Panorama Necto 12. Whitepaper (March 4 th, 2013)

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1 Panorama Necto 12 Whitepaper (March 4 th, 2013)

2 Table of Contents 1. Introduction Challenges of BI Growing demand for Intelligent BI Necto the BI 3.0 Solution Overview Necto s intelligent BI engine (AIDEN) Necto s Analytics Necto s social BI Sources of Information for BI Automated Insights Necto Workboards Business Continuity Necto s Added Value for SharePoint Conclusions and Recommendations Panorama Page 2 of 27

3 1. Introduction Knowledge is power. Knowledge about your business - Information and corporate data are among the most valuable assets in an organization. Business Intelligence (BI) is therefore an important tool for any organization to stay competitive regardless of size or industry. In our highly competitive economy, organizations need Business Intelligence to be agile and profitable. Traditional BI focuses on collecting data. But that is not enough; organizations need BI that also analyzes the collecting data quickly and in a smart way to provide true insight. Furthermore, BI has to connect corporate users; their input is essential for accurate analysis. In this white paper, we explain how Panorama s Necto enables organizations to enjoy the latest generation of Business Intelligence that is social, relevant and end-user oriented. 2. Challenges of BI Looking back at the many years that the industry has spent on developing BI tools, it is clear that effective BI is not easy to achieve. Traditional BI is all about collecting data and presenting it. Although useful, it does not provide any insight or context to non-experts. Compiling views or reports that could be relevant is a cumbersome task for users. The analytical tools available to them are too complicated for easy use and often require extensive training. In many cases, it is therefore left to the IT department to create KPIs, views, and reports from raw data, while analysts are asked to turn it into Business Intelligence (BI). But requirements change too fast for IT and traditional technologies to keep up. Needless to say, this makes BI both time-consuming and inefficient. Traditional BI apps are just not intuitive enough to assist the modern organization. To be effective, all stakeholders must be able to participate in the BI process. Depending on the organization, managers at various levels can be involved, such as CEOs, CFOs, sales managers, marketing and brand managers, customer relations, operational managers, and analysts. For effective BI, relevant stakeholders need to actively participate in the BI process. This entails interactive communication and cooperation in other words: BI needs to be smart and social. A recent survey shows that 47 percent of respondents are not confident in their business intelligence strategies. Sixty-one percent of respondents said the low confidence stems from a lack of enterprise-wide strategies and 57 percent said they don't have the staff to carry out planned projects. As for those IT leaders who are confident in their use of BI, 51 percent said it is because their strategies are closely aligned to business needs. Source: IT Executive Outlook survey 2013 Panorama Page 3 of 27

4 3. Growing demand for Intelligent BI For years, organizations have been deploying classic Business Intelligence. BI 1.0 was all about presenting data. Users main worry was to store all their data and have IT and analysts access them for BI. Management would then be provided with relevant information to make business decisions. With the wide-spread use of web 2.0 tools emerged a different attitude towards BI. Decision-makers want to receive relevant information in real time. BI 2.0 introduced new tools such as Dashboards, KPIs and Scorecards, giving users direct insight into the actual data. Predefined or hard-coded information provides users with intelligence that is specifically of interest to them. Although a huge improvement compared to classic BI, it still does not provide users and organizations with the BI they want and need. Organizations use tools for fast and accurate decision making. In the fast-changing business world, BI 2.0 tools are already limited and outdated. Business information and knowledge reside only partially in data warehouses, which make accessing corporate date more complicated. According to research by a Forrester analyst 1, only 3% to 8% of business and management users utilize BI 2.0 tools. As a result, BI 2.0 tools have a limited use for organizations. The latest technologies have become part of our daily lives. We use Google and Bing to search and read news, we consult Amazon on what to read, we socialize with friends and communities using Facebook, we business network using LinkedIn and Xing, and we chat with the world using Twitter. We therefore also want to use social media for business purposes such as Business Intelligence. BI 3.0 is the latest generation of BI. It s smart, social and based on user-participation. The BI 3.0 approach is based on: 1. The ability to absorb data on-the-fly The use of advanced database technologies allow organizations to continuously examine new data and review historic data in new ways. It eliminates the necessity to pre-define how users want to analyze information. 2. Providing all corporate users with insight and analysis tools Since BI is essential for all business users, they should be able to contribute to it and use it, regardless if they work in management, marketing, sales, business development, customer relations or operations. BI 3.0 is focused on ease of use; it understands the needs of individual users and let them easily use the tools to adapt insights and analyses to their individual needs. 1 Boris Evelson Number of people using BI March 20, Panorama Page 4 of 27

