Category Archives: Business Intelligence

Data Analytics Myths Busted

Data Analytics Myths BustedData Analytics is sold as a silver bullet by product and integration service companies. It is perceived that to make use of data analytics, your organization will have to invest in expensive tools and set up a complex infrastructure. To support that infrastructure, you need to set up a dedicated IT team. Is this really true? If so, it might be out of reach for many organizations, especially small and medium enterprises (SME).

Let’s bust some common myths that have been created by companies selling the tools and services.

You need Big Data in order to start having analytics

Most analytic solutions are sold as requiring setup of enterprise data warehouses, data marts, and expensive data visualization tools. The fact is that you can do data analytics with as little as information in a spreadsheet. You don’t need volumes of data to get started with analytics. Start with the information you have. Analyze and start investing in data collection where it makes sense for your business. Over a period of time, as you collect more data, you can start with setting up data lakes and move on to analytical tools that integrate well with such data sources.

You need a dedicated IT team to do analytics for you

The next aspect of analytic solutions being sold is to setup dedicated IT teams to support the infrastructure and analytical reporting needs. In fact, analytics should remain a business function. IT should not be generating analytical reports for you. It defeats the purpose, because you are restricted in the way you want to slice and dice data to extract the information you need. As already mentioned, your infrastructure and choice of tools should match the information you have today.

Data Analytics is an “exact” depiction of trends

It is a common myth that data analytics should only be conducted over 100% data. For example, if you are trying to gauge customer satisfaction for your products, you don’t need to collect feedback from each and every customer. It would be great, but not mandatory. Data analytics is meant to be predictive and indicative of trends. Trends can be on smaller samples of data and can be fairly accurate as long as they are randomly collected. The real benefit of data analytics is in how quickly you can identify a trend. The longer you have to wait to collect data, the more out of sync your organization will be with the trends.

Conclusion

Data analytics is a critical tool in decision making. It is important to involve business intelligence consulting services who can guide you on what tools and infrastructure you can use to start data analytics. However, you are the owner of what kind of analytics is required. You should control that aspect. Lastly, but not the least, data analytics benefits most when the results are available in a short turnaround time. If you take weeks and months to collect data before analyzing it, your business may lose out on critical opportunities.

Use Business Analytics to Transform the Way You do Business

Use Business Analytics to Transform the Way You do BusinessSeeing and understanding data, dealing with frequent challenges, analyzing it, and visualizing it on daily basis are the key mantras for the success of your business.

Everyone from business owners, local business vendors, to doctors want to collect data, analyze it for the betterment and try to predict consumers’ behavior. But what are steps involved to accomplish this task is a very big challenge? With the help of analytics consultants who use software like Tableau, you can easily manage your data that can be expanded from your desktop implementations to the server.

Uncover hidden insights on the fly

Forget about the legacy chart builders! Now is the time to move with live visual analytics with the help of unlimited data exploration. What if we get an opportunity to use interactive dashboards? These dashboards can be used to tell stories and can give more meaning to your data. The better visuals you have, the more impact you will have on your audience. Tools like Tableau help look through the data and visualize trends, patterns that help in understanding the big picture and take business decisions. For example, one enterprise found that they took multiple initiatives to improve processes every year and execute projects better, but they were not making headway. Consultants got involved and helped capture information and analyze with an analytics data visualization tool. They soon realized where things were slipping and within a year started making dramatic progress and also track it.

Your reporting needs should be fulfilled immediately

The traditional approach for reporting needs is for a business executives to request a report from IT. Then, depending on the report, IT will take a certain amount of time to enhance their tools or software and then it will be used.

That is not the pace at which business works and decisions need to be taken.

That’s where analytical tools make a key difference. They don’t require you to go through this traditional snail pace route. Once you have a data collection strategy in place, these tools allow you to slice and dice data and create your own reports on the fly. Another key aspect of these tools is that they help you create visualization instead of just printing reams of information which don’t help you much.

You can also drag and drop reference lines and forecasts, and review statistical summaries. You can ask new questions, spot trends, identify opportunities, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Conclusion

Don’t make your decision on guesswork! Use tools that help you analyze data and take informed decisions.

