Thursday, September 29, 2011



Business Intelligence Tools

Business intelligence tools are instrumental to business success because it will aid a company in releasing the power of learning from the past, based on the data and information it provides. These data and information can then be turned into powerful foresight. Business intelligence tools are essential, if you as a business owner understand the value of tapping the potential of your organization's historical data. This historical data when converted to information can in fact serve many valuable purposes to your business. In order to build a successful business you thus have to think of such data and information as an asset to your company.

One of the primary and widely used business intelligence tools being utilized is the spreadsheet. This is one of the first tools for business intelligence that have been used. It usually comes with the suite or software package you buy. A spreadsheet allows the business user to use mined data, input it in the spread sheet and come up with reports that are dependent on the commands you use. Even with the very basic spreadsheet program, the business owner could get a useful set of reports for management and decision making. You don't even need to go as far as using SQL and OLAP tools when generating reports for company tracking & management information. However, success in the business world does not rely solely on the use of the business tools. Aside the application of business tools such as the spreadsheet generates data or information, the success of your business would be dependent on ability your business management team to interpret or understand the information in terms that would be useful to the organization.

Today, more and more businesses are taking note of the fact that their most important asset is actually not their physical assets but their intangible assets which may come in the form of market intelligence. Business intelligence tools can help generate such information. The forecasts & analysis generated by such tools are now been considered as valuable assets by successful companies. Companies that do not know how to manage information by using different business intelligence tools might find themselves eating dust from their competitors. This makes it hard for the company to remain relevant without excellent market intelligence to back up its decision-making. On the other hand, companies that utilize business intelligence tools efficiently and analyze the reports they generate excellently, are more likely to become game changers and leaders in their industry.

There is so much you can do for your company if you have excellent understanding of the data and information. However, in order to get the most from business intelligence tools, you should be using them to adapt, learn, and change as well as to manage and control your organization. Adapting, learning and changing can come in the form of making changes to your products and services based on the market intelligence derived from the data and information. On the other hand, managing and controlling could come in the form of assessing the results of previous plans based on the new data and information. All of these are made possible with the effective use of business intelligence tools.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Importance Of Business Intelligence Reporting

Business intelligence or BI generally pertains to computer-based techniques utilized in identifying, extracting, and analyzing business data. BI solutions are a series of technologies, applications, processes and methods that help in translating data into useful and meaningful information. This information is further used to gain effective and intelligent insight into the processes and thereby facilitate in making informed decisions. Business Intelligence software also includes technologies such as data quality, data integration, data warehousing, content analytic etc.

Role of Speed and Flexibility to Reporting on Business Intelligence

In every business intelligence solution, reporting plays an important role in using these business data properly in order to improve its competitiveness in the market. Because of this, most companies are in dire need of specialized BI software such as data mining technology, such of which would enable users to manipulate the data or quickly find solutions to their queries.

With most enterprise business intelligence, reporting is only trouble-free when the per-defined reports satisfy what is needed. However, when you have questions which are beyond what the per-defined reports can handle, you have to gather the data again, reorganize the report and create a new report by merging the data from the other reports to be able to come up with a make-shift spreadsheet. For companies that need to move swiftly, these restrictions in BI reporting are intolerable.

Use of Superior Analytic to advance business intelligence reporting

To be able to meet their business intelligence reporting needs, most companies all over the world are using the BI data mining software. This particular BI software offers advanced analytic capabilities that allow users to easily navigate through the numerous data available in real-time with interactive visualizations. Any type of question may be asked by the navigator. They are not solely restricted to any per-configured business intelligence reporting structure.

Imparting knowledge throughout the industry through interactive and visual reporting

This analytical BI application has been beneficial to most engineers, researchers and other information personnel in nearly 1,000 companies around the globe. It has played a significant part in obtaining faster speed in market, solving manufacturing problems faster, and improving performance in sales and marketing. Such is the highly competitive business environments where decisions must be made promptly and with assurance and this objective is achieved through appropriately calculated BI reporting and through the implementation of BI tools.

