* Business Intelligence & BI Tools (next two posts)
* What you need to know about PCI compliance
* A Primer on “Dimensions” – a powerful feature of Microsoft Dynamics NAV software
First… Business Intelligence, from highlights of a report by Aberdeen Research.
Business intelligence, or “agile analytics” continues to be a hot topic in business today. Studies show that the demand for BI today is shifting to one driven not so much by an increasing volume of data, but by an increasing demand for information. In other words, it’s business executives, not necessarily the IT folks, who are demanding more and better data and information to drive their business decisions.
The idea behind the term “agile BI” refers to the ability to get at information quickly, at any time, anywhere. This goes to the idea of ad hoc inquiries, queries, dashboards and drilldowns, as opposed to the ‘old’ model of static reporting.
Moreover, today’s business mangers want to be able to do this for themselves. Again, it speaks to speed, quickness, and agility of information. You want to know today’s shipping numbers today… you want to be able to parse sales by salesperson and territory quickly… you want to know which products are moving quickly, and which are not, and you want to be able to do it yourself.
Often, the reporting for the management team still needs to be formalized and standardized (this is where reports do still matter). In these cases, recommendations include:
- Identifying source data, the location and quality of that data, and ensuring it’s ’clean’.
- Integrate the data, ensuring it’s stored where it needs to be. This typically means that the data should be inside the ERP system.
- Reports, charts and dashboards should be used to make common data available across the organization, in common and readily usable formats.
By making data available to many… by using formats usable by various levels of staff… by ensuring that peers within the business framework are actively involved in the discussion about what data is needed, and how it is presented… companies are able to make more timely, more accurate and better informed decisions – often from the bottom up instead of the top down. The result is more timely and better tuned performance. You’re asking the right questions – and getting the right answers – in a timely manner, which can then be acted upon commonly by all interested parties.
We’ll continue this discussion in the second half of our post. Stay tuned…