5 3. Anywhere, anytime BI, as social media, is available and accessible from anywhere, all the time. BI 3.0 tools are available regardless of the media (desktops, mobile phones, or tablets) and therefore ensure business continuity. 4. Enabling relevant intelligence BI 3.0 provides the right information to users, making it relevant for their job. The user does not need to bother with pre-defining what he or she wants to see (e.g., a book recommendation on Amazon); smart BI knows what information the user needs to see. BI 3.0 provides users with insight they were not even aware they should be looking for. 5. Social BI As the saying goes: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With Web 2.0 the world has become social, creating the Power of Many 2. Organizations prefer their employees to work together in teams to achieve goals. BI 3.0 enables users to collaborate using social tools. As a result, a much higher level of insight is achieved. In corporations with more than 500 employees, the number of information workers using social networking platforms will almost double between 2009 and Source: Unysis and IDC Study, 2010 When an organization wants to embrace BI 3.0, they turn to Panorama (and it flagship Necto solution) as the leader in this field. Necto, together with the latest Microsoft tools and technology, allows users to achieve the BI insight they always wanted. 4. Necto the BI 3.0 Solution 4.1 Overview Panorama s Necto provides enterprises with a state-of-the-art BI solution. With Necto, corporate users (e.g., in sales, marketing, or operations) have easy access to insight & analysis tools that are relevant for their job. Necto users can analyze sales results and corporate information (for example), by - 1. Connecting to the data they want to use. 2. Exploring the data and finding insights 3. Collaborating with our peers for fast and efficient action taking 2 Contextual Discovery in Business Intelligence by Panorama, April 19, Panorama Page 5 of 27

6 All this using a unified web based application that recommends to us what best steps to takenecto s sophisticated social tools enable corporate users to truly collaborate in a social business environment. This gives them better and faster insight into relevant information (e.g., sales results). Necto s smart BI engine analyzes users behavior and understands their preferences. This way, Necto is able to recommend insights and suggest to users who they should collaborate with. Necto s Business Intelligence encompasses applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analyzing, and providing access to data which helps corporate users to make better business decisions. Necto s applications enable decision support, query and reporting, online analytical processing (OLAP) and statistical analysis. Necto consists of three key pillars: 1. Relevant BI Business users receive automated relevant data and insights. This information is contextual which makes it easier and faster for business users to understand it. This also results in significant time saving. 2. Social BI The interests of corporate users and their interactions with data are tracked and leveraged to forge social connections. This creates collective enterprise intelligence. 3. Self-service (end-user oriented) An interactive User Interface especially designed by business users for business users. This allows users to create their own views, reports, etc. and to expand usage and generate insight. It also enables significant savings in IT manpower Panorama Page 6 of 27

7 4.2 Necto s intelligent BI engine (AIDEN) The core of Necto is its Automated Intelligence Driving Engine (AIDEN). This smart BI engine learns and understands users behavior in order to generate the right insight from the data, to place them into context and to automatically deliver them for analysis and decision making. AIDEN is a new form of BI intelligence that changes the way users work with data. It understands the analytical and reporting habits and corporate environment of users. AIDEN knows what users on and how they utilize the workboards. As a smart BI engine, it serves users with the right information, at the appropriate time, and in the way they want it. Automated capabilities (context awareness, social perception and intuitive response) eliminate the need for users to understand BI modeling and technology. This frees them to fully focus on understanding their business and achieving their goals Panorama Page 7 of 27

