Business intelligence for business users

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1 IBM Software Business Analytics Business intelligence Business intelligence for business users

2 2 R and SPSS software: Everyone wins Contents 2 Overview 3 Business users are faced with a number of analytics challenges 4 Executives 5 Business managers 8 Business analysts 9 Customer-facing and other business users 10 Conclusion: Forward-looking BI in the hands of those who need it 11 About Business Analytics 11 Request a call Overview Knowing your business, market, customers and competition is essential for any organization, small, large or in-between. Increased complexity and uncertainty worldwide demand that businesses and governments continue to improve their ability to understand and anticipate change. In the past, IT departments or IT staff made significant investments in business intelligence (BI) solutions to gather, analyze and share this information with top-level executives and decision-makers. Recent events and experiences indicate that the true driver of success comes from infusing business analytics into all aspects of the business, whether it is a large enterprise or midsize company. Companies are most likely to reach business objectives when all kinds of business users in all kinds of companies can access complete, consistent and trustworthy information the way they want. Most prefer their access to be self-service, so they do not have to rely on IT to serve up important reports or data to analyze. Most importantly, business users want business analytics solutions that are easy to use, quick and available when and where they need them.

3 Business Analytics 3 Many organizations are using BI technologies to drive their businesses forward. The key is to unleash BI with solutions everyone can use to answer key business questions. Business users need a simple and intuitive experience that helps them engage and find answers to their own questions. And they should not have to switch environments or learn new applications as they expand their thinking. They need software that can keep pace with the way they work, think, decide and respond. This paper covers how important it is to address the different BI needs of your business constituents, so they have insight when and where they need it. Business users are faced with a number of analytics challenges Business users today face a number of analytics challenges that were almost unheard of just five years ago. Big data, changed customer expectations and the pressure to do more with less loom large in almost all businesses. Consider these statistics. Thirty-eight percent of North American businesses have invested in solutions to help them use big data to their advantage. 1 The percentage of consumers who rely on at least one social network for buying decisions is 95 percent. 2 A majority of businesses are not able to achieve the desired return on their capital investments. Our business generates a lot of data, and the Cognos Business Intelligence platform helps us understand all our big data. As a result we have a complete view of what is happening in the business so that we can effectively communicate our transformation strategy. Manager, Strategy Analy tics and Business Intelligence at a US Manufacturing company Navigating this world of big data, social networks and budget constraints is diffcult. Business users are expected to have a consistent understanding of what is happening throughout the entire organization to better align with company goals and objectives. To meet these expectations, business users need a combination of self-service and managed data analysis capabilities so they can become more effcient and effective when decisions need to be made. By understanding what has happened, why it is happening and what they can do about it, businesses maintain an outlook on their operations that is focused on the future. And, with the right analytics software, they can help their businesses achieve a higher return on capital investments.

4 4 R and SPSS software: Everyone wins To achieve competitive advantage, companies must be able to put BI in the hands of everyone who needs it. Making sure all users have BI capabilities is especially critical in small and midsize businesses who often expect users to take on several roles as they grow the company. Companies must also make sure that predictive analytics capabilities are part of BI. IBM calls this forward-looking BI. Forward-looking BI includes data mining and predictive modeling so users can view more than just historic data. It presents information as it is happening and the tools to model scenarios that can help them anticipate future outcomes. The objective should be to provide business users with the BI, performance management and predictive analytics they need to: Uncover insights with a trusted platform for delivering a full of view business information and data discovery. Explore enterprise data with workspaces that enable them to analyze information in almost any volume, combination and complexity. Make confident decisions with complete visibility into your business. Help transform your business from a reactive operation to a proactive market leader. In essence, business users in companies of all sizes need every tool available to help them address the challenges of compressed decision cycles with up-to-the minute information. Empowered with forward-looking BI, all kinds of business users from executives and analysts to line of business managers and BI professionals can make the data-driven decisions that lead to better results. Business analysts can easily develop and share models to test scenarios. Finance and lines of business can create and adapt plans and use big data to delight more customers and optimize operations. All business users can base decisions on facts as opposed to gut feel. Executives Executives in companies of all sizes demand information that is highly summarized and bears direct relevance to their key initiatives. They do not need to be bogged down by minor details; they need to be able to see the big picture quickly and clearly so they can take action. To meet their needs for at-a-glance views of operational and financial performance, executives need preassembled and interactive workspace content that can help them: Connect with other executives or managers to share insight and gather broader perspective and opinions. Explore plans and information and make annotations so others can view their comments and suggestions and make adjustments. Track projects and activities and gain instant access to a complete task list. Use predictive intelligence in strategic, operational and tactical decisions.