6 Business Intelligence Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

6 Business Intelligence Trends to Watch Out for in 2017Business Intelligence (BI) has changed a lot over the years as it has evolved from being an IT department function to a self-service mechanism. As end of every year approaches, analysts and businesses both carefully analyze the trends that will shape BI during the next year. So here’s our list of 5 such trends to make that job easier for you:

#1. Self-Service

The self-service model of business intelligence will continue to rise in 2017 as well. After all, decisions based on some data are better than decisions based on NO DATA. During next year it’ll improve even more, riding on the wave of some meta-trends (i.e. visualization, professional presentation), which will lead to business users being provided their required data in form of social-media like streams or professional dashboards.

#2. More Demand for Consultants and Developers

As data visualization will increase we will see a rise in demand of Tableau consultants who can help business users in getting most out of sophisticated BI software. Similarly, Tableau Developers will also see a rise in their demand.

#3. Governed Data Discovery

Though self-service BI will continue to rise during the next year, we may certainly see businesses putting some control on the ways of data discovery. This will happen because this year many businesses have learnt about the problems of data inconsistencies the hard way.

#4. Data Quality Control and Management

Again, the focus on data quality will increase during next year as businesses will try to increase the trustworthiness of data being used by their employees. Companies will build internal systems to bring some standardization between data reported by IT departments and data used by individuals to guide their decisions for self-service BI.

#5. SaaS BI

Cloud is a meta trend that continues to revolutionize every aspect of business and life. It has started to cover the BI segment as well with SaaS BI deployments gaining popularity among businesses. This trend will also continue to rise in 2017 because it not only helps in cutting costs and saving precious time but also in controlling data quality more easily.

#6. Predictive Analytics

With more and more businesses already able to make sense of historical data to make decisions, the onus has now shifted to predictive analytics. Now businesses don’t want data to tell about the history alone – they also want it to predict the future. So predictive analytics will certainly find more love in BI community during 2017.

Conclusion

While there’re certainly many other BI trends that will be seen during next year, these are going to be the biggest ones among them. Therefore, you should carefully watch them out and prepare your business for them.

7 Best Practices Every Smart SME Should Follow!

7 Best Practices Every Smart SME Should Follow!

It takes a lot of sweat and blood to build to thriving business. While you are small, there are simple things which, if done the right way, can pump up your business growth. We have picked up 10 best practices that all small businesses should follow!

  1. Having a Clear Process:It should always start with a process. Whether the operations are big or small, having a clear blue print of what happens when, helps you keep a clear sight on things. Documenting exception scenarios and learnings would help you plan better for future and reduce risk of any last minute surprises. Make sure that your team understands and follows the defined process diligently.

  2. Delegate, but centralize:Allocate tasks to your team but ensure that all reports and data are stored centrally. This will help you get a bird’s eye view on everything – information flow, gap areas, places that need more attention etc. Also, this helps in enforcing a transparent work culture and reduces risks of delayed/ lost information.
  3. Get the right people:

    Identify and define your employee expectations clearly before you hire them. When you get people on board with a clear understanding of what they have to do, the results are much better. Invest time in training them and ensure that they understand your processes and follow them to the T.

  4. Define your e-mail identity:Once your processes and people are in place, make sure that your business has a corporate identity. This is something which a lot of businesses keep pushing to the corner. Having a proper business mail id and web properties like a website adds more credibility to your business name. Moreover, this reinforces the practice of doing all official communication via corporate mail, thus dipping any chances of misinformation or data loss.
  5. A for Customer Service:No matter how good your products may be, if customer service is not up to the mark, expanding business would become a challenge. Make sure that you pay full attention to even smallest of your clients. Happy customers would mean more repeat customers (without much sales effort) and goof referrals for new business opportunities.
  6. Do not miss on technology:From basic operational softwares to ERPs to business intelligence tools, make sure you are up to date on technology. These are investments that would make your business more agile, scalable and secure. Using technology, you can expedite your operations, improve efficiency and control costs, all in one go. Before you pick your tools, make sure you to talk to some experts about what would work best for your business type and then pick that technology.
  7. Build it for future:Think big. Define your 3 year- 5 year goals and act accordingly. Business challenges keep changing with time. Make sure that your processes foresee and cover some of the future pain areas and your operational system is robust enough to sustain the unexpected jolts.

