Valuing information is the essence of business intelligence (BI). Last month I discussed how the CIO can champion BI by including metrics and other BI content in business and information technology (IT) strategies. This approach engages business and IT executives in metrics and performance measures that promote BI; however, it is limited because few organizations develop or use strategies. Architectures, however, are critical to managing the IT environment and its services, and can be the primary vehicle for a CIO to champion BI inside the company.
Architectures have traditionally focused on core IT technology and application systems. Technology and application architectures are critical IT components for processing the massive volumes of business transactions that occur every day. Information architecture complements these by specifying the data foundation of business applications; however, this creates an abstract view, typically represented in an enterprise data model, that makes this architecture less useful than its technology and application counterparts. With the rise of the Internet, information architecture is also used to describe the design of the user's experience in acquiring or viewing information through Web sites and portals.
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