5 Business Analytics 5 Executives are ultimately responsible for the decisions that can stay a company s course or take it in a whole new direction. They need to evaluate situations or anticipate the outcome of a course of action with up-to-the minute information and predictive intelligence for analysis. They must be confident that they are making optimal decisions for their organizations with BI that provides all the information they need at their fingertips. Figure 1: Forward-looking BI solutions provide at-a-glance views for executives so they can see the big picture quickly and clearly and take action. Executives do not have time to learn new interfaces or complicated software. A forward-looking BI solution gives executives the option of working with a familiar interface, if that is what they are comfortable with. And, because executives are often on the go, forward-looking BI provides access to information on their smartphones, tablets, notebook computers and other mobile devices. Business managers With accountability for the success of key initiatives and profitability, business managers need a high-level view of the business and an ability to delve into operational details. Of utmost importance to them is knowing what factors and relationships are influencing outcomes so they can mitigate risk and drive improvements. Fast access and contribution to relevant information and predictive scenarios can help them make better business decisions. Self-service BI, data discovery and interactive visualizations can enable them to work independently and then share their insights with other stakeholders.

6 6 R and SPSS software: Everyone wins Business managers, like all business users, need an intuitive workspace for arranging and organizing information. When they can explore any combination of data, including big data, over any time period and construct predictive models, they can understand performance and anticipate future outcomes. Unique and personalized views of the performance of their departments, divisions, lines of business, regions and more are critical. Therefore, their workspaces should include capabilities for downloading graphical representations of data. The workspaces should enable them to drag and drop planning data and metrics into their reports, dashboards, plans and more. These workspaces should be available where business managers need them to be. They should be able to use them: On their desktops for independent data discovery, analysis and insight On the web for integrated and collaborative BI On their smartphones or tablets for BI at the point of impact In their everyday applications Figure 2: Forward-looking BI solutions provide business managers with reports on their mobile devices.

7 Business Analy tics 7 Forward-looking BI for business managers should also include: Reporting capabilities that provide them with a comprehensive and consistent view of business and operations Interactive visualizations and other capabilities that enable them to make sense of complex, detailed data and even big data so, depending on their role, they can personalize the user experience, make customers more profitable, acquire new customers (sales and marketing) or predict maintenance, optimize asset availability and understand demand (operations) Features for interacting with those views on their desktop, with a web browser or both Multidimensional data management for reconciling transaction and planning data to create a corporatesanctioned view of business information Metrics, process diagrams and scorecards for sharing goals from the top down and ensuring everyone is working toward the same targets. Extensible visualization The human brain was designed to process visuals quickly and easily. Therefore, understanding data is easier when users can visualize it. Visualization provides interactive suppor t for critical decision-making and data discovery. It transforms confusing rows and columns of data into graphical renderings that are easy to use and understand. Once the domain of a select group of IT and business analysts, visualization has emerged as a capability that can enable creative data discover y in the business without IT inter vention. Extensible visualization is a capability in IBM Cognos Business Intelligence that enables pluggable interactive visualizations that can be added between product releases. With extensible visualization, business users can download and edit a wide variety of graph and char t templates whenever they need them. They do not have to wait for a new product or version release to provide them with new graph types. Business managers are very likely to be comfortable using Microsoft Offce interfaces and want to continue working in the familiar format. For those reasons and more, they should be able to access BI content with Microsoft Offce. For traveling managers, a mobile capability should make it easy for them to access what they need the moment they need it, no matter where they are or what device they are carrying.

8 8 R and SPSS software: Everyone wins Business analysts Business analysts are tasked with unveiling blind spots and garnering insights from all information sources so they can develop factual context. Business analysts rely on reports to provide them with information for connecting the dots between revenues and losses, products and profitability, financial performance and market trends and so on. Therefore, they need a comprehensive forward-looking BI solution that: Presents them with a complete and consistent view of business and operations Helps them access reliable statistical evidence, trends, patterns and predictions easily Expands visibility and intelligence beyond the information at hand Helps them attain a very detailed understanding of the relationships hidden in all enterprise data (numerical and text) Enables them to generate focused predictive intelligence that can drive improved outcomes in any decision making that results in measurable ROI To help business analysts find correlations between the various factors that affect business performance, forward-looking BI presents data in formats that are easier to analyze and to share with others. A workspace installed on their desktops but integrated with the enterprise or a unified, interactive browser-based workspace customized just for them should help them explore and share information the way they want. Drag-and-drop techniques and a modeling workbench should make it possible for them to get to the why behind an event or action quickly and easily. Drilling down through increasing levels of detail can help them view data by different dimensions, such as sales per region or by product to analyze and report on trends in organizational performance. Integration with predictive intelligence capabilities should enable them to construct models to predict outcomes and future events. The goal is for them to be able to deliver timely, quality, relevant information to a large, diverse community. Figure 3: Forward-looking BI solutions provide business analysts with an advanced workspace with intuitive navigation and a streamlined look so they can calculate, drill, filter, pivot, monitor KPIs, add char ts, embed predictive outcomes and more.

