Indentify the business intelligence platform required within an asset management service delivery environment

Janse van Rensburg, Dirk (2013-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT:The research answered the primary research question by defining what business intelligence (BI) platform must be included in Pragma’s asset care centre (ACC) model. Pragma delivers physical asset management services and products with the aim of improving performance of physical assets. These services and products are contained in the ACC model, which is based on Pragma’s AMIP asset management maturity assessment methodology. The current BI platform in the ACC Pack cannot deliver information management to a mature asset management organisation as set out in the AMIP methodology. The research used a questionnaire, based on an extensive literature review, to determine the need for BI within the current user base, and to determine the ideal BI functionality profile delivered inside the ACC model. This proved to be valuable input in defining the BI platform by evaluating the features and capabilities of BI vendors. The quality of information findings highlighted the inadequacy of the current BI platform. The current platform consists of SSRS reports executing directly on the database of the business application, On Key. The concern is that the reports do not conform to the specification. This highlights a misalignment between what the SSRS reports deliver, and what the user expects. The platform is not sufficiently dynamic to allow tailored reports or data analysis to overcome this. Another key finding was that the platform is not delivering the service that the consumer expects. The current platform favours operational users over managerial users. Most of the information quality weaknesses are due to the current platform’s functionality that is stretched beyond its intended purpose. The research found that the current platform is delivering the two main capabilities required from the BI platform, i.e. reporting and MS Office integration. However, this is insufficient because SSRS is unable to deliver on any of the other capabilities present in the BI model. Capabilities like dashboards, collaboration and ad hoc query are key capabilities required by Pragma’s user base. Users require an online platform where they can perform analysis originating from multiple sources. The users responsible for implementing and maintaining the platform must have the functionality to make minor adjustments to the standard reports and the ability to add objects unique to the business environment. The research recommends a hybrid BI platform consisting of SSRS for activity reports, and QlikView for analysis models and adding the complete set of BI capabilities not present in the current platform. QlikTech’s QlikView, one of the leading data discovery tools in the industry, is the BI tool best suited to Pragma’s needs due to its user-friendliness and self-service BI capabilities. This will require an original equipment manufacturers (OEM) partnership between Pragma and QlikTech, with QlikView embedded into On Key as its BI capability. Another recommendation is that Pragma include a data warehouse as part of the On Key deployment. This will allow for analysis across multiple sources and enable completeness of information.

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