8 4.3 Necto s Analytics Necto s Analytics allows quick and easy query and analysis via its easy-to-use interactive interface. Business users such as sales managers can quickly find the top 10 or bottom 10 selling products in their sales region. With only a couple of clicks, they can compare monthly sales figures to monthly goals, budget figures or data from the same period in e.g., the previous year. One-click insights and bubble up exceptions enable users to quickly identify both positive and negative trends and view the underlying causes. This provides them with businesscritical insights that makes that drives action including late payments, product line performance and product restocking requirements. Necto Analytics allow for quick and easy query and analysis using Necto s interactive interface. It allows users to perform advanced analytic actions. Analytics has the following advanced properties: Application properties Users can setup or adjust the language of the application, enable animation and graphic layout (e.g., font, background color). A user can set up one skin as well as different skins for different workboards. Filters properties Users can decide to hide certain filters. Furthermore, they can set up a rule for nonempty members. In such a case, the user can decide that is those cases that nothing is filled it, that it stays empty, or by default value of e.g., 0.00 will be filled in. Workboard properties Users can adjust the size of the workboard; it can even be larger than de computer screen. Furthermore, JavaScript can be inserted, which allows users to easily insert graphics, information, etc. Components properties The properties of each component can also be adjusted. Users can easily set up the refresh rate. They can also add their own buttons, making working with the workboard a unique and personal experience. Captions, titles, graphics (e.g., fonts, colors) can easily be set up for each component Panorama Page 8 of 27

9 4.3.1 Grids The grid layout consists of X-axis and Y-axis (storing attributes or Hierarchies from a specific dimension) and the data area. The axes can be reversed or rotated (pivoted) by using the Rotate button on the left upper corner of the crosstab. There are 3 types of menus: Dimension operations Member operations Grid operations It is now possible to drill down to a certain year, quarter or month, to get a summary value, or a detailed list of data. Conversely, it is also possible to drill up to summarize data, e.g., drilling up from the month level to see the monthly data summarized at the quarter level, or from the quarter to the year level to summarize the quarterly data. Users can choose from various dimensions layouts according to personal preference and needs: Standard which shows different levels in the Hierarchy; Standard with Parents Layout which also shows subtotals for the parent members in the selected dimension. If there are more than one dimension, users can see the totals for each dimension by using the Grand Totals and Sub Totals options. Tree Layout which displays the dimension s members and their parents in tree format, with subtotals at parent level; Flat Layout which removes hierarchies from the dimension by hiding the parent member headings and showing just the members for which data is displayed. Users can easily slice (filter) data; only specific members of a dimension are then displayed e.g., selecting to only display drinks from the products dimension you can choose to view only the drinks. Data can also be sorted and ranked for analysis. In case of sorting, all data in the in the grid are sorted and displayed. When ranking data, only the top X-axis is displayed. Ranked data are both sorted and filtered Panorama Page 9 of 27

10 4.3.2 Charts Charts can easily be created and help to visualize data. In addition to charting an entire crosstab, users can also select portions of a crosstab to chart. Data can be displayed using both a bar chart and a line chart. Users can easily change chart types, rotate charts and set chart properties. By default, the chart engine plots the vertical axis of the crosstab as the data series and the horizontal axis of the crosstab as the values. By using the rotate button on the chart toolbar, users can easily rotate the chart axes. The chart legend is an independent component that users can hide, change its position or resize. Users can also perform pivoting, drilling, and slicing operations directly on a chart. When drill up and down, the chart automatically refreshes and shows the drilled down data Panorama Page 10 of 27

11 Necto s default setting displays all data in the crosstab once a chart is added. Users can customize the view layout by selectively including data from the grid. There are two types of charts: view component and external charts. In case of view component is the chart an integral part of the view. An external chart is a separate view, associated with a grid. It displays the values that are selected in the grid. Flash Analytics provides a variety of chart types, allowing users to choose the most effective way to graphically represent data (e.g., stacked bar chart, pie chart, Pareto chart) User-generated control Formulas enable users to create their own information as well combine present data in new ways. Furthermore, calculations can be performed on information that is currently no in the cube. Once the new information is added with a formula, it continues to be available as data for slicing and selection Panorama Page 11 of 27

