With the advent of the 21st century, the era of information was commenced. Information has become the most tradable commodity and the importance of its timely delivery can hardly be underestimated by both the contemporary business scholars as well as by the business practitioners. Therefore, the accumulation, digestion and proceeding of the information have become one of the important aspects of the contemporary business intercourse.
Having realized the importance of information processing, various software giants devised a great variety of tools applied to process and digest information. The aim of the paper is to analyze the reasons of the increased importance of business intelligence, to recommend and to justify date warehousing tools, date mining tools and currently available text mining tools. The analysis is based on the business, managerial and technical criterions of the targeted Business Intelligence tools. The section is finalized with the comparative study of the analogous tools currently available on the international and domestic markets.
The second part of the paper addresses the choice and justification thereof of the currently available Web mining tools, Web analytics tools and software agent tools. Similarly to the first part of the paper, the analysis is made on the business, managerial and technical criterions and comparative market analysis is provided.
The last section of the paper is focused on the benefits, effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed solutions. In the summary, it is inferentially concluded whether the solutions indeed improve business process, business performance, managerial decision making process and create competitive market advantage.
Technical Advantages of Data Warehousing
Data warehousing is ubiquitously recognized among the practicing communities of professionals. The first feasible and undisputed advantage of the data warehousing is the fact that it helps to save time, which is very valuable for the international business community. It is known that data warehousing tools enable to aggregate all data in one place, hereby greatly simplifying the process of managerial decision making (Vircellis 2011). Therefore, provided that specific software is installed in the business infrastructure of a commercial entity, the installed data warehousing tools can greatly enhance the performance of that software tools.
The second technological advantage of data warehousing tools is the fact that this strategy contributes to enhance data quality and data consistency aspects of the business entity operations (Rud 2009). To be more exact, the data and information extracted from various sources is integrated into one format, which is considered common for the rest of the systems and business appliances with the installed software. Considering that different departments of the firm utilize unified and single standards, it can be assumed that the results produced by different units of the firm will be standardized. Hereby, the management of the firm can assume that the data is more accurate. Moreover, technically there is no need to involve an outsourcing specialist to monitor the work of the employees, because of technical incompetence of the management staff.
Moreover, technically data warehousing provides easy access to the archived data. All commercial operations for the different timeframes of the company activity are duly archived. When the need to make future predictions arises, the system enables the quick access of the archived data, to analyze this data and to make inferential conclusions. Moreover, the information is stored on the database of the company transactions (typically for the merchandise entities).
Business and Managerial Advantages of Data Warehousing Tools
The implementation of the data warehousing tools can indeed positively contribute to the enhancement of the business climate of targeted business entity (Loshin 2000). Considering that the decision making process is done more expediently than before the corresponding tools were installed, it can be assumed that all business operations of the reviewed entity are conducted more expediently. With the increase in the operation conducted per certain period of time, it is natural that the revenues of the company are in their turn rising.
Besides, with the installation of the data warehousing tools the company can diversify the services, which it provides to its customers. Whilst the productive facilities of the company may be outdated, with the installation of the data warehousing the company may become capable of providing those services.
Managerially, the company becomes automatically capable of taking more carefully weighted decisions.
Data Mining Tools
Technical Perspective of Data Mining Tools
The choice of business data mining tools with regard to the characteristics of the present case study is twofold. Nowadays, the unified opinion of the practitioners is that the most effective data mining tools are Microsoft Analysis Services, provided by Microsoft Inc., and STATISTICA Data Miner, software data mining tools provided by StatSoft Inc (Blodjic 2008). The choice of these companies is not random in its nature and is dictated by two motives: firstly, the companies are both internationally recognized and chosen by the leading business institutions of the industry, and secondly, the individual traits of the software do integrally meet the characteristics of the present project.
However, the technical side of the discussed issue is not as simple as it may seem. The main complexity is that each data mining algorithm elaborated by both Microsoft Analysis Services and STATISTICA as well as it is a time-consuming process. Each “training set” for each operation is devised individually and therefore, assuming that the productive capacity of the software installed in the company may be low, the process can be relatively slow.
Business and Managerial Perspectives
With regard to the business opportunities discovered by the installation of the discussed data mining tools, it shall be stressed that these mechanisms can substantially enhance information-oriented industries of the targeted company. Considering the fact that both packages include seven independently operating algorithms and each one produce data sets, the packages can be applied by different industries of the firm simultaneously. This trait of the data mining package can be found particularly important for small-scale business entities (Williams & Williams 2010).
Text Mining Tools
It is universally recognized that the aim of text mining tools is to derive the most relevant and top-quality data sets from the given texts. For the needs of the present project, the most relevant systems seem to be Angross Text Analytics, the text mining package developed by Lexalytics Salience Engine and KXEN package, developed and produced by Kxen Inc.
The process of text mining involves the utilization of numerous algorithms for data encapsulation and aggregation. The proposed solutions seem to be the most suitable for the processing project, because of two primary reasons: first, they are time-saving and second, they are not reported to affect the financial resources of the company significantly. In common parlance, these tools are not expensive and therefore, they can be afforded by small-scale and medium-scale companies.
