Skip to main content

Empowering SMEs to Make Better Decisions with Business Intelligence: A Case Study

  • 753 Accesses

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 914)


With the advance of Business Information Systems (BIS), irrespective of the size, companies have adopted an approach to electronic data collection and management for two decades. The advancement in technology means they have in their possessions large volumes of historical data. Large organizations have cached on this and use a range of tools and techniques to leverage the usefulness of this information to make more informed business decisions. For most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, such data typically sits in an archive without being utilized. While SMEs appreciate the need for utilizing historical data to make more informed business decisions, they often lack the technical knowhow and funding to embrace an effective BI solution. In this paper, drawing from our experience in implementing a BI solution for a UK SME we discuss some potential tools and strategies that could help SMEs overcome these challenges so as to reap the benefits of adopting an effective BI solution.


  • Business Intelligence
  • Data warehouse
  • Microsoft BI
  • SME

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. AGGORA Group: AGGORA. (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  2. Burstein, F., Holsapple, C.: Handbook on Decision Support Systems. Springer, Berlin (2008).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Chugh, R., Grandhi, S.: Why business intelligence? Significance of business intelligence tools and integrating BI governance with corporate governance. Int. J. e-Entrep. Innov. 4(2), 1–14 (2013).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. European Commission: What is an SME? (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  5. Fink, K., Ploder, C.: Knowledge management toolkit for SMEs. Int. J. Knowl. Manag. 5(1), 46–60 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Gartner Inc.: Gartner Executive Programs’ Worldwide Survey of more than 2,300 CIOs shows flat IT budgets in 2012, but IT organizations must deliver on multiple priorities (2012). Accessed 07 Mar 2017

  7. Gartner Inc.: Magic quadrant for operational database management systems (2015). Accessed 15 Aug 2016

  8. Gartner Inc.: Magic quadrant for business intelligence and analytics platforms (2016). Accessed 15 Aug 2016

  9. Google: Google Charts (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  10. Horakova, M., Skalska, H.: Business intelligence and implementation in a small enterprise. J. Syst. Integr. 4(2), 50–61 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Howson, C.: Successful Business Intelligence. McGraw-Hill, New York (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  12. InnovateUK: Knowledge transfer partnerships (2016). Accessed 7 Mar 2017

  13. Kimball, R., Ross, M.: The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling, 3rd edn. Wiley, Indianapolis (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Lacko, L.: Business Intelligence v SQL Serveru 2008. Computer Press, Brno (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Luhn, H.P.: A business intelligence system. IBM J. Res. Dev. 2(4), 314–319 (1958)

    CrossRef  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  16. McCabe, L.: Closing the business intelligence gap for small businesses (2012). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  17. McGonagle, J.: An examination of the ‘classic’ CI model. J. Compet. Intell. Manag. 4(2), 71–86 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  18. Microsoft: Frequently asked questions about Power BI Microsoft Power BI (2015). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  19. Microsoft: DAX queries (2016). Accessed 7 Mar 2017

  20. Microsoft: Editions and components of SQL Server 2012 (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  21. Microsoft: Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  22. Microsoft: Office 365 (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  23. Microsoft: Reporting Services (SSRS) (2016). Accessed 8 Mar 2017

  24. Negash, S., Gray, P.: Business intelligence. In: Proceedings of the Ninth Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2003), Tama, FL, pp. 3190–3199 (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  25. Papazoglou, M.P.: Service-oriented computing: concepts, characteristics and directions. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering, (WISE 2003), Rome, pp. 3–12 (2003).

  26. Raj, R., Wong, S.H.S., Beaumont, A.J.: Business intelligence solution for an SME: a case study. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (IC3K 2016), KMIS, vol. 3, pp. 41–50. SCITEPRESS – Science and Technology Publications, Lda (2016). ISBN 978-989-758-203-5

    Google Scholar 

  27. Scholz, P., Schieder, C., Kurze, C., Gluchowski, P., Böhringer, M.: Benefits and challenges of business intelligence adoption in small and medium-sized enterprises. In: 18th European Conference on Information Systems (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  28. Tutunea, M.F., Rus, R.V.: Business intelligence solutions for SME’s. Proc. Econ. Finance 3, 865–870 (2012)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  29. Watson, H., Wixom, B.: The current state of business intelligence. Computer 40(9), 96–99 (2007)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references


The project reported in this case study is funded by Innovate UK via the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme (KTP009714). We acknowledge the financial support by Innovate UK. We also acknowledge the advice provided by our KTP Adviser Ms Jose Freeman throughout the project development. We thank the team at AGGORA who made this project possible through their participation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Raghavendra Raj .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Raj, R., Wong, S.H.S., Beaumont, A.J. (2019). Empowering SMEs to Make Better Decisions with Business Intelligence: A Case Study. In: Fred, A., Dietz, J., Aveiro, D., Liu, K., Bernardino, J., Filipe, J. (eds) Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management. IC3K 2016. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 914. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-99700-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-99701-8

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)