12 Formulas allow a user to define: formula name, result format for displaying numeric results, precedence to controls the order of formulas for view, formula type, items to which the formula is applied, arrows to change the order of items in the formula, and view of the formula structure. 4.4 Necto s social BI Necto adds a layer of personal knowledge and collaborative analysis to the database. Its social intelligence enables user collaboration on a specific report, KPI, chart, or even on a single data cell, inside the BI system. Users can initiate, conduct and track conversations without leaving the application. It empowers true collaboration and allows organizations to build their corporate intelligence. Of course this capability is integrated with , SharePoint discussions and other social collaboration tools, so users can always be in touch with the work their peers are doing with Necto, that requires their attention. Users can also subscribe to different data streams and register to a storyboard which automatically traces the suggested analytical process of an actual business case. Unique for Necto s workboard is the social tab on top of the screen. It is the most intelligent social tab available today in enterprise software today. It brings users preferences into their workspace environment. It allows selecting friends as well as coworkers who are relevant to a specific dataset (e.g., quarterly sales figures). The system uses an extensive database containing people, their interests, the datasets they usually use, comments, annotation and discussions they're engaged in, and the Workboards that were created. Another unique social capability of Necto is find People. Necto can take a figure and analyze who are the most relevant people to that specific figure and even gauge their influence on time-related changes to this figure. This enable users to ask who should I talk to about this and get a simple, fast and easy answer Panorama Page 12 of 27

13 Once the relevant people are identified, the user can choose if they wish to start a discussion with them in Necto, send them an or insert them into the grid for further analytical analysis. 4.5 Sources of Information for BI and data modeling Across an organization, data are stores in various formats and locations. Raw operational data are found in databases (e.g., SQL, SAP or Oracle), Analysis Services, Big data sources, reports (e.g., Business Objects or MS reporting services), applications, and flat files. Necto has an embedded in-memory engine (optional) that allows users to connect to all types of industry data sources mentioned above. After connecting to these data sources Necto can build unified model that allows Necto users to research a unified point of view. Defining the models is a very easy task in Necto it is all done through a UI (as can be seen below. No need for Scripts of complicated desktop tools Panorama Page 13 of 27

14 4.6 Automated Insights KPIs Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help an organization to define and measure quantifiable progress toward its business goals. KPIs constantly monitor changes over time. Necto s KPIs enable: 1) distilling information into indicators The KPIs serve as an indicator of areas that merit further attention. It provides easy access to large amounts of corporate information. Based on pre-defined business rules, Necto s KPIs serve as an entry point for data analysis. 2) monitoring progress towards goals As part of a KPI definition, a target or goal can easy be compared with a current or historic value. A selected KPI image in Necto shows the relative position of the KPI value compared to the defined goal Panorama Page 14 of 27

15 3) highlighting variances from targets In addition to illustrating the relative position of the KPI value to the defined goal, users can also assign colors to value ranges to enhance the visualization of the KPI. Users have complete flexibility over the value ranges and color assignments. 4) dynamically update KPIs with slicing and drilling Views containing KPIs are dynamic. Views change in real time according, to the slice or drill level that a user selects. 5) drilling through to other views This feature enables users to further explore data. Users can drill through from a KPI to another view to generate exceptions on-the-fly. The value and trend associated with each data cell is displayed according to the KPI definition One-Click Insights One-Click Insights enable quickly pinpointing trends and challenges from volumes of data by clicking once on the relevant button. The Automatic Insight feature compares current values with values of parallel period in previous year. It works on the time axis, similar to Cause & Effect (see section 4.6.7). Automatic Insight is easy to use by clicking on the Automatic Insight icon to open the dropdown menu. From this menu exception criteria can be selected, such as the difference in percentage from last year Panorama Page 15 of 27

16 4.6.3 Cause & Effect The Cause & Effect feature helps to automatically identify the root cause of a problem. The data is displayed in different perspectives, broken down to different dimensions. Previous views are saved in scrapbook for quick access Exceptions Exceptions enable users to instantly locate data which meets specified criteria. This data is highlighted with a special font style and color and/or displayed with a marker. Exceptions are applied to the displayed measure slice. Necto provides three options for defining exceptions: simple, bubble-up and custom exceptions. Necto provides simple, bubble-up and custom options for defining exceptions. Bubble-up exceptions highlight values when a condition that meets specified criteria is found in levels below the level currently displayed in the crosstab. This is useful for highlighting issues that may not be apparent when looking at the aggregated values only Panorama Page 16 of 27

