Business Intelligence System

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The term Business Intelligence (BI) represents the tools and systems that play a key role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making. Generally these systems will illustrate business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis to name a few.

Most companies collect a large amount of data from their business operations. To keep track of that information, a business and would need to use a wide range of software programs , such as Excel, Access and different database applications for various departments throughout their organization. Using multiple software programs makes it difficult to retrieve information in a timely manner and to perform analysis of the data.

It has developed its own business intelligence system, where in you are allowed to create your own information reports and parameters. These reports can be generated through report designers in the system, which makes creation of report a breeze. These reports can be further scheduled to be generated on its own and sent to the respective email address at user defined defined time intervals.

No more logging into the system just to generate routine reports and saving that EVOLVE would do that for you automatically.


Current Business Intelligence Use and Optimization

Many SMBs are no longer new to business intelligence. A few years ago, there was a market push to expand toward the mid-market through the development of solutions that were less expensive and quicker to deploy. In addition, niche offerings, software as a service (SaaS), commercial open source, and newer entrants to the market helped with broader adoption within small and mid-sized organizations. Consequently, many businesses have adopted these technologies and are actively interacting with business intelligence on a daily basis. Therefore, the issue is no longer on adoption, but rather on using BI effectively and in a way that provides value to the business. 

Although many SMBs actively interact with business intelligence, many are unsure of the exact ROI it provides or how to integrate all required data into a singular view to develop strategic metrics. The technology and interactivity might be there, but the goal of improved visibility and how to take BI use to the next level may be lacking. In essence, for these organizations, a large gap exists. The drive and desire to implement cutting-edge technology and adopt the newest BI solutions available compete with the ability to get business value out of what exists. 

Therefore, the benefits of vendors focusing on development may offset the fact that no equal focus on providing advice that relates to the optimization of current use exists on a broad industry level. Driving widespread adoption of business intelligence in a way that promotes the expansion of use requires an educational gap to be filled. The focus on BI as a development tool or as a cool user interface lacks the realism required to give companies the ability to apply metrics or analytics within the organization in a way that ties in corporate strategy and strong data management.

New to BI and Searching

For SMBs looking at performance gaps or lack of visibility within their organization, the implementation of business intelligence and the potential to help answer questions and solve performance inefficiencies is quite promising. The question becomes how and where to start. Because of the attraction of dashboards, many businesses want to start with managing metrics. The issue that arises relates to the data layer beneath this and whether the appropriate data sources are being consolidated and how to ensure the overall level of data quality over time. Many SMBs without a current data warehousing and general data integration infrastructure are stuck with a data environment that is less than effective at best. With disparate data sources, manual processes, multiple spreadsheets, and no way to ensure accuracy, trust levels remain low and time spent to consolidate information on a daily basis to perform analyses is exorbitant. The promise of BI in these cases may be the automation of data associated with business processes so that easier decision making can occur.

In some cases, a large gap exists between what organizations would like to do and what they have to do in order to get started with business intelligence. Even though a broad set of options exists in relation to getting analytics up and running quickly without having to worry about a data infrastructure, the ability to automate processes and to ensure data validity ends up becoming a valuable side effect of establishing a full BI infrastructure within the organization. And it's one of the issues that is not always considered before beginning a business intelligence initiative.

General Mid-Market Needs

Whether long time BI advocates or new to the cause, SMBs do have unique requirements in comparison to their enterprise counterparts. On the surface, these include limited resources, both financially and IT infrastructure wise. Realistically though, the challenges faced by SMBs expand beyond these traditional considerations. The industry education and general development of BI on the whole is geared toward enterprise organizations. Although some solution providers have built their offerings to meet the needs of mid-sized companies, many others have not. For instance, some solutions targeted to SMBs are smaller or incomplete versions of their enterprise counterparts. 

For organizations to identify what would work best within their company and whether to go with a full BI suite or smaller best-of-breed solutions (i.e., data warehouse appliance and dashboard) requires a lot of knowledge that is not always easily available. In addition to understanding implications related to implementation times, resources required to develop and to maintain a solution, and potential for growth, SMBs also need to match these aspects to their current environment and future business needs. This, in and of itself, may not differ from what any organization evaluating business intelligence has to go through, but mid-market companies have less room for error. 




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