Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)

Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) describes the processes and technologies that enhance situation awareness and enable an analysis of critical business performance indicators based on real-time data. BAM is used to improve the speed and effectiveness of business operations by keeping track of what is happening and making issues visible quickly. The BAM concept can be implemented through many different kinds of software tools; those aimed solely at BAM are called “BAM platform products.”[1]

BAM is used at nearly every organizational level, and can even be helpful to affiliate companies who have the capabilities and the permission to track and monitor related businesses' activities. BAM analyzes a span of actions between countless applications and systems.

The term business activity monitoring was originally used by Gartner Inc., an IT and research firm based out of Stamford, Conn., that produces market analysis reports. The goal of BAM is to furnish comprehensive and cumulative reports about business, either between affiliate businesses (business-to-business) or within a single company. The process of BAM involves the status of various operations, analyses, transactions and other real-time electronic activity information, which is produced within electronic reports and relayed to business managers.[2]

BAM Components The components that form a BAM system are the following:

  • Decision support: through a set of rules it interprets and recognizes situations in order to help the user in decision making.
  • Action-ready dashboards: those decisions generated will transform into integrated actions on the dashboard.
  • User answers/actions are captured within the BAM tool and then are sent to the systems to be executed.
  • Adaptation and learning, where user answers are integrated into the decision system with the intention of improving the support in decision making and in action-ready dashboard creation.

BAM Users[3]
There are two types of users who interact with the information worker features of BAM: business analysts and business users.

  • Business analysts use the BAM Excel Add-in to define the business processes they want to monitor. They also use the BAM Excel Add-in to define the way in which business users see the data collected by BAM. For example, a business analyst wants to present data about purchase orders and asks the following interesting questions about purchase orders:
    • How many purchase orders did the company receive this (year, month, week, day, hour, and so on)?
    • What is the current value of active purchase orders?
    • What is the average time it takes for a purchase order to move though the stages of the purchase order process?
    • How many purchase orders are in a particular stage of the process?
    • How many customers ordered a particular product?
    • What is the sum of the orders for a particular product?
    • Are the quantities ordered different across geographic regions?

The business analyst uses these questions to define activities that reflect the type of information that BAM should collect from the business process.

  • Business users use BAM to view the data defined by the business analyst and collected by BAM. A business user can use BAM in the following ways:
    • View data about a single instance of a process. For example, if a business analyst created an activity to monitor a purchase order process, a business user could use BAM to see data about a particular purchase order.
    • View data about related activity instances. For example, the invoice or shipments associated with a particular purchase order.
    • View aggregated real-time or archived data about a process. Aggregated data is data over time. For example, a user could view the number of purchase orders with a value less than $500 that were received in the last (week, month, year, and so on), or the average value of purchase orders that arrived today.
    • View progress data, which allows a user to see data from the different stages of a process, such as the average time it takes for a purchase order to move from the received stage to the fulfilled stage.

BAM Benefits[4]
Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) uses high technology as an ally in the collection, evaluation and analysis of information in real time, ensuring that the company has a dynamic view of the market. With this, managers gain a lot in decision-making, which becomes more informed and precise. In addition to enabling decision-making, which is its main goal, BAM brings other advantages such as:

  • Reduction and optimization of expenses: Since it is possible to have relevant information in real time and as decision-making becomes more accurate and efficient, you can reduce expenses and also optimize costs, ensuring that investments are rented more efficiently.
  • Monitoring of market dynamism: With the receipt and evaluation of information in real-time, the natural result is a more effective monitoring of the market dynamism, ensuring that any changes are absorbed faster.
  • Faster identification of opportunities and risks: When you keep up with the dynamism of the market it is much easier to identify business opportunities and risks. With this, you can also prepare to absorb impacts or take advantage of opportunities, ensuring more stability.
  • Greater preparation and competitiveness: Having so much information, the company becomes more prepared to be in the market and also more competitive, achieving better results. It also ensures more stability for the company, which manages to enter into the market.

BAM Challenges and Best Practices

See Also


  1. Defining Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) Gartner
  2. What is Business Activity Monitoring (BAM)? Techopedia
  3. Who Uses BAM Microsoft
  4. What are the benefits of BAM? OpServices]