Choosing the Right Business Intelligence Solution

October 10, 2013
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ImageThe evolution of business is accelerating exponentially.  In order for a company to thrive, they need to exercise a certain amount of business intelligence.  This concept includes a group of ideas, functions and tools that incorporate wise decision making within the modern technological landscape.  Understanding the role B.I.

ImageThe evolution of business is accelerating exponentially.  In order for a company to thrive, they need to exercise a certain amount of business intelligence.  This concept includes a group of ideas, functions and tools that incorporate wise decision making within the modern technological landscape.  Understanding the role B.I. plays in the future of business is vital to fostering healthy growth.  The correct tool should fit the company like a glove.  It must be, amongst other things, adaptable, scalable, secure, affordable, and have the ability to report on a multitude of business trends.  It should inform of business practices and identify opportunities that allow the end user to make educated decisions.

Flexible Change

Business intelligence is no longer just an answer for large corporations.  Customized applications are now available that collaborate with the existing infrastructure.  The solution is intended to save time and money, thus a mass overhaul of systems is counterproductive to the cause.  Various patches and tools have been developed within B.I. applications to assist even the smallest of companies.  Software developers are now building modular solutions to offer a more adaptable approach on a lesser scale.  Instead of purchasing an entire package, a company can pick and choose which components best suit their needs. 

The Option to Grow

The top applications are scalable and designed to grow with the organization.  This organic development not only increases productivity but improves efficiency as well.  A good business intelligence solution will assist a company in developing resilience against surmounting issues like data deduplication, security, loss of data and redundancy.  Intelligent applications should have the capability to assist hundreds, to hundreds of thousands of employees, on an end user basis.  If installed correctly, a proper B.I. solution will act as the central brain of an organization.  As new business rules are developed, integration with application processes should be seamless.             

Engage Business Units

Accessibility must be taken into consideration when choosing a suitable B.I. solution.  It should be easily managed with a single point of maintenance.  Key factors like usability and functionality for the end user are important as well.  Files should be stored on a secure server where employees can interact with and analyze the data.  This includes current trends like cloud based applications, which insure a back up for data loss.  With the right cloud, critical interruptions in sales and supplies can be a thing of the past.  The goal is to find an integrated application that will store enterprise wide data in a single and central repository.  It should minimize end user response by focusing on a main platform with a central database.

Reporting and Analysis

Consolidation of data is the main drive in the development of business intelligence.  Data deduplication is a growing necessity due to the increase in mobility.  Organizations must now deal with increasing demands, higher degrees of accuracy, firmer controls and tighter timelines.  Companies must find a way to digest large data sets.  Automated reporting and notifications are essential in staying on top of the market trends.  The right business intelligence solution will include the ability to report, plan, monitor and analyze volumes of data.  In turn, this will allow for more strategic and informed business decisions.  The information can be processed and distributed on a company wide basis with even the simplest of templates and visuals.  In this modern age, it is essential for all employees to engage in the analytical process of information to some extent.   Reporting capabilities should be flexible and display actionable data sets.  The ultimate objective is to develop long term goals based on the data produced through business intelligence.

Cost Effective

Affordability is always the driving factor.  Streamlining a process becomes futile if the cost of doing so is astronomical.  A business should first determine their exact needs and set the course accordingly.  Where some corporations might be interested in a solution as a whole, others may only need certain aspects of their business automated.  There are several developers that offer specific reporting tools based on customized needs.  Another factor to consider is that various vendors will license their applications out and many even offer a free trial.  It is important to determine if the software will run on all standard platforms within the company, or if multiple versions must be purchased and supported.  The application should be implemented to allow for minimal support from IT staff resources.  This in turn will further save on cost.

Ultimately, business intelligence will be the driving force behind success.  Marrying business and technology allows for super human computing.  It drives a higher rate of productivity, an increase in revenue, and state-of-the-art customer service.  The ability to expose an accurate core of information across the entire enterprise enables more time for analyzing the data, and less time for collecting it.  A good business intelligence solution helps to develop long term business practices that are actionable and trackable.  It provides a platform for company wide communication that eventually leads to a more inclusive and higher functioning business unit.