Corporations world-wide have focused on improving business processes for the past two decades. In their efforts to use information technology more effectively in enabling business processes, we have seen the emergence and growth of Enterprise Systems, and more recently, Extended Enterprise Systems such as Supply Chain Management (SCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM), and Business Intelligence. Most Fortune 500 companies have already adopted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and many midsize companies are also planning ERP implementations.
Interest in business intelligence has been a recent strong theme among employers of our graduate students and among our distance students. Medium and large-sized businesses are especially interested. In order to make appropriate decisions, upper-level administration of an organization needs to draw the data together from different systems in order to get a crisper picture of the status and performance of an organization and present it in helpful ways. Examples include the development of organizational scorecards, dashboards and other tools that provide a picture of how an organization is performing. People capable of creating and maintaining such information are needed, but the in-depth education necessary for these people is available in only a few places.