1 June 2017

Business Intelligence and Analytics

In a scenario where detail can make the difference between success and failure, finding tools that make managers capable of finding the best way to guide their company's growth is a key asset.

The competitiveness of the business world reaches levels never before seen. Companies, whether small or large, suffer from the constant need to maximize their operations so that they remain attractive to the market and achieve the best results.

New Analytics, Big Data, Cloud and Mobility technologies are changing business and delivering new business opportunities. However, it is necessary to create differentiating factors that make companies competitive, which is to create bridges between what the business seeks and needs, and what technological systems can effectively deliver.

In this way, the impact of digitization has created new and important challenges that require organizations to reinvent themselves. The ongoing technological changes, despite their undeniable benefits, may be an unnecessary distraction. Mobility, the Internet of Things, Big Data, the Cloud, and many other terms have created a new problem - how to deal with too much information?

How to unravel, in the middle of all this information, the one that is relevant of which is accessory? What is the best way to present these data so that you can easily identify areas that need attention in advance?

Business Intelligence (BI), like Business Analytics, are tools designed and designed to help organizations effectively know and develop their business. Knowing the performance of the business and predicting its evolution are fundamental aspects for informed decision making. This concept is not exactly new among organizations, it has long been playing a decisive role in the strategy of all companies wishing to become competitive in the market.

Decisions based on intuition rather than knowledge are outdated. Currently, BI solutions, which provide new algorithms, offer greater business insight, and enable much of the predictive and prescriptive analysis to provide predictions with very significant accuracy.

Adopting Business Intelligence offers far more to your business than you can imagine. There are countless benefits, both direct and indirect. Full control of information, coupled with analytical data management, provides a huge range of variables that help you choose the best path to a strategy. Knowing the company landscape in different perspectives makes the chance of error significantly reduced.

This means that it is easy for a manager to understand the importance of developing a good business intelligence system in his organization, based on the premises of his strategic and business needs, ensuring that he can operate and act with maximum levels of effectiveness and efficiency.

In Portugal the companies have adopted internal measures that go towards developing their Business Intelligence mechanisms to solve the problem of the information need for decision making.

It is essential to ensure that technology managers have the necessary context information to enable them to identify the most effective for the intended purposes. With the right framework, those responsible for business intelligence can communicate to management all the wealth of data that allows them to compete in an increasingly competitive market.

Thus, the focus of organizations must be on business and management effectiveness, keeping a close review of the changes that occur in their environment, but also on the constant monitoring of the operation. For the latter, clear, current information that allows quick action is crucial. A decision based on incomplete information or that does not reveal the fundamental aspects can have very negative consequences for the organizations, in the different aspects, of the business to the allocation of resources, to the management of the professionals or of several other natures.

But... How to ensure that the information presented takes into account all the variables of the business and reflects its complexity and the most relevant dimensions? For this, and for the final result to be the most relevant, it is essential that technological leaders have access to management priorities and objectives. In this way, they will develop a dashboard solution with a unique view of the organization's performance, with predictive functionalities that are a fundamental support for management.

The traditional business intelligence model is often associated with providing dashboards to organizations' executives and reporting mechanisms that allow them to monitor key performance assumptions and metrics identified in planning. Dashboards are an extremely useful tool for the ability to aggregate information and create a warning mechanism when any of the defined indicators changes.

In this case, a thin-client environment is sufficient for the transmission and actuation of this information, particularly useful for mobility situations. But it is common that an analytical capacity of this same information is needed, that is, the ability, from the aggregate information, to look at the detail of each of the available data, for a more objective analysis.

This is the natural scope of business analytics tools, essential for operational managers in organizations, whether these product managers, commercial or marketing directors. These managers need a rich solution that supports interactivity and in which they have the ability to find the answers to their doubts autonomously, without needing to ask for support from the IT manager.

Dashboards are an indispensable solution for companies wishing to compete in current and future markets, taking advantage of new technologies that are at the origin of digital transformation. The benefits to the management include the standardization, integration and valorization of the diverse sources of data within the organization, the easy visualization of the pertinent information for the business, the integration of a component of analysis that allows to extract the most relevant indicators, the possibility of sharing with the other members of the team, multiplatform access and in any place, the permanent update and from any place, among others. All this guaranteeing the security and integrity of your data.

However, sometimes we come across solutions that are impractical and very expensive. At other times, we find solutions implemented by departments completely disconnected from the rest of the organization, because somewhere in the organization, decision makers are not aligned with a common information management strategy. Thus, there is no great competitive advantage as a whole, but only in this specific sector where this solution was implemented.

It is indeed a mistake to think about choosing a technological solution before thinking about business needs. The process must always be the other way around, that is, we must first analyze what kind of information we intend to have for decision making, what means to obtain that information, what areas within the organization need those systems, and finally, how we will make this information available to decision-makers.

A Business Intelligence solution can never be seen as a commodity or as a luxury, but rather as an essential part of organizations' strategy to best manage their information that is stored on their systems but which are difficult to access.

Does your company make decisions based on accurate data?

Opinion article published on media Risco – June, 2017

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