Business Intelligence Center BIC supports companies in digitalisation development

With the acceleration of digitalisation, companies and communities need new skills for business intelligence. Business development requires a better understanding of the operations of one’s own organization and the surrounding market.

Hanna Rissanen ja Mikko Pakkasela kävelevät portaissa.
Satakunnan AMK Mikko Pakkasela ja Hanna Rissanen

BIC works extensively with entrepreneurs, organisations and chambers of commerce. Project Manager Hanna Rissanen and Research Manager Mikko Pakkasela are pleased with the new network.

Information is the key to the decision-making of a successful company. But what is business intelligence?

– The concept of business intelligence is broad. It can be said to be about making decisions based on information that is up-to-date and high-quality. Data, information, or knowledge used in business intelligence is collected from various sources and processed into a form that is useful for management. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, etc. are used to help in this. The essential point in business intelligence is to use knowledge as a significant aid to management, says Mikko Pakkasela, Research Manager, Head of Business Intelligence Center at SAMK.

BIC is the newest of SAMK’s five research centres. It consists of an operational network of more than 20 experts focused on improving the competitiveness, efficiency, productivity and well-being at work of organisations and on achieving goals related to these.

– We work extensively with entrepreneurs, organisations and chambers of commerce. SMEs often face the challenge of a lack of tools, skills and resources. This is where BIC comes in, says Pakkasela.

Mapping out the needs of SMEs in Satakunta

Companies need to be able to respond better to customer demands and react faster to change. This understanding is based on data collected and processed from business and marketing activities. Over the coming year, BIC will identify the data utilization needs of SMEs in Satakunta.

– It is important to start from the basics. You have to create a concrete basis for what you need to take into account to make the data available. What is missing, what is stored in the data systems, what tools are needed, how to visualise the data, says Pakkasela.

The mapping questions will be addressed through a series of pilots and sparring workshops. These include process modelling, robotic process automation, data analytics, artificial intelligence, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and digital commerce.

Business intelligence is a process of continuous development and progress

The idea for a business intelligence centre came from the existing research centres at SAMK. They saw that business intelligence was greatly related both to different projects and to the activities of the research centres and SAMK as an organisation.

In addition to business co-operation, the development of in-house expertise plays an important role in BIC’s activities. Nowadays, business intelligence is ubiquitous. This gave rise to the idea of gathering business intelligence skills in a single place where they can be developed and shared. The realization was preceded by a long and thorough preparation. The preparatory work included a study of business intelligence and the methods and competences that are part of it, which formed the Center’s mission statement and the activities that underpin it.

– Our activities focus on business cooperation, projects, research, teaching as well as business development within our own organisation. We have good cooperation and various projects with the different research centres at SAMK, says Pakkasela.

– We have also applied for funding for a joint project with Seinäjoki and Jyväskylä Universities of Applied Sciences. We are piloting data analytics and developing our own expertise so that we can also take it to SMEs in Satakunta. The results achieved through this cooperation will be much more significant at the regional level, Pakkasela continues.

Technology is moving forward at a tremendous speed, and its development is never completed. Keeping up with developments requires a lot from researchers, teachers and students alike.

– It would be great if we could get students even more involved in the future. The aim is to have an academy-type activity where students could work on quick, high-precision projects for companies and respond to acute needs. We already have a great example of this in the Robotics Academy at the RoboAI Research and Development Centre, says Pakkasela, summing up the future.

The text has been previously published in the SAMK stakeholder magazine Agora’s success stories.

Read other success stories from Agora (in Finnish)

SAMK research centres

SAMK’s research, development and innovation (RDI) activities are concentrated in five research centres. The centres support companies in business growth and renewal, as well as in improving competitiveness, efficiency and well-being at work. In 2022, the activities continued to be active and innovative.

  • For RoboAI, the research and development centre focusing on automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, the year was a time of reorganization. RoboAI’s activities were divided into four branches: RoboAI Industry, RoboAI Health, RoboAI Green and RoboAI Intelligent Systems.
  • Launched in spring 2021, the Maritime Logistics Research Center grew strongly during its second year of operation. The center’s projects conduct research as well as product and service development on efficiency, safety and digitalisation of logistics operations.
  • The Center for Tourism Business Development has supported entrepreneurs in developing their business operations in the aftermath of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The focus is on steering the tourism sector towards sustainable, responsible and profitable business operations.
  • For Research Center WANDER, 2022 was a year of expanded research and new openings. The Center also recruited more experts to strengthen its expertise in topics of growing interest in the future.
  • Business Intelligence Center BIC, launched in February 2022, strengthened its operations focusing on improving the competitiveness, efficiency, productivity and well-being of organisations during the past year.

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