MSc. project: Requirements and design for a Business Intelligence system for SMEs

[This post was written by Arnold Kraakman and describes his MSc Thesis research] .

This master project is written as an advisory report for construction company and contractor K. Dekker B.V. and deals with Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence (BI) is a term that refers to information which can be used to make business decisions. The master thesis answers the question about what options are available for K. Dekker to implement BI within two years from the moment of writing. The research is done through semi-structured interviews and data mining. The interviews are used to gain a requirement list based on feedback the final users and with this list is a concept dashboard made, which could be used by K. Dekker. Having a BI dashboard is one of the solutions about what to do with their information to eventually implement Business Intelligence.

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concept dashboard – project result in detail

Screenshot #1 shows an overview of the current running project, with the financial forecast. Most interviewees did not know which projects were currently running and done by K. Dekker B.V. Screenshot #2 shows the project characteristics and their financial result, this was the biggest must-have on the requirements list. A construction project has different characteristics, for example a bridge, made in Noord-Holland with a specific tender procedure and a specific contract form (for example: “design the whole project and build it as well” instead of only building it). Those characteristics could influence the final financial profit.

concept dashboard – project overview

concept dashboard – project overview

The thesis includes specific recommendations to K. Dekker to realize BI within two years from now on. This list is also generalized to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). These recommendations include that work instructions are made for ERP software therefore that everyone knows what and how information has to filled into the system. With incorrect entered data, the made decisions on this information could be incorrect as well. It is also recommended to make a project manager responsible for all the entered information. This will lead to better and more correct information and therefore the finally made business decisions are more reliable.

You can download the thesis here: arnold_kraakman_final_thesis

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