XenonStack Recommends

Data Visualization

Business Intelligence in ERP | Benefits and Use Cases

Navdeep Singh Gill | 04 May 2023

Business Intelligence in ERP

Introduction to Business Intelligence

Today's businesses increasingly rely on software to perform at peak efficiency and maximize revenue. Business Intelligence (BI) plays a key role in helping identify problems and providing business insights to identify opportunities. Business intelligence is a set of tools and technical infrastructure a company can use to gather, store, and analyze its data.

BI systems offer prescriptive and predictive analytics, machine learning capabilities, and cloud-based solutions. Integrating BI and ERP has also evolved, providing real-time data transfer and advanced data analysis and visualization. BI is used in ERP to provide detailed insights for informed decision-making and process optimization. A business intelligence framework is a strategic approach to conducting BI that ensures all relevant data is analyzed and applied in context to find optimal solutions and take advantage of opportunities. The future of BI in ERP is likely to bring even more advanced solutions.

An apparatus generally utilized for Business Intelligence makes common diagrams and graphs as dashboards and worksheets. Taken From Article, Tableau Data Visualization for Business Intelligence

What is the Architecture of Business Intelligence?

The Architecture of Business Intelligence is described below:

Components of Business Intelligence

  • Data Collection and Integration: 
  1. Data sources (e.g., databases, data lakes, APIs)
  2. ETL tools (e.g., Talend, Informatica, SSIS)
  • Data Warehousing:
  1. Data warehouse (e.g., Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics)
  2. Data modeling tools (e.g., ER/Studio, ERwin Data Modeler, SAP PowerDesigner)
  • Analysis and Reporting
  1. Data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau, Power BI, QlikView)
  2. Statistical analysis tools (e.g., R, Python, IBM SPSS)
  3. Machine learning tools (e.g., TensorFlow, scikit-learn, Amazon SageMaker)
  • Business Performance Management
  1. KPI monitoring tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Salesforce, SAP Analytics Cloud)
  2. Budgeting and forecasting tools (e.g., Adaptive Insights, Anaplan, IBM Planning Analytics)

By leveraging these components, businesses can gain valuable insights into their operations and make informed decisions to improve performance.

Facts and Stats of Market Majors

Business Intelligence (BI) market majors facts and stats are:

  1. Tableau is a data visualization and business intelligence software company acquired by Salesforce in 2019 for $15.7 billion. As of September 2021, Tableau had over 90,000 customers and was used by more than 1.2 million people worldwide.
  2. As of September 2021, Microsoft had over 200,000 Power BI customers and was the second-largest vendor in the BI market, behind Tableau.
  3. As of September 2021, SAP had over 60,000 BusinessObjects customers and was the third-largest vendor in the BI market.
  4. As of September 2021, IBM had over 23,000 Cognos Analytics customers and was the fourth-largest vendor in the BI market.
  5. As of September 2021, Qlik had over 50,000 customers and was the fifth-largest vendor in the BI market.

The BI market is highly competitive, with many players offering various tools and solutions. As businesses continue to generate more data, the demand for BI tools will likely grow. We may see further consolidation and innovation in the market in the coming years.

A full variety of visualizations like stacked column chart, matrix chart, filled map, funnel chart, waterfall chart. Click to explore about our, Data Visualization with Microsoft Power BI

Integration of Business Intelligence and ERP

Integrating BI and ERP systems can give businesses a complete picture of their operations and help them make more informed decisions. Here are some ways BI and ERP can be integrated:

  • Data Integration: BI and ERP systems can be integrated to allow for real-time data transfer, which ensures that the data used for BI analysis is always up-to-date. It can help businesses make more informed decisions based on the latest information.
  • Reporting: BI tools can create custom reports that pull data directly from the ERP system. It allows businesses to generate reports that provide a more detailed and accurate view of their operations.
  • Data Analysis: BI tools can analyze data from the ERP system to identify trends and patterns that can inform business decisions. It can help businesses optimize their operations and make more informed decisions.
  • Dashboard Creation: Dashboards can be created using BI tools that pull data from the ERP system to provide a real-time view of business operations. It allows businesses to identify issues and take corrective action quickly.
  • Forecasting: BI tools can be used to create forecasts based on data from the ERP system. It can help businesses plan for future growth and anticipate potential issues.

Why is Business Intelligence used in ERP?

Business Intelligence (BI) is integrated into ERP systems to give businesses more profound insights into their data, processes, and operations optimization. BI provides customizable dashboards for real-time analysis, helping businesses track key performance indicators and monitor processes. BI enhances the decision-making capabilities of ERP systems and provides a more comprehensive view of business operations

Key Differences Between ERP and Business Intelligence 

Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) 

Business Intelligence 

  • Provides transactional and operational data for day-to-day business activities 
  • Provides analytical and strategic data for informed decision-making 
  • Focuses on automating and integrating core business processes such as finance, supply chain management, and manufacturing 
  • Focuses on analyzing and visualizing data to identify trends, patterns, and insights 
  • Supports operational and transactional reporting, such as balance sheets and inventory reports 
  • Supports ad-hoc and interactive reporting, such as dashboards and data visualizations 
  • Collects and stores data from across the organization in a centralized database 
  • Extracts and analyzes data from various sources, both internal and external, to gain insights 
  • Helps manage and optimize business processes to improve efficiency and productivity 
  • Helps identify areas for improvement and optimization based on data insights 
  • Often used by finance, accounting, and operations teams 
  • Used by business analysts, data scientists, and other professionals involved in data analysis and decision-making 
  • Examples of ERP systems include SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics 
  • Examples of BI tools include Tableau, Power BI, and QlikView 