17 Users can add a navigation control that will allow them to dynamically set criteria values. This eliminates the need to edit a certain exception (e.g., sales quota) each time. Defining a navigation control of type exception is easy Deliveries Necto is an intuitive and interactive BI solution that provides: Quick and easy query and analysis using analytics Boardroom-ready reports that are quickly created and formatted Interactive, collaborative and personalized dashboards. Collaboration within the BI system utilizing social intelligence. Visuals for illustrating data and business insights. Powerful and intuitive search results regardless of the data structure. Automatically delivery of the right data insights for analysis and decision making. MS Office integration (SharePoint) 2013 Panorama Page 17 of 27

18 4.7 Necto Workboards Workboards Necto s workboards enable users to create interactive, social and personalized dashboards. It provides a social tool for corporate users to discuss their findings with their collegues and learn from the experience of other users. Workboards provide users with a quick view of business status and trend lines, based on a powerful KPIs, grids and other customizable components. Using a workboard is a powerful yet easy way for users to: create easy-to-use complex analysis pages display data from various data sources enable the user to explore and analyze company information from different perspectives to make better decisions Workboards can be placed in public folders or private folders. Private Workboards allow creators to share them with specific users who can also view or edit those workboards. Creators can also opt to keep their workboards completely private; they remain the only ones that can view or modify their own workboard. Public workboards allow all users with permissions to view the content. One of the most important features of Necto s Workboards is the discussion ability. Users can discuss their findings in a specific workboard by starting or joining a discussion. It is also possible for users to form an ad hoc team in order to discuss specific information or tackle a specific issue. They can also write notes to other people and reply and share their views regarding workboard content Panorama Page 18 of 27

19 Workboard components include: Views for displaying a grid, a graph or both. Navigation which enables the end user to select a value. Text boxes that display text, such as a title or a (company) name. Images include a company logo or product images. Charts have enhanced and appealing visual effects, such as gradient colors in backgrounds, chart areas and labels. Browser displays content of an external webpage in the workboard. Ideal for incorporating data from external providers into the workboard. HTML is a powerful component to customize and add functionality to dashboard pages. Both HTML tags and Java Script can be used. Reporting services Geo Analytics for visualizing and analyzing data on a map Interactive UI Necto has an interactive User Interface for interactive visualization. This interactive User Interface is especially designed by business users for business users. Users can create their own views, reports, or other information they want and need. The User Interface allows for expanding usage and generating insight, which enables significant savings in IT manpower for the organization Panorama Page 19 of 27

20 4.7.3 Powerful search Necto s powerful search enables users to intuitively look for people, insights, context, and content without the need to know the particular data structure. This makes it easy for a user to look up data that might be useful for analysis, identifying trends and benchmarking. Users can also easily search for other users to collaborate with. With Necto s One-Click Insight, users can quickly search data to answer complex questions such as causes of a substantial drop in sales results in one region compared to the previous year. Users can easily search: by workboard name to quickly find the workboard they need (e.g., food sales in Beverly Hills) inside a workboard to quickly find information they need (e.g., sales of milk in Beverly Hills in Q3) in discussions (e.g., discussion about the reasons why the sales of milk in Beverly Hills is 20% less in this Q3 compared to Q3 of the year before) Users can also search for data at a specific level within a specific hierarchy Geo-analytics Necto enables users to use maps and visualize data on top of them in a dynamic and intuitive fashion. Users can define exactly what they would like to visualize and how, without much of the hassle of defining sophisticated geographical structures - it is all built in Necto so all users need to do is focus on the analytics and the presentation. This Necto capability was developed with ESRI and is available as a service (which requires an access from the Necto server to ESRI ARCGIS online server Panorama Page 20 of 27

21 4.8 Business Continuity Necto provides a complete web-based experience. Since it is a web solution, it does not require any installations on a PC, laptop or smartphone. Since the learning curve for using Necto is extremely short, it does not interrupt business processes. Using Necto is easy, also due to the interactive UI. Security is always a concern in companies. Necto makes it easy to setup security settings. This gives enterprises the ability to exactly define who can edit, read or view workboards, applications, users and roles. Permissions are granted to a role; users that belong to a certain role have the permissions associated with that role. Necto can be customized to fit the organization branding needs. All the main colors of the Workboard can be altered to fit the needs of the organization, plus the logo can be replaced and all the charts color schemes can be altered/ All to ensure Necto is well integrated to the organizational needs. Necto can also easily be used by remote workers using desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile devices. The easy-to-use unified BI solution allows for seamless transition from desktop to tablet and mobile. 5. Necto s Architecture 2013 Panorama Page 21 of 27

