June 2010

Business Intelligence Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2

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It has been almost 25 years since the original data warehouse was conceived. Although the term business intelligence (BI) has since been introduced, little has changed from the original architecture. Meanwhile, business needs have expanded dramatically and technology has advanced far beyond what was even envisioned in the 1980s. These business and technology changes are driving a broader and more inclusive view of what the business needs from IT, not just in BI but across the entire spectrum–from transaction processing to social networking. If BI is to be at the center of this revolution, we practitioners must raise our heads above the battlements and propose a new, inclusive architecture for the future.

Business integrated insight (BI2) is that architecture. This article focuses on the information component of BI2–the business information resource. I introduce a data topography and a new modeling approach that can support data warehouse implementers to look beyond the traditional hard information content of BI and consider new ways of addressing such diverse areas as operational BI and (so-called) unstructured content. This is an opportunity to take the next step beyond BI to provide complete business insight.