Home Business Intelligence Enterprise Intelligence Parts and How They Relate to Energy BI

Enterprise Intelligence Parts and How They Relate to Energy BI

Enterprise Intelligence Parts and How They Relate to Energy BI


Business Intelligence Components and How They Relate to Power BI

Once I determined to jot down this weblog publish, I assumed it might be a good suggestion to study a bit concerning the historical past of Enterprise Intelligence. I searched on the web, and I discovered this web page on Wikipedia. The time period Enterprise Intelligence as we all know it immediately was coined by an IBM laptop science researcher, Hans Peter Luhn, in 1958, who wrote a paper within the IBM Techniques journal titled A Enterprise Intelligence System as a particular course of in information science. Within the Goals and ideas part of his paper, Luhn defines the enterprise as “a group of actions carried on for no matter objective, be it science, expertise, commerce, business, legislation, authorities, protection, et cetera.” and an intelligence system as “the communication facility serving the conduct of a enterprise (within the broad sense)”. Then he refers to Webster’s dictionary’s definition of the phrase Intelligence as the power to apprehend the interrelationships of introduced info in such a method as to information motion in direction of a desired purpose”.

It’s fascinating to see how a incredible thought previously units a concrete future that may assist us have a greater life. Isn’t it exactly what we do in our day by day BI processes as Luhn described of a Enterprise Intelligence System for the primary time? How cool is that?

After we discuss concerning the time period BI immediately, we check with a particular and scientific set of processes of reworking the uncooked information into invaluable and comprehensible data for varied enterprise sectors (similar to gross sales, stock, legislation, and so forth…). These processes will assist companies to make data-driven selections based mostly on the prevailing hidden info within the information.

Like all the pieces else, the BI processes improved so much throughout its life. I’ll attempt to make some wise hyperlinks between immediately’s BI Parts and Energy BI on this publish.

Generic Parts of Enterprise Intelligence Options

Typically talking, a BI resolution incorporates varied elements and instruments that will differ in numerous options relying on the enterprise necessities, information tradition and the organisation’s maturity in analytics. However the processes are similar to the next:

  • We often have a number of supply techniques with totally different applied sciences containing the uncooked information, similar to SQL Server, Excel, JSON, Parquet recordsdata and so forth…
  • We combine the uncooked information right into a central repository to cut back the chance of constructing any interruptions to the supply techniques by always connecting to them. We often load the information from the information sources into the central repository.
  • We rework the information to optimise it for reporting and analytical functions, and we load it into one other storage. We intention to maintain the historic information on this storage.
  • We pre-aggregate the information into sure ranges based mostly on the enterprise necessities and cargo the information into one other storage. We often don’t preserve the entire historic information on this storage; as an alternative, we solely preserve the information required to be analysed or reported.
  • We create studies and dashboards to show the information into helpful data

With the above processes in thoughts, a BI resolution consists of the next elements:

  • Knowledge Sources
  • Staging
  • Knowledge Warehouse/Knowledge Mart(s)
  • Extract, Remodel and Load (ETL)
  • Semantic Layer
  • Knowledge Visualisation

Knowledge Sources

One of many fundamental targets of operating a BI challenge is to allow organisations to make data-driven selections. An organisation might need a number of departments utilizing varied instruments to gather the related information day-after-day, similar to gross sales, stock, advertising, finance, well being and security and so forth.

The info generated by the enterprise instruments are saved someplace utilizing totally different applied sciences. A gross sales system would possibly retailer the information in an Oracle database, whereas the finance system shops the information in a SQL Server database within the cloud. The finance crew additionally generate some information saved in Excel recordsdata.

The info generated by totally different techniques are the supply for a BI resolution.


