This project report provides an insight into what business intelligence is, the required
processes in selecting and validating the optimal business intelligence (BI) application as well
as why it is crucial to the success of Cutting Edge Commerce (CEC). A study was conducted on
available literature with regard to the project motivation, advantages of a well-integrated BI
application as well as BI application selection methods.
A BI application consists of the design and collection of cohesive operative decision-support
applications as well as databases which provide easy and effective access to organisational
information. The project report discusses the main approach required to identify, evaluate,
select and validate the optimal BI application for CEC. The applied approach consists of tasks
such as cause-and-effect analysis, use-cause diagrams as well as the use of an Analytical
Hierarchy Process (AHP).
For the comprehensive analysis of the as-is process characteristics of the current BI
application, a PIECES framework in combination with a SWOT analysis is conducted. CEC is
faced with the decision whether to re-engineer their current in house BI application or to
acquire and implement a commercial off the shelf (COTS) BI software package. The decision
whether to procure a COTS application is discussed and elaborated on. Numerous BI solutions
are available on the market, thus it is necessary for those solutions to be analysed and
compared against each other.
The required criteria for the effective evaluation and filtering of possible COTS application
vendors is identified through the use literature and requirements analysis. Further literature
studies assisted in identifying methods called Multi-Criteria Decision Methods (MCDM) used
for the selection of information systems. The proposed method of MCDM was identified as the
AHP model which allows for the comprehensive comparison of various criteria simultaneously.
This method is used to compare and evaluate the various BI applications identified.
Following the identification of the optimal software application, it was determined that the
solution meets all user requirements. In order to measure user satisfaction a survey is
conducted to determine the level of end-user satisfaction. The validation of the user survey
results is done by using statistical analysis of the survey results.
Tableau is a multi-platform application with multiple implementation options and may be
implemented as a web-based, desktop or mobile application. The report is concluded by
providing a summary of the prescribed phases, tasks and actives required to successfully
implement the BI application as well as a comprehensive training plan to ensure that end-users
are able to efficiently use the newly implemented application.
Mini-dissertation (Final year project) (BEng)--University of Pretoria, 2015.