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Security Review


Date Approved

March 20, 2009

Review Date

July 6, 2016

Architecture Standards


Business Intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) tools are a type of application software designed to report, analyze and present data. The tools generally read data that have been previously stored, often,though not necessarily, in a data warehouse or data mart. The key general categories of business intelligence tools are: Spreadsheets; Reporting and querying software (tools that extract, sort, summarize, and present selected data); Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools; Digital Dashboards; Data mining; Process mining; and Business performance management.
Except for spreadsheets, these tools are sold as standalone tools, suites of tools, components of systems, or as components of software targeted to a specific industry. The tools are sometimes packaged into data warehouse appliances. Business Intelligence technology gives Agency users the ability to track, understand, and manage information within an agency and across multiple agencies and programs. BI tends to be easily fragmented into multiple tool sets within the State. Enterprise BI tool standardization has the potential to improve Return on Investment (ROI), and reducing purchasing, implementation and training costs. BI is designed to leverage the existing data assets of the State by providing reports from related data resources.
Current Utah standards for Business Intelligence applications include:

BI is present in all agencies using varying toolsets. These tools have often been selected based upon agency resource constraints and perceived BI requirements. The State has contracts in place for two enterprise class BI tool and reporting environments, Cognos, and Business Objects. Additional BI capabilities are present in spreadsheets, application specific BI implementations such as the Transparency website, and various other open source, and commercial implementations.

A major Cognos data warehousing environment is in place in the Division of Finance. Other BI large environments exist in a number of other agencies such as Health, Human Services, Utah Tax Commission, Human Resources, Workforce Services, Corrections, and the State Office of Education. Cognos is currently the vendor with the lar gest installed base of BI tools.

Reporting services for BI and general Web reporting are primarily provided by Business Objects Crystal Reports followed by Cognos Reports. Agency business needs for BI tools are based on agency business measurement requirements. These requirements can be met with a variety of approaches, many of which require minimal data integration and processing power. The scope of this standard recommendation is on enterprise class BI tools for analysis, and performance reporting, including dashboards and scorecards. These tools are especially appropriate when significant data aggregation is required, and they have proven scalability and flexibility for meeting changing Agency business and decision making information demands in a reliable and timely way.

For help with business intelligence services, contact your agency IT director.