Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Architecture Analysis of Business Intelligence Products in Japan

Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Architecture Analysis of Business Intelligence Products in Japan

Article excerpt


Today, business intelligence (BI) has attracted the attention of the public given the increase in the power of the PC. BI is a concept, methodology, activity, or IT system that holds a significant amount of data internally and, externally and enables a company's results to be analyzed, with the results utilized during business administration decision making (NTT Data Corporation, 2009). Figure 1 illustrates a common BI system structure. In the past, SCM (supply chain management), CRM (customer relationship management), POS (point of sales), or ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems were installed at a company but the data were managed separately for each system. In a BI system, ETL (extract, transform, load) manages all of the data in all of a company's systems through which the data are interrelated with one another. The data are stored in a DBMS (database management system) for DWH (data warehouse) purposes and used for statistical analyses, data mining, text mining, or simulations. The analytic results are displayed using report tools or dashboard systems and are shared across the entire organization.

To achieve its goals, simply installing a BI system is insufficient; therefore, how a company uses a BI system after its installation is a key success factor and an important feature of such systems. The methods for analyzing data using BI systems cannot be manual because they depend on the purpose of the installation, the business situation, or the condition of the data. Therefore, providing consulting services to develop methods for utilizing a BI system is important to customers' success, and the excellence of consulting services is said to be strongly related to the success or failure of BI vendors.

This paper uses the product architecture framework to attempt to clarify the key success factors (KSFs) of a BI vendor's business that provides the combination of BI software and consulting services. The following are the research questions that this paper addresses.

What are the strategies for software products and consulting services that result in success in the BI market?

How do the product and service strategies affect a company's competitive advantage?


Product architecture is a concept that expresses the relationship among the components of a product and is used to discuss the alignment between organization structure and product architecture (Baldwin & Clark, 2000; Fujimoto, Takeishi, & Aoshima, 2001). Product architecture consists of two parameters. One parameter is the modularity among a product's components, and the other parameter is the openness of the interface among the components. Product architecture is widely used to analyze automobile, semiconductor, software, and financial service industries (Fujimoto, Takeishi, & Aoshima, 2001).

For example, in the analysis of the automotive industry, the product architecture dynamics of car production systems and partnerships among suppliers were analyzed by comparing Japanese automotive companies with European companies (Takeishi, Fujimoto & Ku, 2001). The result revealed that there were some modularization trends in automotive industries, in which the integral architecture had been common.

In the analysis of the software industry, a development project relating to Linux OS (operating system) for personal computers was analyzed using product architecture (Koyama & Takeda, 2001). In the first Linux project, the software structure was strictly defined; however, the size of the software increased from 320,000 bytes in September 1991 to 90,000,000 bytes in May 2000, which means that the efficiency of the software had declined. This result indicates that it is highly difficult to define the module structures and the interface between modules at the inception of software development projects. …

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