Master in Business Intelligence from SJU

Last November I authored a post comparing different Masters in Business Intelligence programs offered at four universities located in the United States.  You can review my analysis by clicking here.  St. Joseph’s University has posted a video on YouTube describing their online MSBI program.  If you are considering this masters degree from SJU, I would recommend watching the video.  It is nine minutes long.  The first four minutes define Business Intelligence and the final five minutes describe the program.  I am strongly considering enrolling in this program at SJU in the Fall of 2010.  I need to wait this long because I have two children in diapers and I’m wanting them to get a bit older before taking on a masters program.  Anyway, check out the video and maybe we’ll be classmates someday!

– ez


Book Review: The Performance Management Revolution


I just finished reading The Performance Management Revolution: Business Results Through Insight and Action by Howard Dresner.  I chose this book because of the respect I have for Howard Dresner due to what he’s done for BI and EPM (Enterprise Performance Management), not to mention his past leadership role at Hyperion as Chief Strategy Officer.  Also, the title of the book peaked my curiousity and I wanted to gain insight into what Dresner has termed the Performance Management Revolution.  He begins the book by luring the reader with why he feels we are admist a Performance Management Revolution.  Throughout the book, he hits on his term, Information Democracy, which is “a principle of equality that demands actionable insight for all.”  It gives the “ability of everyone to access data, turn it into knowledge and insight through analysis, and share that insight with others.” 

I very much enjoyed reading the book.  I felt he did a good job distinguishing the differences between BI and EPM as these terms often become blended together.  The book describes how to implement EPM, going into detail on such topics as why you need an EPM Center of Excellence, how to create one, and what they should do.  If you are looking for a book that teaches you how to create KPI’s and how to best design a dashboard layout, you will want to look elsewhere.  But if you are needing to implement an Enterprise-wide Performance Management solution, this is a great book for setting you straight.  I particularly liked the chapter on gaining user adoption. 

The book is broken into three sections: 1. A Call to Arms.  2. Preparing For Battle.  3. Let the Revolution Begin.  Part One defines EPM and it’s role, thus providing justification for an EPM solution at your organization.  Part Two tells you what you are going to need to get started and the tasks to help the success rate of your EPM system.  Examples include drawing an accountability map, building an EPM Center of Excellence, standardizing and consolidating EPM tools, and how to deploy an EPM system.  Part Three helps you assess your immediate priorities based upon a series of questions.  Dresner dives into his concept of a “model EPM methodology”.  He follows the steps of implementation, education, change management, etc.  The book concludes with an excellent glossary of EPM/BI terminology. 

Dresner has turned me into a Performance Management Revolutionary.  Count me in for the revolution!  Click here to purchase the book from Amazon.

Master of Science in Business Intelligence

I recently performed some research into graduate schools offering a Master of Science in Business Intelligence (MSBI).  As of November 7, 2008, I found three Universities in the United States that have such a program.  They are Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), University of Denver Daniels College of Business (Denver, Colorado), and American Sentinel University (online university).  A fourth school, the University of Alabama Manderson Graduate School, offers an MBA with a Business Intelligence Concentration.  Information concerning these programs will change, so please consult each university before making any decisions based upon this article.  All content is subject to change (especially tuition costs!) and will likely be out of date a few months after the original post.  I would encourage anyone who has participated in any of these programs to post a comment.  I would love to hear what you think.  I have not applied to any of the programs, but I find the idea of a Master Degree in Business Intelligence to be quite intriguing.

Here are some basic comparisons of the programs:

ASU:  American Sentinel University
DU:   University of Denver Daniels College of Business (Denver, Colorado)
SJU:  St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
UA:   University of Alabama Manderson Graduate School of Business (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

Online vs On-Campus:
ASU:  Online only
DU:  Campus only
SJU:  Online and Campus
UA:  Campus only, Full Time program

ASU:  $390 per credit hour (minimum 12 credit hour commitment over 12 months)
DU:   $916 per credit hour for the 2008-2009 academic year.  Other fees apply.
SJU:  $785 per credit hour (fees included),  Approximately $23,550 total
UA:   Estimated Totals*      Resident   Non-Resident
       First and Second Year  $19,450.00 $42,650.00 
       Price not broken out by credit hour.  This is a full time program.

Credits required to graduate:
ASU:  36,  12 3-credit courses, Students may be eligible to transfer up to 18 hours from previous graduate study.
DU:   58,  10 Daniels Compass, 44 Business Intelligence Core, 4 Elective
SJU:  30,  10 3-credit courses, 20 month program, 8 week classes done one at a time
UA:   60

GMAT/GRE Required:
ASU:  NO   ASU is a GMAT-using school, but a GMAT or a GRE is not required.

The objectives of the online program are to:

Identify and understand the functional areas of business intelligence.
Develop analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills applicable to real-world problems.
Apply sound analytical skills and business principles to decision making with respect to operational and strategic activities.
Develop sound financial planning, reporting, and information models which satisfy regulatory considerations such as Sarbanes-Oxley.
Develop corporate dashboards which utilize key performance indicators that managers and workers can use to improve day-to-day business operations.
Use a framework such as Six Sigma to analyze all aspects of business operations as well as find and implement quality-control improvements and efficiencies.
Recognize and solve potential risks and put in place policies and procedures which minimize the impact of business interruptions.

Not clearly stated, but I found this excerpt…
Information, business intelligence, is no longer the exclusive domain of IT or research departments. That’s why Daniels has created a one-of-a-kind program that takes you across disciplines — data warehousing, marketing, finance and management and operations — so you’ll know how to gather and leverage information to lead organizations, control decisions, and be relied upon to steer enterprises.

