BPM Vs BI3 min read

Often ‘Business Performance Management’, ‘Business Intelligence’ and ‘Corporate Performance Management’ are used inter changeably.

So, how is ‘Business Performance Management’ and ‘Business Intelligence’ are presented by various sofware vendors like Cognos, Hyperion, Informatica, Ascential, Pervasive Software. Let’s take a look through their software offerings.

To begin with, the term “business performance management” is more for the senior management and strategy oriented. It is typcially being projected as a level above ‘business intelligence’.

Here’s what Hyperion has to say “Business performance management is a category of software that enables companies to translate strategies into plans, monitor execution, and provide insight to manage and improve both financial and operational performance. BPM provides individuals with business intelligence plus business rules, business content and business processes that support collaboration across the organization and a shared approach to managing and improving performance”

So, a company like Hyperion that is touting ‘BPM’ or Cognos promoting  ‘Corporate performance management’, talk about their tools for BI contributing to BPM…and try to make a distinction between the two.

For instance, Cognos has Metrics manager, Scorecards and BI–as a part of its BPM suite. Its BI suite includes tools for Reporting, Analysis, Data Visualization and dashboarding, Event management, Data integration and Data applications.

Cognos has enterprise planning, enterprise monitoring and enterprise business intelligence as a part of its performance suite.

At times they also use the words interchangeably as Hyperion does here.
“Hyperion’s BI platform is the only platform that supports entire spectrum of Business performance management—from query and reporting to analytics, planning, budgeting, forecasting, modeling, financial consolidation and end to end financial and operational reporting”

Cognos is a little guarded, though

“Business intelligence (BI) takes the volume of data your organization collects and stores, and turns it into meaningful information that people can use in their day-to-day activities. With information in accessible reports and analysis, you can make better and timelier business decisions. You have the means to understand the “Why” behind your business performance.”

Companies like Pervasive are purey data oriented, but they seem to address only a little of the BI space. In the case of Pervasive, data warehousing is almost equivalent to BI!!
“In today’s competitive business environment, data warehousing is not just for the large enterprise. In fact, almost every organization, regardless of size, can sharpen its competitive edge with business intelligence-accurate, timely information that is consolidated, analyzed, and managed in data marts and warehouses.”

Informatica uses BAM—business activity monitoring–instead of BI.
“Just as EAI and data integration are essential to enterprise integration, business intelligence, EAI, network systems management, and data warehousing all need to converge and interoperate in a BAM environment. Until now, there has been no single solution that addressed all these domains in a truly best-of-breed fashion”

Out of its product suite Power analyzer is for BI and its focus is more on data-integration once again.

Now, let’s make things simple. 
Business intelligence helps an organization to ‘act’ from ‘historic’ or ‘what has happened even a second before’ while ‘business performance management’, if at all it exists, helps businesses to become ‘proactive’ and ‘preempt’ certain unnecessary actions right from planning stage—in short BPM is about developing an insight that is very specific to the organization. Most of the suites available have some alignment with a management guru or a set of defined stategic principles.