Business and Mabagerial Perspective of the Text Mining Tools
Concerning the integration of the text mining tools into the business environment of the company, it can be encapsulated that text mining is used primarily for the commercial and advertising campaigns waged by the targeted business entity. If commercial advertising includes operations connected with the SEO of the company web-site or other commercial tools, text mining tools provided by the discussed companies are the inseparable tools to succeed in the specified objectives (Kyduda 2001).
Regarding the opinion of the managers, the majority of them report that no significant changes are brought with the installation of the outlined text mining tools to the software package of the company, since these packages are more productive oriented. However, when reporting to the higher authorities is to be exercised, these tools are really valuable, since they greatly facilitate to encapsulate information and present it in the concise, but at the same time informative form
Web Mining Tools
With all due consideration paid to the individualities of this case, the most relevant choices are the web mining applications elaborated by Advanced Software Applications and Alterian Ltd, since they are most reasonable from the financial and practical points of view.
Technical Criteria of Web Mining Tools
Most importantly, the chosen technical tools must fully correspond to the needs of the outlined project. In other words, the principle of customization is the guiding one in this case. Web mining is utilized to derive data mining patterns from the Web. Three primary methods are applied to meet the technological needs of the enterprise, i.e. Web Usage Mining Approach, Web Structure Mining and Web Content Mining. Technically, the procedure is neither complex nor time consuming, but expert knowledge shall nevertheless be referred to.
Business and Managerial Criteria of Web-Mining Tools
Although the tools are not excessively sophisticated or expensive, the impact they exercise on small and medium scale business is indeed tremendous. These techniques can increase the revenues of the information-oriented industries, due to the effect that the process of informational aggregation is done more expediently. Managerially, the decision making process is greatly simplified, since before the decision is to be taken, informational background must be formed (Thireauf 2001). With the possibility to aggregate information more quickly, the overall managerial activity is done more effectively.
Web Analytical Tools
The well-recognized aim of web-analytical tools is to collect, analyze, digest and report information that can be applied for the needs of web usage optimization. Generally, it is used to enhance the characteristics of web-site to conduce market research more efficiently and ultimately to increase sales of an enterprise (Blodjic 2008).
For the needs of the present case study, the most relevant web analytical tool is logfile tapping.
Technical Perspective of Web Analytical Tools
With regard to the characteristics of the present project, several advantages of the Web Analytics shall be emphasized. Firstly, the computer normally produces log files. Therefore, raw materials are already available and shall not be additionally generated. There is no need to incorporate any changes to the existing version of the company web-site. Besides, own servers of the company store the data, therefore, making it considerably easier to switch between them and to monitor the history of the company performance.
Business and Managerial Perspective of the Toolkits
Contributing significantly to the process of the company Web Site optimization and therefore, increasing the sales of the company output, it can be concluded that the impact exercised on business is tremendously positive. With regard to the decisions’ taken by the managers of the company, it can be equally concluded that owing to the fact that the data required for the analysis of those managerial decisions is digested and analyzed more expediently, it can be stated that the managerial process is equally simplified.
Soft Agent Tools
Data soft agent tools are utilized by software of the company to process the data and to assemble the relevant one from the data set to build the business models and algorithms that can be utilized for the needs of the business. The most applicable tools for the needs of Forex Trading Company do seem to be A3 / AAA (Agent Anytime Anywhere) and SimPlusPlus.
From the technical perspective, these tools are considered advantageous due to the fact that they can be programmed at any programming language and therefore, there is no need to refer to the programmer with expert knowledge, because almost any can serve them with equal efficacy (Vircellis 2011). Secondly, the nature of the Forex Trading Business shall be accentuated. Primarily, the software shall be expedient and highly productive in order to be able to monitor the permanently volatile vacillations of the market.
Business and Managerial Side
On the subject of impact on the business side of the case, it shall be highlighted that since the data is assembled with increased rapidity, the number of transactions entered into by the trader per specific time period is substantially increased (Vircellis 2011). Moreover, with the proposed tools the information about the factors, which influence the price of a specific value is substantially increased, hereby increasing the profitability of the discussed transactions.
Managerially, the course of actions can be devised more promptly and accurately, since the assemblage of information is done entirely automatically and human agency can be disregarded completely.
Analysis of the Benefits, Effectiveness and Efficincy of the Proposed Analytical Web Tools
Having chosen the above discussed toolkits for the enhancement of the company performance, it can be inferentially concluded that all of them individually and together combined will definitely exercise a positive impact on the business, financial and managerial environment of the company.
Since the information is processed more quickly and more factors influencing the price are aggregated and analyzed completely automatically, the more transactions can be entered into and consequently, more profits can be accrued by an operating trader (Williams & Williams 2010).
The proposed business intelligence solutions raise both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the targeted company, due to the fact that all of them are aimed to increase the revenues collected by the company and to enhance the toolkits currently employed by the software of the company. Moreover, in contrast to the rest of the web analytics tools currently available on the market, these very tools are of particular economic value for the enterprise since they do seem to be one of the most financially affordable and do not necessitate permanent significant financial contributions to maintain them.