22 Necto s BI solutions are built on three layers: 1. The data sources layer consists of raw operational data from various sources, including transactional systems, big data sources, Excel spreadsheets etc. These are programs used to manage transaction-oriented business applications such as CRM, ERP and Billing. These systems are the main data source for data warehouses and data marts. 2. The second layer consists is the engines layer. It includes three engines a. The Necto application server runs the web application and the visualizations for the users. b. The In-Memory engine the analytical engine used to store and calculate the analytical calculations. It in an industry standard engines (Microsoft s xvelocity). c. The Necto DB used to store all the Necto data 3. The third layer is the intelligence layer. Here Necto manages the analytical work and understands what users are working on (analysis, reporting, workboards, etc.). This layer enables context awareness, social interaction and intuitive responses Panorama Page 22 of 27

23 Customers ranked Panorama in the top third of vendors for OLAP and dashboard capabilities, with a higher proportion of users using the product for ad hoc analysis (29%) than other users of products/vendors featured within this year s Magic Quadrant. Source: Gartner, BI Magic Quadrant Panorama Page 23 of 27

24 6. Necto s Added Value for SharePoint 3 : Microsoft developed various important components for BI 3.0. SharePoint is a state-ofthe-art framework to integrate BI with organizational content and users. Necto integrates seamlessly with SharePoint. This allows SharePoint users to have access all that Necto does, most of all its analytics capabilities, and its Social Intelligence. Main features An integrated solution running within SharePoint Integrated with SharePoint Fast Search Connects structured data from Necto to unstructured data from SharePoint (e.g., documents) Necto works within SharePoint and uses SharePoint capabilities. Necto s workboards are on SharePoint and can therefore easily be accessed by all SharePoint users. The combination of SharePoint and Necto provides SharePoint users with the ultimate BI experience. Users can easily generate and display MS Crescent reports and use MS Dynamics for customer follow-up inside the workboard. Results of the SharePoint Analysis and Reporting Services can also seamlessly be displayed in the whiteboard, providing the user with a comprehensive overview at one glance. Excel spreadsheets and scorecards by performance points (e.g., sales) are all available in the workboard for analysis and action. 3 Please check the availability of the features mentioned in this chapter for your specific environment Panorama Page 24 of 27

25 The analytical view shows users how many reports on a certain item (e.g., sales in Beverly Hills) are available in SharePoint. The user can now easily access any of these documents (spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations etc.) without the need for an additional or extensive search Panorama Page 25 of 27

26 The system not only displays the list of documents (including abstracts), but also lists other SharePoint users who are related to those documents (e.g., John Adams, sales report milk 2/28/2011, Beverly Hills). The user can access John s report immediately with just one click and does not have to go on searching for it. Users can also easily start or joint a discussion, while effortless toggling between the discussion board in Lync and the Necto workboard. PowerPoint users enjoy all the features of Necto s social media. Apart from adding users to their discussions, they can also friend them, leave comments, like certain workboards, etc Panorama Page 26 of 27

27 7. Conclusions and Recommendations Panorama Necto is a crucial business tool for organizations of all sizes and types. As organizations are looking for a BI 3.0 solution that provides them and their users with the power of social intelligence. As a leader in its industry, Necto delivers a true 3.0 solution that enables faster and smarter decision-making. Necto is end-user oriented; turning business users into BI 3.0 power users. With Necto, organizations are to make better decisions through the power of collective intelligence. Users within the organization can now think and work together, share insights and information, and learn from each other. This is a fundamental shift from a traditional datacentric approach to a social intelligence- approach. Why Necto? Delivers a true BI 3.0 solution Provides automated insights Enables social intelligence Fast learning curve for end users Delivers advanced analytics Uses interactive UI Enables users to add their own data Easy setup of security settings ( which user is allowed to do what ) 2013 Panorama Page 27 of 27

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