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Business analytics makes much more extensive use of

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Business analytics makes much more extensive use of data, statistical and quantita-tive analysis, explanatory and predictive modeling, and fact-based management todrive decision making. Analytics may be used as input for human decisions or maydrive fully automated decisions. Business intelligence is more associated with query-ing, reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP), and “alerts.” In other words, que-rying, reporting, OLAP, and alert tools can answer the questions:what happened; howmany; how often; where; where exactly is the problem;andwhat actions are needed. Businessanalytics, in contrast, can answer the questions:why is this happening; what if these trendscontinue; what will happen next (that is, predict);andwhat is the best that can happen (that is,optimize). One of the most common techniques and approaches associated with businessanalytics is data mining, a concept introduced in Chapter 5 and discussed again laterin this chapter.Figure 10.7 highlights several major information technologies that are being cus-tomized, personalized, and Web-enabled to provide key business information andanalytical tools for managers, business professionals, and business stakeholders. Wehighlight the trends toward such business intelligence applications in the various typesof information and decision support systems that are discussed in this chapter.FIGURE 10.7Business intelligenceapplications are based onpersonalized and Web-enabled informationanalysis, knowledgemanagement, and decisionsupport technologies.BusinessIntelligenceDecisionSupportSystemsManagementInformationSystemsKnowledgeManagementSystemsOnlineAnalyticalProcessingDataMining
Chapter 10 / Supporting Decision Making397A few years ago, executives at Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels decided the companyneeded a way to consolidate its disparate financial data so that it could more easilyforecast future sales and plan its business accordingly. In other words, the companywanted to install a typical financial performance management layer, with dashboardsand scorecards for top-level managers. But after some discussion on the matter, theinstallation grew to be not so typical.Gebhard Rainer, Hyatt’s vice president of hotel finance and systems, wanted tocombine these financial elements—budgeting, planning, modeling, and reporting—with operational data from the hotels themselves. The idea was that a complete pic-ture of the company’s business, available on a daily basis to executives as well as hotelmanagers, was not possible without having the two together in the same dashboard.Motivating the concept was a changing world, with terrorist risks and naturaldisasters causing an ever-shifting array of business variables. Rainer, in a MiddleEastern country in the aftermath of a terrorist attack several years ago, confrontedthese issues firsthand—as did the company, which owns hotels in New Orleans andalong the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. The first line of business is the safety ofhotel guests. But in terms of the big picture, hotel companies must re-forecast theirbusiness goals from the ground up based on a set of entirely new metrics dealingwith issues from resource allocation to skittish tourists rethinking their travel plans.

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