Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Media Business Intelligence?

A: With the proliferation of low cost data storage most Media organizations today are accumulating large amounts of data about their business - sales, audience research, advertising inventory, web, social media, advanced advertising, financial and customer data are just a few examples. Media Business Intelligence is the process of liberating this vast repository of data to support evidence-based decision processes.

Q: Why is a culture that supports Business Intelligence important to my corporation?

A: There is increasing research that backs up the notion that data driven decisions do make a significant positive difference in the profitability of a business. The following New York Times article is just one example of such ROI that can't be explained by any other means:

The only real way a Media corporation can keep pace and get quick access to accurate, future predictive data is through a comprehensive and scalable Business Intelligence system. It is precisely this predictive analysis that can illuminate trends that would otherwise be hidden. Heads-up analysis, that is fast to access and designed to help decision makers take advantage of a positive future situation or to prevent a corporate setback is critical. Decisions based on the facts, decisions based on data, data driven decisions, evidence based decisions, whatever your preferred terminology, undoubtedly result in better decisions. Businesses are run by a steady stream of decisions every minute of every day. If an employee at whatever level of an organization can not get fast access to the facts they will revert to the dangerous methods of gut or intuition. The leaders of today's media corporations will either embrace, support and mandate this new paradigm throughout their corporations or they will be replaced with those that will.

Q: But Media organizations already have existing transactional solutions to providing these reports so why do they need a new system?

A: There are two problems they need to solve. The first reason is that transactional solutions were designed to provide reporting on a single set of data. Many Media corporations are very large as a result of mergers and acquisitions and are continuing to expand with new business models. The data is enormous and cannot be processed for reporting purposes with traditional methods.

The second reason is that these transactional (or you may refer to them as operational) solutions addressed a narrow segment of the business. Separate operational systems must be deployed to solve a specific transactional problem and process. Business Intelligence liberates and combines this data in an elegant fast and efficient way that is purpose built for analytics. Just as one example, the only way to determine programming ROI, is to combine ad revenue transactions which are in one system with the data from the program expenses, which are in another.

Q: So how does Business Intelligence do that?

A: The data warehouse houses the extracted and consolidated transactional data from the various departmental applications. However, traditional reporting methods on large amounts of data have proven to be challenging, time consuming and laborious. Business Intelligence applies a process of extraction, transformation and loading of the data that results in a normalized and cleansed database to which a media specific Star Schema is applied to create OLAP cubes. Queries can then be run against the cube to create a fast and reproducible set of analysis results, graphs etc.

Q: What is an OLAP cube?

A: OLAP stands for On-Line Analytical Processing. It provides fast analysis of data that is essentially multi-dimensional. Queries can be run against the OLAP cube which potentially can produce results 1000's of times faster than queries on traditional relational data.

Q: If Media Business Intelligence is a generalized tool then why can't any Media company employ it utilizing their own internal resources or with their own IT department?

A: The problem is that it requires a considerable amount of planning and great deal of knowledge about the data that is accumulated in the various application systems. There is a need to understand what the relationships are between the data and how this flows to meaningful reports. Those skills are not readily available in most organizations. Most internal only attempts at Media Business Intelligence have been disappointing at best and are often seriously flawed. It takes a constant focus and highly skilled individuals to provide the big-picture results that stand the test of time.

Q: So how does Decentrix solve that problem?

A: Decentrix brings a team of professionals that have extensive technical knowledge in the Media industry. Key executives were responsible for managing and or developing many of the mission critical applications that are used by broadcasters, cable networks, cable MSOs and satellite operators today. They have applied their extensive knowledge to creating a fast track and repeatable process that uses predefined Modules specifically built for Media Company analysis. This platform is called BIAnalytix and is built over the latest best-of-breed business intelligence solutions from Microsoft.