Business Intelligence (BI)
In many ways BI has been convoluted and twisted around into a marketing slogan with very little substance. A term used in a way to sell you another software product for “Data Integration and Dashboards”. If you are like most companies, you already own the products and technology we use to deliver industry leading BI solutions.
Business Intelligence in your world, the real world, is still about what it has always been about: Reporting & Analytics. Done in a way that combines structured, aggregated information that you can understand and delivered it in a way that your best people can find the meaningful points to propel your business forward.
Data Integration is at the heart of any scalable, extensible, and sustainable BI application or solution. Anyone that tells you differently, that it is all about the visualization, is selling you half of a solution. Our approach is to get the data right and everything else “falls into place”. This way you can build reports faster, create more reports to serve more people, and have viable analytic interfaces that actually produce meaningful results. We understand that data integration, when done correctly, can be painful. However, it is our belief that data integration is like pouring the foundation for a house – “pay me now or pay me later”. Get the foundation wrong and you’re going to have a collapsing structure sooner or later, get the foundation right and you can build tall and strong.
Fortunately, Data Integration is one of our core competencies. We have been at it a long time, understanding data from both the IT and Business perspectives, having seen most of the pitfalls, and know how to deliver a solid data integration solution.
Reporting and Analytics is the real driver for BI. Over the past 5-7 years, companies have come to realize that accurate reporting and analytics is a competitive advantage. If you know and understand your industry, business, process, and your results better than your competitors then you can perform better than your competitors and achieve your goals.
- How well do you know your business?
- Do you know your Key Performance Indicators?
- Do you know where you can make gains in the next 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year from now?
- What are the things you don’t know about your business?
- What are the things you are missing, that if you knew you could effectively change your business?
This is why you need reports.
If you have reports today, are they effective? Are there enough eyes on those reports, and are they getting to the right people?
In our mind, reporting and analytics has one objective – getting the best data to your best people and letting them find out what it takes to make you the best.
For executives:How many emails and phone calls do you have to make to get the information you are looking for? When you get the information, does it tell you what you need to know? If you can get to your information, can it be understood and acted upon. Dashboards for executives must be easy to get to, provide the critical data about the business, and must either give valid assurance that things are good or give solid intelligence that you can act upon.
For everyone else: Almost all consumers of reporting and analytics must in turn provide that intelligence to someone else. Do you spend too much of your time putting together reports, instead of providing measurable value to the company? Do your analysts spend their time putting together reports or analyzing the business? Dashboards provide a great self-service environment to your management and executive teams.