Business Intelligence and Analytics applications give you an opportunity to improve your management productivity using the best technology for accessing and analyzing your data. The benefits are enormous, and they provide companies with the ability to increase revenues, reduce cost, gain competitive advantage, among many others.
The terms Business Intelligence and Business Analytics raise many questions as many people use them interchangeably claiming the former is just a new version of the latter created just for marketing purposes.
When used as different technologies, Business Analytics leans more towards predictive analysis.
Business Intelligence and Analytics components
BI and Analytics projects are typically comprised of multiple phases, including:
- Strategy: technology and data are growing at a pace that requires organizations to define a clear strategy that will allow them to be agile and cover current and future requirements. IT teams need to plan in advance based on technology trends and the organizational strategy. That is why having a clear strategy is an important phase for BI and Analytics. For this piece it is important to get and highlight the executive sponsorship.
- Requirement Analysis: all the requirements need to be clearly defined exposing the need, the business value and, if possible, how it aligns with the strategy.
- Tool selection: there are many options for Business Intelligence and Analytics tools. With different architectures (cloud and/or on-premise options), different usage (self-service vs pre-defined reports) and of course different functionality. Many of them are similar but some has some key differences that could impact depending on the strategy defined.
- Data Warehouse / Data Mart: in many cases it is ideal to have a central repository where users can access trusting it is the single version of the truth. Some tools offer functionality that facilitate the creation of this repository. It is important to have a strong design because changes at a later stage could impact what has been developed on the reporting side.
- ETL: this is the step that takes the data from the different sources, performs any transformations or calculations and then can load it into the Data Warehouse or allow the BI and Analytics tool to access it for reporting.
- Reports and Dashboards: the visualizations are key for Business Intelligence and Analytics tools to deliver value to the users, after all, a tool is just a tool, they can deliver value, but the users (at least for now) are the ones that make the most of it. Some tools can offer data discovery functionality that guide users through specific patterns and peaks, but putting together business specific visuals is a big part of what users receive from these tools. Check our actionable tips to build a KPI Dashboard for more information.
- Training: something that needs to be planned from the beginning. With the right skills, both technical and functional users will be able to perform their daily activities making the most of the organization's investment. We typically recommend following the train-the-trainers approach, where key users are trained in the first round and they help and eventually deliver the training to the rest of the users. This way internal knowledge is almost guaranteed.
With the latest trends in Business Intelligence and Analytics the organizations are not only finding the right answers but also generating new questions that will generate value and drive the best decisions.
Companies seeking to implement a Business Intelligence and Analytics practices can do a once-stop shop with us. We have partner with many BI vendors and have a great record or implementations in multiple industries using those and many other tools already owned by our customers in order to save resources
Case Study: T. Hasegawa USA improves operational efficiency
Problem: Relying on ERP system for reporting was not flexible and time consuming. Many e-mails and phone calls required in order to complete the process
Business Intelligence and Analytics Applications
Birst is a unique analytics solution, born in the cloud and providing incredible flexibility to business and power users.
Connecting to sources, linking them and providing visualizations is all done from a browser in record time.
To learn more go to Birst
SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse (SAP BW)
SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse (SAP BW) offers an integrated solution for data warehousing and business intelligence that provides organizations with the ability of reporting and analysis of practically any business information.
The organizations are able to integrate multiple sources by extracting, transforming and consolidating the data with special tools provided for these tasks. It also complements this functionality with reporting and analytics applications tools to help users in evaluating the information as well as distributing them.
SAP BW supports the decision making process and also helps the determining better targets based on the results gotten from the information analysis.
To learn more go to SAP BW
Infor BI is one of the most flexible and scalable solutions for Analytics in the market. It allows organization to build applications that can interact with each other and provide ad-hoc as sell as self-service visualizations.
With the ability to create formatted reports or create office document with a unique Add-in, this is a solution that can adjust to any business scenario.
To learn more about this functionality or it's planning features go to Infor BI
SAP BusinessObjects BI
SAP BusinessObjects BI allows organization to connect to any required data, structured and unstructured, such as relational databases, OLAP cubes, documents, e-mails, social media, etc. and place it in the user’s hands for easy, yet dynamic and personalize, visualization.
With the flexibility and clarity offered by BusinessObjects BI tools, the short implementation time and the low maintenance required, the business users will have a best-in-class resource to support their decision making process.
These reporting tools have been integrated with many SAP systems (BW, ERP, EPM, etc) and Non-SAP systems, and its functionality can be extended with Software Development Kits (SDK) for organizations to build their own applications taking advantage of what this entire suite has to offer.
To learn more go to SAP BusinessObjects BI
SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud is a unique solution born in the cloud to manage all your Enterprise Performance Management needs. This includes Planning and Analytics, including predictive.
To learn more visit SAP Analytics Cloud
Tableau has revolutionized the Business Intelligence field offering a unique experience for sel-service reporting.
Business users like how intuitive this tool can be. On the other side IT has an easy way to provide access to specific users to relevant information to make decisions.
To learn more go to Tableau
One of the main features of Microsoft's tools is the Total Cost of Ownership (ToC). Microsoft has been shipping this solution with other applications such as Office 365. This makes it incredible easy for organizations to try and use Power BI.
With specific tools for specific audience (Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View) this tools can be easily adopted by any organization.
Contact Us to talk to one of our Power BI specialists.
SAP Predictive Analytics
Once the basic BI applications have provided information such as what happened and why, there are some questions left on the table like:
- Is it going to happen again?
- Where can we go from here?
- What’s the best thing that could happen and how can we make it iterative?
Predictive Analytics tools are offering an advantage to many organizations by not only providing information to solve issues that already occurred, but also being able to avoid those issues in the future by acting ahead of time. Even better, we can use the data we have at hand to increase the chances of success when making decisions.
SAP provides a complete Suite to execute this advanced analysis and make the most of the information available, answering complex questions that a typical BI tools can’t in an easy way and a short amount of time.
This Suite is called Predictive Analytics and it contains applications for a wide variety of users, from Business Users and Analysts to Data Scientists.
For Business Users and Analysts, an application like SAP InfiniteInsight (acquisition of KXEN) provides many options to automate most of the effort so users can lean on the application to execute some of the processes that usually advanced users are capable of doing in a considerable amount of time.
For more advanced business analyst and data scientists, there is another application called SAP Predictive Analysis focused on providing more advanced options/algorithms to study trends, identify exceptions or execute forecasts either with offline information or in Real Time with the power of SAP HANA.
With these applications now organizations can be one step ahead of their competitors, their customers, or their providers, being able to enhance their experience and interaction throughout multiple services or processes.
MS Reporting Services
Reporting Services (SSRS) is a reporting solution delivered by Microsoft with MS SQL Server.
It provides huge flexibility to connect to multiple sources and a report designer that allows the creation of great visualizations. The total cost of ownership is one of the main items to evaluate here, specially for organizations that own SQL Server.
Contact us to have a chat with one of our SSRS specialists.
IBM Analytics Platform offers fast insight to achieve fast actions. Dealing with Big Data, Predictive or plain BI is easy with the IBM solutions.
Contact us to have a chat with one of our specialists.