We often have a number of information sources contributing to the information evaluation in real-world situations. To have the ability to analyse all the information sources, we require a mechanism to load the information right into a central repository. The primary motive for that’s the enterprise instruments required to always retailer information within the underlying storage. Due to this fact, frequent connections to the supply techniques can put our manufacturing techniques susceptible to being unresponsive or performing poorly. The central repository the place we retailer the information from varied information sources is named Staging. We often retailer the information within the staging with no or minor modifications in comparison with the information within the information sources. Due to this fact, the standard of the information saved within the staging is often low and requires cleaning within the subsequent phases of the information journey. In lots of BI options, we use Staging as a short lived surroundings, so we delete the Staging information usually after it’s efficiently transferred to the subsequent stage, the information warehouse or information marts.

If we need to point out the information high quality with colors, it’s honest to say the information high quality in staging is Bronze.

Knowledge Warehouse/Knowledge Mart(s)

As talked about earlier than, the information within the staging just isn’t in its finest form and format. A number of information sources disparately generate the information. So, analysing the information and creating studies on prime of the information in staging could be difficult, time-consuming and costly. So we require to seek out out the hyperlinks between the information sources, cleanse, reshape and rework the information and make it extra optimised for information evaluation and reporting actions. We retailer the present and historic information in a information warehouse. So it’s fairly regular to have a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands and even billions of rows of knowledge over an extended interval. Relying on the general structure, the information warehouse would possibly comprise encapsulated business-specific information in a information mart or a group of knowledge marts. In information warehousing, we use totally different modelling approaches similar to Star Schema. As talked about earlier, one of many main functions of getting a knowledge warehouse is to maintain the historical past of the information. This can be a large profit of getting a knowledge warehouse, however this energy comes with a price. As the amount of the information within the information warehouse grows, it makes it dearer to analyse the information. The info high quality within the information warehouse or information marts is Silver.

Extract, Transfrom and Load (ETL)

Within the earlier sections, we talked about that we combine the information from the information sources within the staging space, then we cleanse, reshape and rework the information and cargo it into a knowledge warehouse. To take action, we observe a course of known as Extract, Remodel and Load or, in brief, ETL. As you may think about, the ETL processes are often fairly complicated and costly, however they’re an important a part of each BI resolution.

Semantic Layer

As we now know, one of many strengths of getting a knowledge warehouse is to maintain the historical past of the information. However over time, protecting large quantities of historical past could make information evaluation dearer. For example, we may have an issue if we need to get the sum of gross sales over 500 million rows of knowledge. So, we pre-aggregate the information into sure ranges based mostly on the enterprise necessities right into a Semantic layer to have an much more optimised and performant surroundings for information evaluation and reporting functions. Knowledge aggregation dramatically reduces the information quantity and improves the efficiency of the analytical resolution.

Let’s proceed with a easy instance to higher perceive how aggregating the information might help with the information quantity and information processing efficiency. Think about a situation the place we saved 20 years of knowledge of a sequence retail retailer with 200 shops throughout the nation, that are open 24 hours and seven days per week. We saved the information on the hour degree within the information warehouse. Every retailer often serves 500 clients per hour a day. Every buyer often buys 5 gadgets on common. So, listed below are some easy calculations to know the quantity of knowledge we’re coping with:

  • Common hourly information of knowledge per retailer: 5 (gadgets) x 500 (served cusomters per hour) = 2,500
  • Day by day information per retailer: 2,500 x 24 (hours a day) = 60,000
  • Yearly information per retailer: 60,000 x 365 (days a 12 months) = 21,900,000
  • Yearly information for all shops: 21,900,000 x 200 = 4,380,000,000
  • Twenty years of knowledge: 4,380,000,000 x 20 = 87,600,000,000

A easy summation over greater than 80 billion rows of knowledge would take lengthy to be calculated. Now, think about that the enterprise requires to analyse the information on day degree. So within the semantic layer we combination 80 billion rows into the day degree. In different phrases, 87,600,000,000 ÷ 24 = 3,650,000,000 which is a a lot smaller variety of rows to take care of.

