Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) is software that aids in monitoring of business processes, as those processes are implemented in computer systems. BAM is an enterprise solution primarily intended to provide a realtime summary of business processes to operations managers and upper management.
As such, BAM presents dashboards that contain key performance indicators (KPI) that support root cause analysis and alerts that warn of impending problems. Trouble notification functions are integral to most BAM solutions and these are many and varied. For example, whole groups of people can be sent e-mails, voice or text messages, according to the nature of the problem. Automated problem solving, where feasible, can correct and restart failed processes.
The failure of any vital communication could cost the bank large sums in interest charged by the central bank. A BAM solution would be programmed to become aware of each message and await confirmation. Failure to receive confirmation within a reasonable amount of time would be grounds for the BAM solution to raise an alarm that would set in motion manual intervention to investigate the cause of the delay and to push the problem toward resolution before it becomes costly.
The term 'Business Activity Monitoring' was originally coined by analysts Gartner, Inc and refers to the aggregation, analysis, and presentation of real time information about activities inside organizations and involving customers and partners. Although BAM systems usually use a computer dashboard display to present data, BAM is distinct from the dashboards used by Business Intelligence (BI) in that it has three distinct characteristics not found in BI tools:
BAM systems are driven by business events, fed directly from integration software or from Business Process Management software applications.
BAM systems are real time where data displayed is not dependent upon a user refreshing a query.
BAM systems are process oriented.
The goals of Business Activity Monitoring are to provide real time information about the status and results of various operations, processes, and transactions so business decisions can be informed, quickly address problem areas, and re-position organizations to take full advantage of emerging opportunities.
Typically BAM software is capable of, for example, providing real time visibility into how business events such as orders, process queues, network failures, database overloads, etc.) affect the progress of business transactions, permitting real-time business decisions in response to system events – e.g., rescheduling business process instances that have stalled as a result of a credit reporting service slowdown, automate real-time notification of violation or pending violation of business-level policies, and provide statistics on business process performance.
Increasingly BAM is being built in as a feature of Integration Software and Business Process Management software, although there are many independent vendors as well.
Some BAM features and capabilities are being built into broader Real time business intelligence products.