Business intelligence (BI) has traditionally been used for supporting long-term strategic planning and short-term tactical tasks such as campaign management. Previous columns of mine have discussed how BI is now also being used to drive intraday business decisions and actions. This latter style of BI is sometimes called operational or real-time business intelligence.

Although the term real-time BI has strong marketing appeal, it has always been controversial from a technology perspective because the resource requirements of BI processing are a major stumbling block in a real-time environment. This is why I use the term operational right-time BI when discussing the use of BI in intraday business operations. Right-time represents the response time, or action time, required by businesses to react to a particular business situation. This action time may be a few seconds or a few hours, depending on business needs. Detecting fraud, for example, requires a faster action time than determining that a store has run out of a particular product.

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