Operational business intelligence (BI) has a focus on day-to-day operations and so requires low-latency or real-time data to be integrated with historical data. It also requires BI systems that are integrated with operational business processes. However, while operational BI might be part
and parcel of operational processes and systems, the focus is still on changing how people make decisions in an operational context. To compete on decisions, however, you must recognize that your customers react to the choices made by you, your staff and your systems, and that you must manage all the decisions you (or your systems) make – even the
very small ones. This is the basis for enterprise decision management or EDM. Five main areas of difference exist between operational BI and EDM – a focus on decisions (especially operational
ones), organizational integration, analytic technology change, adoption of additional technology and adaptive control.
In this article, I want to outline some steps organizations can take as they move from “traditional” BI towards operational BI and enterprise decision management. Some of these steps would be a good idea if operational BI was your goal. But hopefully you are more ambitious than that and want to really begin to compete on decisions.