With BI in the organization, will jobs change? Will new skills be needed? How can you measure potential profit...
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What would be some dangers or possible disadvantages of not only investing in BI applications but of its use for forecasting and development?
There is an important trend in terms of skills needed for BI professionals today. One skill is that of system integration. IT shops are doing less developing than they used to and doing more integration of components. This fact also means another important skill today is architecture and understanding how particular technologies and components can fit into the overall picture effectively and efficiently. Also the application of the system components to the overall business profit picture is a skill that few in IT can get away without today and still be successful. So, in BI, if you're a tool jockey, you still need to keenly be aware of the overall picture. I would also get multiple tools across different subspaces (ETL, OLAP, DBMS) under your belt to demonstrate your flexibility and give you this sense of the overall picture I'm talking about. Also remember to not only learn tools but to learn the disciplines you're working in.
For example, there is the discipline to ETL that involves knowing where to get data, what rules to apply and where to apply them. This is more important than just knowing how to use an ETL tool.
As for measuring potential profit change, assuming you mean measuring corporate profit change with a BI project, it is difficult but BI projects should be undertaken with the knowledge of how a convergence of a variety of factors regarding the project result will impact corporate revenues and/or expenses. Most importantly this has to do with the ability of company business users to react to clean, timely, integrated data and impact the business from their roles.
As to the last question, with so many different approaches to forecasting and development embedded within the BI applications that are dotting the landscape, it is vitally important to understand the methodology of the one you choose -- and agree with it. Treating the applications as something more than a black box will increase your confidence in their outputs such as forecasts. Dangers I've seen have to do with lacking this understanding and therefore lacking confidence in the application that can lead to going back to the old ways. Otherwise, if you agree with the approach and use the applications as a means to an end, it provides you with a supported application with probably more functionality than you could build yourself.
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