The opposite profit of getting a semantic layer is that we often don’t require to load the entire historical past of the information from the information warehouse into our semantic layer. Whereas we’d preserve 20 years of knowledge within the information warehouse, the enterprise may not require to analyse 20 years of knowledge. Due to this fact, we solely load the information for a interval required by the enterprise into the semantic layer, which boosts the general efficiency of the analytical system.

Let’s proceed with our earlier instance. Let’s say the enterprise requires analysing the previous 5 years of knowledge. Here’s a simplistic calculation of the variety of rows after aggregating the information for the previous 5 years on the day degree: 3,650,000,000 ÷ 4 = 912,500,000.

The info high quality of the semantic layer is Gold.

Knowledge Visualisation

Knowledge visualisation refers to representing the information from the semantic layer with graphical diagrams and charts utilizing varied reporting or information visualisation instruments. We could create analytical and interactive studies, dashboards, or low-level operational studies. However the studies run on prime of the semantic layer, which supplies us high-quality information with distinctive efficiency.

How Completely different BI Parts Relate

The next diagram reveals how totally different Enterprise Intelligence elements are associated to one another:

Business Intelligence (BI) Components
Enterprise Intelligence (BI) Parts

Within the above diagram:

  • The blue arrows present the extra conventional processes and steps of a BI resolution
  • The dotted line gray(ish) arrows present extra trendy approaches the place we don’t require to create any information warehouses or information marts. As a substitute, we load the information instantly right into a Semantic layer, then visualise the information.
  • Relying on the enterprise, we’d have to undergo the orange arrow with the dotted line when creating studies on prime of the information warehouse. Certainly, this method is professional and nonetheless utilized by many organisations.
  • Whereas visualising the information on prime of the Staging surroundings (the dotted crimson arrow) just isn’t perfect; certainly, it’s not unusual that we require to create some operational studies on prime of the information in staging. instance is creating ad-hoc studies on prime of the present information loaded into the staging surroundings.

How Enterprise Intelligence Parts Relate to Energy BI

To know how the BI elements relate to Energy BI, we now have to have understanding of Energy BI itself. I already defined what Energy BI is in a earlier publish, so I counsel you test it out if you’re new to Energy BI. As a BI platform, we count on Energy BI to cowl all or most BI elements proven within the earlier diagram, which it does certainly. This part seems to be on the totally different elements of Energy BI and the way they map to the generic BI elements.

Energy BI as a BI platform incorporates the next elements:

  • Energy Question
  • Knowledge Mannequin
  • Knowledge Visualisation

Now let’s see how the BI elements relate to Energy BI elements.

ETL: Energy Question

Energy Question is the ETL engine out there within the Energy BI platform. It’s out there in each desktop functions and from the cloud. With Energy Question, we will hook up with greater than 250 totally different information sources, cleanse the information, rework the information and cargo the information. Relying on our structure, Energy Question can load the information into:

  • Energy BI information mannequin when used inside Energy BI Desktop
  • The Energy BI Service inside storage, when utilized in Dataflows

With the mixing of Dataflows and Azure Knowledge Lake Gen 2, we will now retailer the Dataflows’ information right into a Knowledge Lake Retailer Gen 2.

Staging: Dataflows

The Staging part is on the market solely when utilizing Dataflows with the Energy BI Service. The Dataflows use the Energy Question On-line engine. We are able to use the Dataflows to combine the information coming from totally different information sources and cargo it into the interior Energy BI Service storage or an Azure Knowledge Lake Gen 2. As talked about earlier than, the information within the Staging surroundings will likely be used within the information warehouse or information marts within the BI options, which interprets to referencing the Dataflows from different Dataflows downstream. Take into account that this functionality is a Premium characteristic; subsequently, we should have one of many following Premium licenses:

