Business Intelligence: Making data work

Business intelligence (BI) is described as "a set of techniques, tools and software applications for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes". BI is made up of several related activities such as data mining, online analytical processing, querying, reporting and modelling.

One of the biggest assets a company owns is its’ data and the useful interpretation of this data is a strong factor influencing company strategy and decision making. Good insight into past performance and meaningful access to accurate data helps to identify new opportunities and can provide a significant competitive advantage. Various BI technologies and techniques assist in the handling and interpretation of large volumes of sometimes unstructured data and can provide historical, current and predictive views of the business operation to support a wide range of decisions from operational to strategic such as pricing, product positioning, priorities and goals. BI makes use of data derived from the particular marketplace in which the company operates as well as the company’s own internal data to give a more complete and accurate picture than that which can be derived from a single source.

A big advantage of BI is the increased ability of business people to analyse data themselves instead of having to get the IT department to run complex reports. This widespread access to quality information has revolutionised the way we do business.

BI, however, is not without its’ challenges and complications and its’ implementation may be dogged by technical and accuracy concerns. One of the current challenges in the field is how to use BI at an operational level to improve business processes rather than just as a decision support system. Colin White, founder and president of consultancy BI Research says, “Taking BI to the next level isn’t easy. It requires a change in thinking about the value of information inside organisations from the CEO down. Information is power and some people don’t like sharing it but everyone involved in the process must have full access to information to be able to change the ways that they work”.

Synergy, established from small beginnings in 1978, has grown to establish itself as a leading data business, helping both local and international companies understand the value and potential locked in their numbers. Combining the power of business intelligence, financial performance management and predictive analytics, they help their clients turn data into information and by doing so, they better equip them to boost their revenues, increase their inefficiencies and deliver world-class service, while cultivating a practice for acting on insights gleaned. Synergy was built and thrives on a foundation of respect, integrity and excellence.

Synergy have partnered with Faculty Training Institute, one of South Africa’s leading specialist training companies, to present a 2 day Business Intelligence Masterclass in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. This Masterclass offers delegates the opportunity to learn from experienced BI professionals, active in the field and is aimed at those who have been working on BI projects for a while and who may have a few scars!
The 2 day programme deals with 5 important BI topics. These areas focus less on technology and more on those techniques and skills that every BI person needs to get to grips with namely Analytics, Agile for BI, Dimensional Data Modelling, Requirements Analysis and Visualisation and Content Management

For further details click here

Should you be interested in attending in either centre, please contact the following people:
Johannesburg: 25th & 26 July Contact Nondi Baloyi 011 807 9478or
Cape Town: 8th & 9th June Contact Candice Burger 021 683 4506 or

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