Six Signs. you are ready for BI WHITE PAPER

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1 Six Signs you are ready for BI WHITE PAPER

2 LET S TAKE A LOOK AT THE WAY YOU MIGHT BE MONITORING AND MEASURING YOUR COMPANY About the auther You re managing information from a number of different data sources. You re pulling reports once a month and think you have a pretty good handle on what s going on in your company. But do you really? Or maybe you re constantly frustrated because you can t get the data you need when you need it, and your important business decisions always seem like they involve a little bit of guesswork. If either of these scenarios sound familiar, it s time to start thinking about Business Intelligence. Besides the obvious situations above, there are a number of red flags that signify a company is ready to take the plunge into BI. Let s take a look at some of the six most common. Peter Ørum is the Product Manager at TARGIT Business Intelligence & Analytics, where he has served since He is an expert in the field of BI & Analytics, and his resume includes the project of implementing Business Intelligence at Tommy Hilfiger. The problem The approach There are six common red flags that signal it s time to better manage your data so you can make more intelligent decisions faster. If any of these signs apply to the way you do business today, it s time to take the BI plunge. Read on to see what the common problems are, and how BI can solve them. Peter is resident in Tampa, Fla., but is originally from Denmark. You re thinking it might be time to streamline your strategic business decisions but aren t sure if you re ready to make the commitment with a full Business Intelligence solution. 2

3 1. YOU RE REGULARLY CONSOLIDATING REPORTS FROM VARIOUS DATA SOURCES As often happens when companies grow, organizations split each business segment into their own, largely autonomous division, each with its own budget and management process. But at the end of the day, information must be consolidated from each division into a single report in order to keep track of budgeting, forecasting, performance, and general company health. This involves manually extracting data from each system and compiling a report in Microsoft Excel. But this is time-consuming, tedious, and open to human error. Usually it can only be done by the IT department so those who need the information can t pull it or adjust it themselves. A Business Intelligence system automatically culls information from all available data sources and displays data in easily digestible dashboards, reports, and analyses. Users can then dig deeper and figure out the trends that might otherwise be hidden deep within data. Share knowledge across the company and control who has access to what. Create one report or dashboard, and let the system automatically tailor it for each individual or department. Or share access to data across the company from all business units so users can make better, more informed decisions. 3

4 2. IT TAKES DAYS TO PULL A REPORT If you re still pulling reports manually, you know the many steps involved in hopefully getting an accurate representation of your company data. There s the process of extracting the data, manipulating it by hand based on your needs, and validating the information to ensure reports reflect the right data. This takes valuable company time and resources. For many companies, it takes up to three days to pull a single report. This is a major problem. Clearly, if a report or analysis takes significant time to generate, minute trends and KPIs are not being monitored daily or even likely weekly. If a deviation occurs, it could take days or even weeks before it s noticed and action is taken to correct it. With BI however, all data extraction and processing is put in the hands of the computer. Reports can be created with as little as one click and a few seconds. And thanks to tools like notification agents, you can sit back and let the system monitor all the data incoming from the ERP system and notify you when changes occur. Which leads me to my next red flag 4

5 3. YOUR COMPANY HAS ESTABLISHED KPIS THAT ARE ONLY MONITORED MONTHLY A Key Performance Indicator isn t indicating much if it s only being examined once a month. KPIs must be measured frequently. At a minimum, they should be measured daily.ideally, they re monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If it takes days to run a single report, it s simply not possible to make strategic business decisions. A Business Intelligence system will extract data every day, multiple times a day. This keeps a steady finger on the pulse of your company health by observing not only the large peaks and valleys, but any minute changes in business. With real-time observation, it s possible to drill down to find exactly what worked and what didn t. Did a particular Tweet spike visits to your website? Is there a particular day of the week or time of the day that sees a bump in sales? Knowing these answers gives you the key to improving business by zeroing in on what works best and what doesn t. A true BI solution will not only automatically generate these reports, but as I mentioned above, will send notifications to your desktop, tablet, or mobile phone if a KPI reaches a certain threshold. This ensures action can be taken immediately. 5

6 4. YOU HAVE CLOUDY INSIGHT INTO OPERATIONS How can a decision maker be expected to make decisions without full insight into all the operations of a company? Take, for example, the CMO who must justify her budget but can t quantify the marketing dollars spent on a Facebook campaign. Or the Director or Sales who needs quick insight into forecasts, goals, expenses, and earnings before the weekly sales meeting. Or the CEO who wants to know which products are most popular in a specific location. With the ability to translate data into visualizations, getting your head around what was once a complicated spreadsheet becomes easy. But Business Intelligence is about more than just insight and data graphs; it s about working within the information to see where the trends begin and how to move forward with them. No detail is too small with the right tools. The more the picture of a company comes into focus, the more confidently decisions can be made. There s a reason the OODA loop starts with Observation, and BI makes that step easy. Move through Orientation, Decision, and Action faster and more intelligently. 6 BI enables users to push high level reports and analyses out to the entire organization so everyone has insight. This creates a more informed environment and motivates and inspires employees to reach their goals. As I ll touch on further in a moment, you can rest easy knowing everyone in the organization has the most updated information available.

