

Using Financial Data Sources.

Staging Data for Financial Analysis.

7. Front-end Analytic Tools.

Specialized BI Tools.

Real-Time Analysis: Myth or Reality (Technology Perspective).

Excel Add-Ins.

Traditional Report Writer versus OLAP-Based Analysis Tools.

8. Security.

Role-Based Access.

Internet Security: Only as Good as Your Barriers.

9. The Internet's Impact on Business Intelligence.

Everyone's a Player.

What Is a Portal?

How Do I Deliver BI Information for the Internet?

Part Three: Software Evaluation and Selection.

10. Selecting a Business Intelligence Solution.

Create a Plan.

Using a Software Selection Company.

11. Software Evaluation: Factors to Consider.

Expected Use Now and in the Future.

Getting the Rest of the Company to Buy in to the Process.

Cost/Benefit Analysis.

Return on Investment Analysis.

Features and Flexibility.

Compatibility with Existing Software.

Ease of Use.

Software Stability.

Vendor-Related Items.

Working with an Implementation Partner.

How to Select: Summary.

12. Outsourcing: The New Alternative.

How It Works.

When You Should Consider an Application Service Provider.

Selection Criteria for an Application Service Provider.

Ensuring Continuous Success.

13. Buyer's Guide.

Query and Reporting Systems.

Decision Support Systems.


Enterprise Information Portals.

Datawarehouse Software.

Extraction, Transformation, and Loading Tools Vendors.

eLearning Tools Vendors.

Part Four: Implementing a Business Intelligence System.

14. Project Planning.

Business Intelligence Project Dos.

Business Intelligence Project Don'ts.

Drafting and Executing the Project Plan.

Sample Project Plan.

15. Datawarehouse or Data Mart?

16. Multidimensional Model Definition.

Defining Dimension Hierarchies and Dimension Types.

Multidimensional Schemas: Star and Snowflake.

17. Model Maintenance.

Periodicity Considerations.

Slowly Changing Dimensions.

More Help in Maintaining Dimensions.

18. Financial Data Modeling.

Data Collection.

Extending Your Financial Vision!

Balance Sheet.

19. Survey of Datawarehouse Users.

The Survey.

Analysis of Responses.

Appendix A: Sample RFP.

Appendix B: Software Candidate Evaluation and Rating Sheet.

Appendix C: Sample License Agreement.

Appendix D: Sample Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreement.

(Sales/Demo Process).

Appendix E: Sample Support Plan/Agreement.

Appendix F: Sample Project Plan.

Appendix G: Sample Consulting Agreement.

Appendix H: Vendor Addresses.

Appendix I: References and Further Reading.