9 Business Analytics 9 Business analysts are often asked to provide analysis or insight on the spot, even when they are nowhere near their offces. Therefore, they need a solution that delivers BI content, analysis and statistics right to their mobile devices. They should also be able to: Use and save BI content or create sophisticated desktop reports such as briefing books and dashboards in a Microsoft Offce application. Refresh Microsoft Offce documents with updated information on demand. Access modeling tools that can help them incorporate analysis of a broader range of alternative scenarios to ascertain the probability of outcomes. Similar to other business users, analysts need collaboration and networking capabilities so they can engage with business managers, executives and other analysts to share the insights they have uncovered. They should also be able to access multidimensional data management. Data augmentation is necessary for them to add external marketing and trend data to their corporate information. Visualizations should be available that enable them to present answers to complex questions in a way that most users in the organization can understand. Customer-facing and other business users Business users are those workers who are not managers or analysts. Often on the front lines of a business or part of a small or midsize business, they need personal and easy access to information that can help them meet their goals and objectives. These users require: A single place they can use as a starting point for understanding information and uncovering insight and checking on how they are doing A browser-based reporting feature and visualizations to help them interact with the data they need Automated scorecards and metrics to help them visualize how they are performing based on targets set for role-specific projects and activities. These kinds of business users want to create their on-demand queries or modify existing reports. Therefore, a forwardlooking BI solution provides them with tools for contributing to the reporting process or even for creating their own. Because many business users deal directly with your customers, they are often in the field or outside of your BI infrastructure. In the past, this hampered their abilities to make prompt, effective decisions or take immediate action when it was needed.

10 10 R and SPSS software: Everyone wins Forward-looking BI solutions resolve that situation with a complete BI experience browse, explore and author on their iphones or ipads or in a self-contained offine environment. Business users need to be able to take their data with them to discover opportunities and analyze trends even when they are not online. Conclusion: Forward-looking BI in the hands of those who need it A forward-looking BI solution enables executives, business managers, business analysts, business users, processes and technology to work together so your entire organization, large or small, can make more informed decisions. With BI and predictive analytics capabilities infused throughout your business, users can access and share information when, where and how they need it. They can include critical drivers in their reports that identify patterns, trends and predictive scores. They can use numerous capabilities to improve operational effciency and reach goals faster. They can identify risks and new opportunities in advance to achieve business success. Predictive analytics enhances the value of BI with visibility into the past, present and future. As a result, individuals can make smarter decisions and organizations can gain agility, outperform and anticipate future outcomes. Figure 4: Forward-looking BI provides business users on the front lines or who interact with customers with richly detailed and customizable repor ts that are easy to distribute.

11 Business Analytics 11 IBM Cognos Business Intelligence transforms data into meaningful and useful information by providing historical, current and predictive views of business operations. This information is delivered to business users through interactive reports, dashboards and scorecards so they can make smarter and more strategic decisions. The result is a full picture of operational data that helps generate past, present and future insights. Business users can not only describe and diagnose your past and current performance, but also predict future performance. The result? Your organization can gain strategic and competitive advantages and position itself for growth. For more information about forward-looking BI, read the white paper: ibm.com/ser vices/forms/signup.do?source=swg BA_WebOrganic&S_PKG=ov18937 For more information about IBM solutions for business intelligence, visit: ibm.com/sof tware/products/en/categor y/ business-intelligence About IBM Business Analytics IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organizations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management and risk management. Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualize trends and patterns in such areas as customer analytics that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios; anticipate potential threats and opportunities; better plan, budget and forecast resources; balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organizations can align tactical and strategic decision making to achieve business goals. For more information, see: ibm.com/business-analy tics Request a call To request a call or to ask a question, go to ibm.com/business-analy tics/contactus. An IBM representative will respond to your inquiry within two business days.

12 Copyright IBM Corporation 2014 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY Produced in the United States of America March 2014 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Cognos are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at Copyright and trademark information at Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. It is the user s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. 1 Angus Macaskill, Big data: Big hype or big hope? ZDNet, 1 Oct. 2013; 2 James Dohnert, IDG Study Finds 95% of Consumers Use Social Media, ClickZ, 3 Dec. 2012, idg-study-finds-95-of-consumers-use-social-media Please Recycle YTW03093-CAEN-06

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