WS6: Business Intelligence in Organizational Context – Systemic Aspects


Business Intelligence in Organizational Context – Systemic Aspects 

Chair: Mr. Panagiotis Papaioannou 

This workshop deals with organizational applications of Business Intelligence (BI), attempting to highlight the relations of BI with other disciplines as well as the complexity that arises in complex interdisciplinary situations. After a short introduction to BI, the discussion will revolve around how BI can help in other organizational aspects and how it benefits from the process approach. Such creative combinations can open new avenues for innovative solutions towards organizational needs or new services or product development.

The workshop contributors and the respective topics they will present are the following:

Panagiotis Papaioannou:
Business Process Management and Business Intelligence.

Viktoria Zgouva:
The Role of Business Intelligence in Organizational Resilience & Viability: A Systems Approach.

Antonios Dragonas:
Systemic Operational Processes: Macro and Micro Processes for Business Intelligence.




Panagiotis Papaioannou

Panagiotis Papaioannou holds a Bachelorʼs Degree in Physics and a Master's in Information Systems. He is also a Certified Systemic Analyst Professional (CSAP) specialized in Project Management. Since 2012 he is a PhD Candidate at the University of Piraeus (Department of Informatics).

Panagiotis has a profound professional experience in the field of Software Engineering & Development. More than 20 years he serves as an Analyst Programmer and IT Liaison at EYDAP SA (Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company), currently in the Educationʼs Department.
He is an active member of the Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies (HSSS). His scientific interests fall into Software Engineering, Business Process Management, ISO Management Systems, Project Management as well as Systems Approach and Systemic Methodologies.

Business Process Management and Business Intelligence 

Business Process Management (BPM) refers to disciplines, methodologies, and tools for managing the operations within an organization aiming at ensuring the consistency of the final products and finding opportunities for improving quality and efficiency.

There are many benefits of applying BPM practices in an organization, starting from the most obvious that is the transparency in operations. Consequent benefits are better functioning of the organization in terms of efficiency and compliance as well as market positioning in terms of product quality, customer satisfaction, and agility in the business environment changes.

Coming to Business Intelligence (BI), its purpose is to exploit and interpret data to enable more effective decision-making at either strategic, tactical, or operational levels. However, the objective is not just the data since the change will come by changing the processes. Thus, BI makes sense when it ends up with BPM initiatives that put in action the conclusions arising from BI techniques and data exploitation. Apart from that, there is also a reverse relation between BI and BPM. BI supports BPM by providing findings of process execution based on data collected from information systems log files, technique known as process mining.

BPM combines information technology and management sciences and applies them to the business processes that operate within an organization. Moreover, BPM involves people coming from different parts and levels of the organization; Process Owners, the management team, process participants, process analysts, IT systems engineers and, sometimes, external stakeholders. For this reason, BPM goes beyond mere specialization and becomes an interdisciplinary subject.

On the other hand, BI uses data to create business knowledge than will affect business decisions. Especially when starting a BI project, evaluating what conclusions, reports, dashboards, or KPIs are worth for the organization is a task that involves people coming from different departments and having diverse expertise or authority. Thus, it is a cross-field application that requires an interdisciplinary approach.

In this workshop part, the discussion will revolve around the fundamental aspects of BPM, the essential BI functions, and how the systemic approaches and methodologies can contribute to this complex, cross-field, and cross-boundary issue, facilitating collaboration and bringing innovative solutions.



Viktoria Zgouva

Viktoria Zgouva holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in BusinessAdministration and is currently a postgraduate Certified Systemic AnalystProfessional student in the Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies (HSSS). She alsoholds a master’s professional degree as a chartered accountant. She has a significantworking experience as an auditor for almost 20 years. More specifically, from 1999 to2007 she has worked as a chartered accountant, carrying out financial audits in privateand public sector’s companies. Since then she has been working as a public auditor inthe Hellenic Court of Audit in the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and HumanRights, carrying out financial, compliance and performance audits in public sector’sorganizations.

The Role of Business Intelligence in Organizational Resilience & Viability: A Systems Approach

The need for Business Intelligence (BI) has been accentuated due to the advancement in information technologies and data management and the need of organizations to effectively handle the challenge of information processing in the current big data era. The explicit objective of BI, as a technology-driven process, is to improve the quality of inputs and the timeliness to the decision process, providing useful information (outputs), significant for the decision-making at operational and strategic level. This can be succeeded by using a wide range of BI technologies functions including, but not limited, to reporting, data mining, process mining, on-line analytical processing (OLAP), complex event processing, business performance management, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

Nowadays, interrelated complexities between environments, organizations, and information technologies have raised the need for building resilient and agile organizations. Organizational resilience means being capable of: (a) anticipating future threats and opportunities, (b) monitoring and reviewing past actions and assessing changes, (c) responding to present conditions, and (d) learning from past failures and successes. In this context, the integration of agile BI technologies into the existing information systems of organizations is essential for facing big, complex issues that abound in modern business and maintaining continuous improvement of the existing systems and processes. BI functions can help organizations be flexible and agile. Descriptive BI methods can be used for analyzing the past and the current state, while predictive and prescriptive business analytics tools are appropriate for gathering data about what is going to happen in the future and what should be done to create better outcomes. These, combined with the existing information systems in an organization, can contribute to the improvement of its overall performance.