Knowledge Marts: Dataflows

As talked about earlier, the Dataflows use the Energy Question On-line engine, which implies we will hook up with the information sources, cleanse, rework the information, and cargo the outcomes into both the Energy BI Service storage or an Azure Knowledge Kale Retailer Gen 2. So, we will create information marts utilizing Dataflows. It’s possible you’ll ask why information marts and never information warehouses. The basic motive relies on the variations between information marts and information warehouses which is a broader matter to debate and is out of the scope of this blogpost. However in brief, the Dataflows don’t presently help some basic information warehousing capabilities similar to Slowly Altering Dimensions (SCDs). The opposite level is that the information warehouses often deal with huge volumes of knowledge, rather more than the amount of knowledge dealt with by the information marts. Bear in mind, the information marts comprise enterprise particular information and don’t essentially comprise a number of historic information. So, let’s face it; the Dataflows are usually not designed to deal with billions or hundred hundreds of thousands of rows of knowledge {that a} information warehouse can deal with. So we presently settle for the truth that we will design information marts within the Energy BI Service utilizing Dataflows with out spending a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars}.

Semantic Layer: Knowledge Mannequin or Dataset

In Energy BI, relying on the situation we develop the answer, we load the information from the information sources into the information mannequin or a dataset.

Utilizing Energy BI Desktop (desktop software)

It is suggested that we use Energy BI Desktop to develop a Energy BI resolution. When utilizing Energy BI Desktop, we instantly use Energy Question to hook up with the information sources and cleanse and rework the information. We then load the information into the information mannequin. We are able to additionally implement aggregations inside the information mannequin to enhance the efficiency.

Utilizing Energy BI Service (cloud)

Growing a report instantly in Energy BI Service is feasible, however it’s not the really useful technique. After we create a report in Energy BI Service, we hook up with the information supply and create a report. Energy BI Service doesn’t presently help information modelling; subsequently, we can not create measures or relationships and so forth… After we save the report, all the information and the connection to the information supply are saved in a dataset, which is the semantic layer. Whereas information modelling just isn’t presently out there within the Energy BI Service, the information within the dataset wouldn’t be in its cleanest state. That is a wonderful motive to keep away from utilizing this technique to create studies. However it’s potential, and the choice is yours in any case.

Knowledge Visualisation: Studies

Now that we now have the ready information, we visualise the information utilizing both the default visuals or some customized visuals inside the Energy BI Desktop (or within the service). The following step after ending the event is publishing the report back to the Energy BI Service.

Knowledge Mannequin vs. Dataset

At this level, chances are you’ll ask concerning the variations between a knowledge mannequin and a dataset. The brief reply is that the information mannequin is the modelling layer present within the Energy BI Desktop, whereas the dataset is an object within the Energy BI Service. Allow us to proceed the dialog with a easy situation to know the variations higher. I develop a Energy BI report on Energy BI Desktop, after which I publish the report into Energy BI Service. Throughout my improvement, the next steps occur:

  • From the second I hook up with the information sources, I’m utilizing Energy Question. I cleanse and rework the information within the Energy Question Editor window. Thus far, I’m within the information preparation layer. In different phrases, I solely ready the information, however no information is being loaded but.
  • I shut the Energy Question Editor window and apply the modifications. That is the place the information begins being loaded into the information mannequin. Then I create the relationships and create some measures and so forth. So, the information mannequin layer incorporates the information and the mannequin itself.
  • I create some studies within the Energy BI Desktop
  • I publish the report back to the Energy BI Service

Right here is the purpose that magic occurs. Throughout publishing the report back to the Energy BI Service, the next modifications apply to my report file:

  • Energy BI Service encapsulates the information preparation (Energy Question), and the information mannequin layers right into a single object known as a dataset. The dataset can be utilized in different studies as a shared dataset or different datasets with composite mannequin structure.
  • The report is saved as a separated object within the dataset. We are able to pin the studies or their visuals to the dashboards later.

There it’s. You will have it. I hope this weblog publish helps you higher perceive some basic ideas of Enterprise Intelligence, its elements and the way they relate to Energy BI. I’d like to have your suggestions or reply your questions within the feedback part under.



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