Operational BI is getting a lot of attention. The idea is a reasonable one - using recent data to make timely decisions. However as with any other current buzzword, the world seems to be piling on and the meaning of operational BI seems to be is evolving (or eroding).
BI has been around a while now. The idea is to leverage technology to allow a business person to utilize detailed data to answer timely business questions. The most well known BI tools come from established vendors : IBM, Microsoft, Business Objects, Microstrategy. Most tools use relational databases and rely on the SQL language to navigate and manipulate the data. Most data warehouses that provide data to BI tools have been built to support query flexibility, performance, and maintain a large volume of history data. The trade-off is often that there are delays in getting data loaded. Most high-value data warehouses rely on regular monthly, weekly, or daily updates. They were never built to support "operational" functionality.
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