BI tools for reporting are utilized in order to advance business and financial analytic. Through interactive and highly visual analytical environment, attaining this advancement is within reach. Its self-configuring visual data analysis environment allows the users to ask, visualize and explore data in real-time. When data is imported, the BI environment is generated automatically. This is achieved even in the absence of programming or complicated configuration. A wide variety of BI visual representations, including map based data can be selected and maneuvered by the users in order to review business intelligence reporting results in a number of different ways.

The visual representations can be manipulated to view BI reports according to different parameters including geographically as well as view them statistically, bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, profile charts etc. The utilization of web-based interactive reports gives support to the collaboration of users in the business. In conclusion, the best practice of business intelligence and research guides are easily shared using a Guided Analytic component.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Business Intelligence - Today's Competitive Advantage

Business intelligence is gathering information on your competitors. You use this information to improve, increase your customer base, and remain competitive. Hiring reputable companies to handle the task of reviewing and analyzing government regulations, industry competitors and new products is always the most ideal path to take but today, it's not always feasible. It's important to know where you stand in the market and what your competitors are doing and how to apply this to your business strategy.

You can gather competitor insight relatively easy if you understand what you're looking for and how it's used. Monitoring your competitors helps you identify where your company stands in relation to the market and is a great guiding point of what needs to change now or in the future. When you monitor your competitors ask these questions. The answers will put things into perspective and offer you some direction.

1. Why are they here? Profit?

2. Where do they add customer value? How essential is their customer service to the bottom line? How do they do it? Higher quality, lower prices, or simply better service?

3. Do they want your customers? All or a select few? Why or why not?

4. Like you, are they developing a strategic plan? What is their mission? Do they intend to grow year after year? What are their goals?

5. Are you better than them? How do you rate in comparison?

Another key factor is your business sustainability is forecasting. How grand life would be if we could predict the future but we know that's not possible. So how do you determine trend? Luck! Seriously. Change is consistent, you can count on it. You'll really need to pay attention to your market and where they are going. Customers don't know it, but they drive the direction and you need to be intuitive. So pay attention!

Your assumption of the market may put you out of business quickly if you're not careful. In 2002, it was assumed that customers wanted SUV's and auto industries continued to manufacture them. At an average of $2.00/gallon this was a sound assumption. But by 2008, gas prices climbed to $4.00/gallon. Does this mean their assumption was wrong? No. They marketed favorably for a few years but what it does tell us is that they would have been more profitable if they carefully analyzed the external factors that affected SUV sales.

It is important to respond and analyze external factors. Complete a few what-if scenario's and plan for change. Nothing remains the same and you must plan for change and be in a position to accept whatever that change may be.

Business intelligence by itself won't make you sustainable. You must consider the durability of your business. Because of change and your core resources, your product may become obsolete so it's wise to invest time in determining what it will take to be sustainable. Knowing how your competitor values their customer doesn't mean you'll replicate their success. Companies have long since tried to reproduce trade secrets and failed. Use your knowledge of their success to guide you and focus on your company's center of gravity (its core competencies) and leverage them. A little R&D never hurt any business. Your continued focus must consistently be to improve your bottom line and knowing what your competitors are doing is important to that success.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Agile Business Intelligence Adoption

Generally speaking the term "business intelligence" encompasses a host of business related software and tools. Businesses use these tools to organize and manipulate data from a variety of sources. Organizing the data can take the form of data mining, analytical processing, and or, querying and reporting. Agile business intelligence is a new wave of methodology in the field of business intelligence. Agile BI uses new technologies which make this recent evolution on traditional BI more flexible and more manageable. Data organized on spreadsheets has long been the system businesses use to organize, reconcile, and communicate information to clients and between teams or team members. Agile BI methods are much more helpful to the user than the spreadsheets with which most individuals are already familiar. Agile BI is focused on freeing businesses to identify areas of concern, consider solutions, and quickly respond to any questions raised during any part of this process.

An established system for BI will probably include benchmarks regarding how the processes of database storage and data warehousing are being executed. Applying the same set of standard expectations to an Agile business intelligence system is simply not as straightforward. That being said, it is important to understand how Agile BI can be implemented by a company.