7 5. THERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH IN YOUR DATA Not only is the amount of available data sources growing, but so is the complexity of the data. As a result, there s a rise in reporting experts spending an increasing amount of time developing reports and analytics for an extended user base within a company. With different users each manipulating data differently, it becomes challenging to maintain a consistent shared world view across the company. This is especially apparent when those reports are generated in Excel and manipulations live only in an individual s own files. These might then be shared through paper reports, word of mouth, s, or via the company network, causing further fragmentation and loss of control of data consistency. With a full-fledged BI solution, companies can harvest the benefits of a single reporting and analytics platform that provides a consistent user experience across all platforms. Changes and manipulations are reflected in real time. And reports and analyses can be shared throughout the company, with only relevant data for each individual or department shown automatically. Dashboards can also be added to storyboards, so each department and team can effortlessly follow the progress of ongoing project. Never again wonder if everyone is viewing the most current data. 7

8 6. THERE S RESTRICTED ACCESS TO YOUR DATA Information doesn t do you any good if you can t access it when you need to. As mentioned above, data sources and complexity are growing at a rapid pace. Not only is it vital for companies to measure and monitor internal data, but they now need to keep a reading on the external data exploding around them. In fact, over time a company s external data will far exceed their internal data. Companies that don t learn from and adapt to this Big Data will be quickly left behind. As such, many companies keep BI in the hands of the IT department. Generating reports and analyses are time-consuming and complex. If you don t have a degree in computer science, it isn t likely you re going to master the system. With advanced Business Intelligence and Analytics solutions however, BI is put in the hands of everyone in the organization. User-friendly search engines make creating reports, analyses, and dashboards as simple as plugging in a few natural language words and watching the computer do the work for you on any platform. Anyone can edit criteria and drill down on data with a few clicks. And create stunning data visualizations that make the answers you re looking for obvious. Suddenly, everyone has an advanced degree in BI. Just one of these red flags is strong sign that you need to start thinking about Business Intelligence. Once you ve opened your eyes to BI, you ll be surprised at the picture that comes into focus. 8

9 TARGIT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND ANALYTICS SOFTWARE MADE FOR ACTION Gather Your (any) Data Learn From Your Data Share Your Data Act On Your Data SQL, ERP, CRM Dashboards > Review your KPIs against your goals. Storyboards > Motivate employees by showing progress on display TVs. Alerts > Get a heads-up when metrics deviate and action need to be taken. Anywhere. Excel, External stats Analytics > Understand what happened, why it happened, and what s coming next. s > Improved collaboration with one-click distribution of analyses via s. Intelligent Wizard > Tell the system what you want. The BI Wizard tells you what you want to know and remembers your preferences. Google Analytics, Social media Reports > Build reports in less than one minute with one-click-to-analysis integration. Batch report scheduling > Customize where your reports go and distribute them automatically. In-Memory Analytics > Analyze the crucial data that doesn t live in your data warehouse. Mobility/Web/desktop > Access your data when and where you need it. 9

10 ONE SOLUTION TO COVER ALL ANALYTICS AND REPORTING NEEDS TARGIT is designed for your entire organization, from the CEO who follows the key metrics, to financial workers who need accurate reports, to sales managers who need performance analytics and customer insights, to marketing who cares about the cost of leads, to IT who wants data security and smoothly integrated data processes. TARGIT has everybody covered. In fact, TARGIT is the most widely deployed solution in the market, and customers rate TARGIT higher in usability than any other solution. That s why TARGIT is designed to get you from dashboards and reports to analyses with only one click. Add to that the integration tools that prepare your data for analysis in less than a day and the intelligence that lets you use natural language to ask for the report or analysis you want. TARGIT takes you from observation to action faster than any other tool on the market. TARGIT gives you the courage to act. We believe that data should be connected and available to decision makers when and where they need it. There is always one more question to ask of the data you see, and if the answer is not immediately available you run the risk of having to act on intuition.

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