The online Business Intelligence Master’s degree at Saint Joseph’s University helps you develop:
– The ability to create business models for forecasting and business analysis
– A fundamental understanding of Business Intelligence technologies
– The ability to integrate information from all aspects of the organization into a big picture understanding
– A solid foundation in technology and a grasp of the decision-making tools that will aid your ability to interpret information

Not clearly stated, but I found this excerpt…
One of the few programs of its kind offered within a college of business, it delivers the exceptional knowledge, skills and experience you need to produce valuable results for your organization. And, it’s one of the few graduate business programs to prepare you for certification in SAS Enterprise Miner, the premiere software tool for the data mining industry.

COURSES Credit Hours
BUSI500 Overview of Business Intelligence 3
BUSI510 Data Mining 3
BUSI520 Balanced Scorecards and Performance Dashboards 3
BUSI530 Business Performance Management 3
BUSI540 Customer Relationship Management 3
BUSI550 Business Intelligence Tools 3
MGT540 Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation 3
IS550 Project and Change Management 3
IS565 Decision Support and Intelligent Systems 3
IS575 Data Warehousing 3
BUSI599 Business Intelligence Capstone Research Project 6

Daniels Compass Courses
The Essence of Enterprise
Leading at the Edge
Ethics for the 21st Century Professional

Business Intelligence Core Courses
Introduction to Business Intelligence
Enterprise Intelligence
Data Warehousing
Applied Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence Practicum
Quantitative Methods
Applied Statistical Modeling
Data Mining I
Marketing Strategy
Marketing Research
Competitive Strategies

DSS 4415 Contemporary Information Technologies
DSS 4715 Developing Decision Making Competencies
DSS 5515 Concepts and Practice of DSS Modeling
DSS 5525 Database Management Theory and Practice
DSS 5535 Enterprise Data
DSS 5545 Applied Business Intelligence
DSS 5555 Advanced Business Intelligence
FIN 4315 Shareholder Value Management
FIN 5305 Financial Institutions and Capital Markets
FIN 5055 Portfolio Management

AC 521   Concepts of Financial Mgmt. Accounting 3
OM 506   Decision Modeling & Business Intelligence 3
MGT 517  Organizational Theory 3
MKT 518  Marketing Management and Decision Making 3
ST 509   Statistics for Business Applications 3

EC 500   Managerial Economics 3
FI 504   Foundations of Financial Management 4
MIS 511  Management Information Systems 2
OM 516   Production Operations Management 3

GBA 525  Business Policy 3
MGT 542  Management Communication 3

LGS 522/IBA 550 Legal-Ethical Environments in Business/IBA 1.5/1.5

*ADDITIONAL ELECTIVES include any reasonable graduate course approved by a concentration advisor.  Suggested courses include economics, finance and operations management.  Students completing OM 506, ST 532, ST 521 and ST 522 will receive UA/SAS Data Mining Certification.

Web Addresses:


Other related links:


DW 2.0TM

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a seminar in St. Louis presented by Bill Inmon, the “Father of Data Warehousing”.  He presented “DW 2.0TM – Architecture for the Next Generation of Data Warehousing.”  Dw 2.0TM is Bill’s vision for the future of data warehousing.  The major points center around the recognition of a life cycle within the data warehouse and the merging of textual, unstructured data with structured data.  Be on the lookout for his new book on this subject matter to be available in stores in early 2008.  He offers a three day class on the subject including a certification exam.  I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Bill the evening before the seminar.  He’s a fascinating man and has so much knowledge to share.  He has some great stories about his world travels spreading his vision of DW 2.0TM.  He has most recently been traveling through Eastern Europe.  Here’s an interesting tidbit of trivia:  Inmon was classmates with President GW Bush at Yale.  If you ever have a chance to attend an Inmon event, I highly recommend it.  Click here to see a photo I took with him the morning of the seminar. 

– ez

Demo Cognos 8

Not many people are aware that the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has made their Cognos reports available to the general public.  This is  great opportunity for individuals to interact with Cognos 8 Analysis Studio along with other Cognos reporting products.  Here’s some excerpts from the Cognos web site concerning this particular case study.

Challenges faced:
– Annual budget over $1 billion with a wide cross-section of critical municipal services for its 750,000 residents.
– Approximately 8,000 employees in over 20 departments.
– Different departments maintained home-grown systems to manage data.
– City officials could not generate their own reports without manual effort.
– Officials wanted to convey key data to city residents over the Internet, but had no means to do so.
– Need to reduce manual collection of data

– Cognos is a strategic element of the city’s day-to-day business processes and has been deployed to all City departments, including fire, police, human resources, and financial.
– Employees can now run reports w/o IT assistance.
-HR personnel can analyze compensation based on age, gender, ethnicity, and length of service, simplifying the federal reporting process. 
– External vendors can check billing status online for the 150,000 to 175,000 invoices the city pays each year, reducing calls to the finance department.
– Police and fire departments can analyze statistics, which can be used for identifying trends in data and informing the public.
– Effective, efficient reporting, analysis, and scorecarding across all data sources
– A 2000% ROI from Cognos investment in 2003
– A BI Extranet that keeps citizens informed 24/7
– User self-service to BI information
Check out these links to interact with the Cognos user interface.  I like the Crime Statistics link the most.

Crime Statistics

Campaign Reporting

Investor and Tax Revenue

– ez