The current business environment requires that businesses maintain immediate access to a tremendous amount of data for the purpose of swiftly making important decisions from the most informed position possible. Businesses large and small are demanding a significantly broader framework for the development of solutions based on all available data. The outright hunger for information and for varied applications drives the migration from traditional BI structures to one of the new Agile Business Intelligence systems. With increased data variety, businesses are asking more specialized questions at a rate never before seen in our new global economy.

Collective, communal applications, which is at the heart of Agile business intelligence (along with flexibility) are molding the new crop of BI analysts, as well as steering the industry toward more interactive and complex processes on the road to custom solutions for any business. Traditional BI methodology fails where Agile BI is proving successful. Agile business intelligence incorporates constant change on a number of different levels in the data storage, warehousing, and integration enterprise. BI teams are leaving behind the presuppositions that initially inspired the long-standing, inflexible solutions in favor of a new paradigm which includes cutting edge technology. Agile BI seeks to help businesses out compete and dominate their market regardless of their particular industry. Now that businesses are asking innovative questions and squeezing every ounce of utility out of every bit of data, Agile business intelligence solutions are replacing the support systems which can no longer keep up with the incredible pace of change of industry today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Business Intelligence in Mobile Applications

Gone are the days when the use of a mobile phone was restricted to connecting to your family and friends. The scenarios have changed now, and it is no surprise that mobile technologies have advanced beyond recognition. The users of the new mobile applications have access to more than thousand applications online and mobile manufacturers are trying to tap this opportunity by developing solutions for smart information.

Over years BI (Business Intelligence) service providers have spent time and money to deliver best solutions to the users. Though the growth has been stagnant for a long time but now it has shown a momentum because of a rapid growth in technology and revolution in mobile based applications. The face of BI in mobile apps will change more when it will move from a dashboard providing application to a more sophisticated task specific feature. With improvement in the ability of smart phones the users not only enjoy interacting with mobile devices but also access useful information and sophisticated analysis.

BI in simple terms means technology, application or software that is used to extract, store, analyze data so as to help the management make better decisions, and BI through phones is sending business information through mobile.

It is helpful to business in several ways like:

1) Improving employee productivity - Today information system is used in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) marketing that will automate sales force management system, which involves huge cost and too much time on data entry. With implementation of these services in mobile BI, the users will get a structured management information system at less cost. This will provide accurate data for sales team as to where they are and what they want to achieve. BI applications also help sales team to represent how the services of the company can be useful to achieve targets. Moreover, it will be useful in supply chain management to form a distribution strategy for retailers and manufacturers. Several models can be proposed through mobile BI for product lifecycle management and information technology chain operations.

2) Faster decision-making - In current business scenario all the firms need information in a speedy manner so as to take accurate decisions and grab the right opportunity. The slow and inflexible business information may lead to major problems. For example, if a decline in sales has occurred in a particular region, the management cannot address the problem quickly without channelized information system. The accurate and fast information through mobile will be helpful in determining the actual cause of the problem along with quick decisions from the management front. The aim of mobile BI is not restricted to provide quality information but to enable faster decision making. Decision makers will be benefitted as it will reduce cost and increase profits by providing the historical trends and predict future estimates.

3) User friendly interface - The introduction of user friendly functions will definitely improve ROI (Return on Investment) in business. The decision makers can keep themselves updated with new trends and developments by subscribing for reports and alerts. These reports can be saved in certain formats and the mobile apps feature makes it easy to update the information from time to time. The information can be filtered by sort functions which save time. Moreover, the user can easily analyze different trends by changing the metrics or can breakdown the single report into different graphs and conduct a drill down research on the data.

In short, the applications are extended to be used in mobile device so that reports and graphs can be seen in small screen and more accurate decisions can be taken in real time.
BI through mobile applications was a growing concept few years back, but with the rising competition and need for accurate information, its demand is increasing at a faster pace. Once the end users can work on the technology with same accuracy and velocity as conventional systems, the thrust will increase further.