One of the most significant benefits of BI in times of ambiguity and uncertainty is the competitive intelligence, a process according to which external information from the customers and competitors position and the overall competitive environment of the organization is systematically gathered and analyzed. External data, derived from the environment of the organization, combined with data from its internal environment, can be converted to useful information for the executives, managers and other corporate end users, who gain strategic and operational insights quickly and effectively.

This paper aims to illustrate how the adoption of BI technologies can contribute to the improvement of the organizations efficiency. Systems thinking methodologies and tools, including the Viable Systems Model (VSM), can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the overall process of the integration of BI systems to the existing structure of the organization. The “intelligence” function of the VSM, which constantly interacts with the overall environment of the organization and searches for new possible opportunities for development, is mainly responsible for identifying the emerging needs for BI technologies. The VSM, through its fractal structure, can illustrate how BI technologies can improve the effectiveness of the whole organization, from the operational level to the strategic management level, ensuring, in this way, its organizational viability.



Antonios Dragonas 

Antonios Dragonas was born in Athens, Greece (1961). He holds BSc in Mathematics (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens).He was a PhD candidate in Theoretical Physics (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and also studied Advanced Information Technologies.He is working as Computers’ and Networks’ Engineer and since 1981 he is occupying continuously with Scientific Algorithms Development and Implementation. He is also a Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE since 1998), Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT since 1998) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA since 2001).He has been teaching continuously since 1992 IT advanced courses (Computer’s and Network Technologies and Advanced Analysis and Programming).He is graduate of the CSAP Mastering Program (University of Piraeus) and the MSc Program “Advanced Technologies for Human to Computer Interaction- Artificial Intelligence” (University of Piraeus).

Systemic Operational Processes: Macro and Micro Processes for Business Intelligence

In this Workshop we will deal with building a good understanding of the meaning of Systemic Operational Processes and linking the Macrocosm Processes to the Processes as they exist and operate in the Computational Microcosm.

Systems consist of integral parts, all interacting with each other and the System interacts with the environment. A System consists of Subsystems (downward causation) and the subsystems belong to Supersystems (upward causation).

Systems become viable when they are capable of adapting themselves to environmental changes, interacting with them, and when they are capable of producing the effects for which the changing environment demands.

Active Systems produce results through the transformation of the inputs they receive from their environment, through Processes performed by their parts appropriately selected and interconnected parts under high complexity.

Here, we present Processes as integrated business entities within a System, in order to understand their functionality and their relationship to the intended results. We present a proposal that makes understandable both their structure and their execution capability and performance and their variability with respect to the purposes that the System is called upon to achieve.

We define the concepts of Elementary Processing Performer, Processing Structure, Process Links, Process Flows and Processes, and then associate the concepts of System Purpose with the complex process of selecting the change/ reaction of the System to achieve a compulsory purpose. The selection process is executed by a Decision Making System and the successful Response of the System to the changing calls of its environment can be named as "operational intelligence".

Considering that an important factor, in order for a System's interaction with its environment to be considered successful, is to limit the consumption of Systemic Energy to achieve the desired result, we refer to examples from the Natural Macrocosm and from the Computational Microcosm in which we can find better utilization of the resources of the System (Parallel Processes).

Following is an overview of the origins of a multitude of Processing Structures and Processes Applied to Modern Informatics, and we present some of the mechanisms by which Macrocosm Processes have been integrated and fully operational in Applied Informatics.

And finally, we demonstrate the usefulness and applicability of our conclusions from the implementation and use of Processes in the "attenuated" Computational Microcosm Macro-cosmic Systems of high interest after appropriate attenuation.

The certification of the effectiveness of technologies and methods involving Parallel Processing is substantiated by reference to two parallel algorithms that we have design and implement, which achieve the desired results with exemplary quality in a minimum slice of time as the first Algorithm classifies extremely fast integers (or alphanumeric characters) using continuously all selected processors of the system in parallel. And the second Algorithm, which simplifies over 90% a complex polygonal lines, while maintaining the visual quality of the line produced by applying the "Round Robin" service technique.

Both Algorithmic techniques, presented, are directly applicable to the business Macrocosm and would make a significant contribution to the "operational intelligence" of a System.