Introduction to Competitive Advantage in Information Systems

As you read, think about how using, protecting, and managing information and data could support an organization's competitive advantage. Conversely, failure to protect data, particularly personal information, could reduce or destroy any competitive advantage within a business. How does understanding customer information and data support current operations? How might it impact future operations?

The Business Intelligence Toolkit

Key Takeaways

  • Canned and ad hoc reports, digital dashboards, and OLAP are all used to transform data into information.
  • OLAP reporting leverage data cubes, which take data from standard relational databases, calculating and summarizing data for superfast reporting access. OLAP tools can present results through multidimensional graphs, or via spreadsheet-style cross-tab reports.
  • Modern data sets can be so large that it might be impossible for humans to spot underlying trends without the use of data mining tools.
  • Businesses are using data mining to address issues in several key areas including customer segmentation, marketing and promotion targeting, collaborative filtering, and so on.
  • Models influenced by bad data, missing or incomplete historical data, and over-engineering are prone to yield bad results.
  • One way to test to see if you're looking at a random occurrence in your data is to divide your data, building your model with one portion of the data, and using another portion to verify your results.
  • Analytics may not always provide the total solution for a problem. Sometimes a pattern is uncovered, but determining the best choice for a response is less clear.
  • A competent business analytics team should possess three critical skills: information technology, statistics, and business knowledge.