As You Like It: Make BI/Analytics Deliver

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1 As You Like It: Make BI/Analytics Deliver 7 pitfalls to avoid July, 2014

2 Billion needs vs Gazillion products There is a plethora of basic and advanced analytical BI solutions out in the market. According to Gartner, the market for BI and Analytics platforms will remain one of the fastest growing software markets. The Advanced and Predictive Analytics (APA) software market is projected grow from $2.2B in 2013 to $3.4B in 2018, attaining a 9.9% CAGR in the forecast period 1. IDC commented that simplified APA tools that provide less flexibility than standalone statistical model tools yet have more intuitive graphical user interfaces and easier-to-use features are fuelling business analysts adoption. A.T. Kearney forecasts global spending on Big Data hardware, software and services will grow at CAGR of 30% through 2018, reaching a total market size of $114B 2. a But which solution best serves the needs of a business? - An important question with which a number of decision makers are struggling today. A big part of the business runners equate simple reporting tools with advanced analytical tools. Sometimes businesses opt for highly advanced tools from the biggest solution providers in the hope that the solution will definitely benefit their profits. They fail to realize the costs involved in implementing such solutions without doing in depth analysis of their requirements and the tools offerings; and end up disturbing the balance between their business operations. They land themselves in a catch 22 situation and despite of healing the old pain areas, they develop new ones. 2 Aaum Confidential Page 2 7

3 Exhibit A: The 7 Questions to ponder while opting for Analytics Whether you are a manufacturer or a marketer, all the businesses are now undergoing a transformation, away from traditional tactics to analytics. From getting insights into streamlining production, reducing timeto-market and increasing product quality to financial services firms seeking to upsell s, analytics is now essential for any business looking to stay competitive. Here are the 7 BIG questions which needs to be addressed before going forward with a BI Solution. 1. Is it exactly your product? The businesses need to understand that the tool which they are opting or have opted, should exactly be the one required by them. There are tons of tools available and marketed by the big guns in the software industry. Sometimes they are so sophisticated that you don t even know how they can be used efficiently. So if businesses get stuck with such irrelevant solutions, they become an injured race horse, who has to run despite all the pain. 2. Is the investment giving returns? Some businesses don t get bothered with the amount they spend on activities like marketing and sales promotions but when an investment goes bad in enterprise level solutions, the businesses become unable to stop the bleeding cash out of the operations. So a check on the ROI becomes an integral part. 3. Is it customisable? The next problem can be the customization. A business has already in place some system which keeps record of the transactions, but when it is in need for something more sophisticated and intelligent but easy to handle at the same time, customisation becomes a problem. Not every solution is capable of sitting on top of the existing platforms. 4. Is the storage/access-to-data good enough? With the fast paced developments in technology, Cloud storage has come into the picture where you don t need to actually store your data in physical disk drives but your solution provider does this for you on the cloud. You can access anything and everything in real time. The thing to watch out here could be the hassles which one can face while accessing data. 5. Does it have advanced analytical capabilities? If a business is going for a simple reporting tool then anything with some basic features can do the job but when there comes the question of in depth analysis of the data, then some tools lag behind the others in terms of their data handling capabilities. With the amount of data created and stored today, there is certainly a need for something with BIG Data handling capabilities and that too with ease. 6. Is there a dedicated support team? Not all the people in a business know every tiny bitty-bit of the solution implemented. And in such situations one needs someone to train or to guide one through the technicalities. And if a dedicated support team is there, then the tasks become easier. Almost all the big solution providers have support facilities through phone, s or personal chats but what matters here is the response time to a particular problem. 7. Is it easily scalable? Sometimes when a business opts for a solution, it works well till a particular level, but when a need arises to implement the same across business domains or at other locations of the same business, it becomes a tedious task to do so because not always every segment of a business functions the same way or captures data in the same manner. So scaling the solution becomes important. Aaum Confidential Page 3 7

4 How does your current BI/analytics solutions fare against the questions in Exhibit A? A quick reality check: Below is a checklist encompassing 15 criteria which are expected out of a good BI Solution. You can give these parameters scores out of 5 (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest) on the basis of importance these parameters holds in a BI Solution in sync with your business and requirements Give score only to those parameters which you consider relevant in your business setup Compute the Total Score Divide the Total Score by the number of relevant features Arrive at the Absolute Score Let us understand this with help of a hypothetical product Best BI which has got the following ratings. Aaum Confidential Page 4 7

5 In the above chart, the respondent doesn t consider parameter 9 (Phone) and 10(Online Chat) to be of important factor in evaluating a BI solution in sync with his business. The Absolute Score of Best BI is arrived at by dividing the Total Score (40) by the number of relevant parameters (13) is 3.08 which falls under the OK category. Likewise you can also compute your Absolute Score and see where you are. On the basis of that you can frame your further strategies to opt for a relevant solution. Below is a table encompassing various capabilities of tools offered by some vendors: Vendors/Products Information Delivery features genisights SAP (Crystal Reports) IBM Cognos Tableau Zoho Reports Birst OBIEE Qlikview Jaspersoft Ad Hoc Reporting Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Scheduled Alarms Alerts/ Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Customizable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Dashboarding capabilities Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Ad Hoc Analysis Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Advanced Analytics Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes BIG Data Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Support Features Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Phone Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Online Chat Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Free Trial Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Mobility Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Cloud Capability Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Deployment Mode User Levels SaaS, On Server As per requirements SaaS, On On On SaaS On SaaS, On Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted Restricted (DISCLAIMER: This table is based on the information available online) SaaS SaaS Aaum Confidential Page 5 7

6 Understanding GeniSIGHTS Make BI/Analytics Deliver There is a wide gap between too generic and too specialized BI solutions. The key here is to decide what works best for your business setup. Aaum s genisights is built in a way to scale from simple reporting to advanced analytical solutions. genisights Advantage: Extensible across Technologies, Platforms, Devices Precanned advanced analytics solutions that fit common business needs Report Generation at ease Interactive reports at affordable price User Levels: As required genisights is offered in three modes: genisights Reporting basic customer needs like reporting genisights Analytics intermediate requirements like reporting, data analysis genisights Analytics+ advanced analytics like prediction, big data analytics, etc. Aaum Confidential Page 6 7

7 The need of the hour is not to have a bloated solution bundled with features that may not be desired. Such solutions would often be priced higher to justify the research, product development. The much desired solution is the one that would fit exactly to the requirements and would scale as the businesses mature; thereby significantly improving the ROI. genisights EXCEEDS the customer requirements. AAUM Research and Analytics Private Limited Tel: Tel: Web: Aaum Confidential Page 7 7

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