Role of Business Intelligence in Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP)

Business Intelligence (BI) plays a crucial role in enhancing the decision-making capabilities of businesses by providing deeper insights into their data and processes when integrated into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. By leveraging advanced data analysis and visualization capabilities, BI enables businesses to optimize their operations, identify trends, patterns, and anomalies in their data, track KPIs, and monitor business processes in real time. BI also provides predictive and prescriptive analytics to help businesses anticipate future trends and optimize their operations accordingly, improving their forecasting capabilities. Integrating BI and ERP also ensures that the data used for BI analysis is always up-to-date, providing businesses with a more comprehensive view of their operations and helping them make informed decisions for improved performance and growth.

A scalable strategy helps businesses to succeed in the long run, as the performance of the application does not get disrupted or declined. Talk to a Data Visualization Expert

What are the Benefits of Business Intelligence in ERP?

Business Intelligence (BI) integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can benefit businesses. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Deeper Insights: By integrating BI with ERP, businesses can gain a more comprehensive view of their operations and access more profound insights into their data and processes, enabling them to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that might not be apparent in the raw data.
  2. Improved Decision-making: The advanced data analysis and visualization capabilities of BI systems can help businesses make more informed decisions by giving them real-time access to data and KPIs. This allows them to identify areas for cost reduction, revenue growth, and process optimization.
  3. Better Forecasting: BI systems can provide businesses with predictive and prescriptive analytics that can help them anticipate future trends and optimize their operations accordingly, leading to better forecasting and planning.
  4. Customizable Dashboards: BI systems can provide customizable and interactive dashboards that enable users to view and analyze data in real time, helping businesses track KPIs and monitor business processes.
  5. Real-time Data Transfer: The integration of BI with ERP enables real-time data transfer, ensuring that the data used for BI analysis is always up-to-date, leading to more accurate insights and faster decision-making.

Overall, the benefits of BI integration with ERP include improved operational efficiency, better decision-making, and increased competitiveness, all of which can lead to improved business performance and growth.

Examples of ERP With Business Intelligence

There are many examples of ERP systems that have integrated business intelligence capabilities. The integration allows businesses to access real-time data and gain insights into operations, financial performance, and customer behavior. 
 Here are a few examples:

  1. SAP ERP and SAP BusinessObjects: SAP is a leading provider of ERP systems, and their SAP BusinessObjects suite provides advanced analytics capabilities that can be integrated with their ERP system.  
  2. Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI: Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a popular ERP system that can be integrated with Power BI, Microsoft's business intelligence and analytics platform.
  3. Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle Analytics Cloud: Oracle provides a cloud-based ERP system that can be integrated with its Oracle Analytics Cloud platform.
  4. Infor ERP and Infor Birst: Infor is a leading provider of ERP systems, and their Infor Birst platform provides advanced analytics capabilities that can be integrated with their ERP system.

Integrating BI with ERP systems can give businesses a complete view of their operations and help them make more informed decisions.

The set of processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful information that drives beneficial business action. Taken From Article, Business Intelligence in Healthcare Industry

Use Case: An Integrated Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP)

Some real-life use cases of integrated Enterprise Resources Planning systems:

  • Manufacturing: As previously mentioned, manufacturing companies can use an integrated ERP system with BI to optimize their production processes, supply chain management, and financial management.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare providers can use an integrated ERP system with BI to manage patient data, inventory, and financials, while also analyzing data to improve patient outcomes, identify trends, and manage costs.
  • Retail: Retail companies can use an integrated ERP system with BI to manage their inventory, supply chain, and financials while also analyzing data to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, optimize pricing and promotions, and forecast demand.
  • Finance: Financial institutions can use an integrated ERP system with BI to manage their accounting, compliance, and risk management functions while also analyzing data to gain insights into market trends and make informed investment decisions.
  • Education: Educational institutions can use an integrated ERP system with BI to manage student data, financials, and faculty management, while also analyzing data to gain insights into student performance, optimize teaching methodologies, and manage costs.

Overall, an integrated ERP system with BI can provide various industries with a wide range of benefits by optimizing operations, making informed decisions, and improving overall performance.

Future of Business Intelligence in ERP

The future of BI in ERP will be marked by increased automation, personalization, and integration, with AI and machine learning playing a significant role in predicting future trends and providing prescriptive insights. Trends include:

  1. The integration of natural language processing and voice recognition technology.
  2. Increased use of data visualization tools.
  3. More personalized BI tools.

Real-time data access and analysis will also become more seamless and efficient, allowing users to make informed decisions faster and stay ahead of the competition.

10-28-2022 Digital Transformation_10 Blog-04 -Modernize Your Business Intelligence
AI transforming BI to drive analysis of complex data, improve decision making with integration with ML algorithms and unlocking actionable Insights. Explore our Business Intelligence Services


In conclusion, integrating BI with ERP gives organizations a comprehensive view of their operations, leading to data-driven decisions and improved productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Key benefits include real-time data analytics, improved data accuracy and quality, and customizable dashboards. As AI and machine learning advance, we can expect even more advanced BI capabilities in future ERP systems. Organizations must integrate BI with their ERP systems to stay competitive and make informed decisions.