Chapter 15: The Data Asset: Databases, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Big Data, and
In many organizations, available data is not exploited to advantage. However new tools
supporting big data, business intelligence, and analytics are helping managers make
sense of this data torrent.
Data is oftentimes considered a defensible source of competitive advantage; however,
advantages based on capabilities and data that others can acquire will be short-lived.
Data Asset Definitions
Big Data is a general term used to describe the massive amount of data available to
Big data are often unstructured and are too big and costly to easily work through use of
conventional databases, but new tools are making these massive datasets available for
analysis and insight.
Business Intelligence (BI): A term combining aspects of reporting, data exploration and
ad hoc queries, and sophisticated data modeling and analysis.
Analytics: A term describing the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative
analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive
decisions and actions.
Unstructured: voice, images, audio, free text
15.2 Data, Information, and Knowledge
o Data – raw facts
o Information – data presented in context to support decision-making
o Knowledge – insights gained from experience and expertise
Database: a collection of related tables
o Database Management Systems (DBMS): software for creating, maintaining, and
o SQL (Structured Query Language): a language used to create and manipulate
15.3 Where Does Data Come From?
From Transactional Processing Systems (TPS): Systems that record a transaction (some
form of business-related exchange), such as a cash register sale, ATM withdrawal, or
From Enterprise Software (ERP, SCM, CRM)
From external sources o Micro (e.g. data aggregators)
o Macro (e.g. Stats Canada, Gartner Group report)
15.4 Data Rich, Information Poor
A major factor limiting business intelligence initiatives is getting data into a form where