People processes and technology are your tools to scale and grow your business effectively. If used properly, these will sustain your business through all hurdles.

How is Business Intelligence different from Big Data?

How is Business Intelligence different from Big DataBig Data and Business Intelligence are often used interchangeably, but technically they are two different processes that occupy distinctive roles within the same circle.  So, what is the basic difference that people fail to see?

It is more like ‘fishing in the lake’ and ‘fishing in the sea’. If your business data that is structured is not in high volume or variety then you can make use of typical business intelligence tools and techniques.
However, if the data available is of very high volume and variety (Big Data) then you need specific Big Data software tools and techniques to extract the data and get meaningful insights from it.

Big Data: Big data is a buzzword that defines a domain for any technology that handles data from various sources (mostly unstructured) involving volume, variety and velocity. The term is so complex that it needs the adjective ‘Big’ to show it’s a big deal. It is definitely not about the data or data size and is unrelated with analytics but allows the analytics to be performed on data with those properties, because it’s about technology. It is the store you visit when the refined information to answer your questions is not easily available. And just like a real library it also allows you to search for answers to questions you didn’t even know you may ever have about your business processes.

Business Intelligence: BI was also used as a tech-umbrella term for years but now has shifted to a business umbrella term for it is data-driven decision making. It refers to taking big data and transforming it into forms which businesses can use to proceed to use for actionable insights and improving business processes. It includes the generation, aggregation, analysis, and visualization of data to inform and facilitate business administration and strategizing. BI nowadays is everything that uses data to inform business decisions. For example, now we don’t have to use BI suites to have a BI team.

The terms like Big Data, Analytics and Data mining refer to some facet of how the information is gathered but Business Intelligence goes beyond the data, from the usage of the insights leaders assemble, to the processes that support data collection and their reporting,  only to aid a better business decision.

It is quite difficult to understand their true meanings because conceptually they have many overlaps but understanding the disparities can save you from many business blunders.

6 Tips to Select the Right Business Intelligence Tool

6 Tips to Select the Right Business Intelligence ToolBuy the first cereal you find on the first shelf of the store? Well, that’s definitely not how you would purchase a business intelligence (BI) tool. While BI tools are a great way to analyze different statistics and are designed to meet niche business needs, you must pick one carefully.

Here are some tips to help you make the right choice while investing in a BI tool:

  • Create a business analyst strategy.
    Buying a business intelligence tool without having a proper strategy will be like buying a car, which runs on a fuel you can’t afford. Make sure you know the answer to these three questions before you take the plunge:
    Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How do you get there?
  • Consult your IT professionals.
    Select a BI tool which minimizes the involvement of IT department instead of cutting their role. Have a discussion with your IT department because, it’s good to know about the technical details like integration cycles, scalability of the tool, etc.
  • Refuse to invest a bomb on a single tool.
    Investing in a tool is good idea, but know your limits and stop yourself from overspending. Go step by step. Test, check and repeat is the best approach.
  • Perform a Proof-of-Concept (POC).
    Check if the BI tool suits your IT environment or not. Perform a POC in your IT environment and get an idea of the functionality, connectivity, usability and performance of each Business Intelligence tool. Also check if the tool can provide up-to date information to support quick decision making.
  • Check the accessibility of the Dashboard.
    No doubt that BI tools produce dashboards that look enticing. However, make sure that your tool can create dashboards that are easily accessible and readable by your users. IT is best to go for a tool that can create dynamic dashboards according to different user roles.
  • Have a check for mobile business intelligence and security levels.
    Check if the BI tool can be integrated with the existing applications, and have the capability to show the information on mobile devices as well as transfer data on different databases without losing the integrity.

There is no one-size-fits-all BI analytics tool, and the tempting features shall not be the basis to decide which software to buy. Rather, organizations should determine which tool facilitates the types of analysis your users need now and in near future.

Don’t be a Dino. Use Analytics to Grow Your Business Fast!

Use Analytics to Grow Your Business FastAre you still sitting on your traditional registers and sheets to track operations? It’s time to switch to smart analytics, before you become extinct!

A lot of business put great emphasis on tracking and growing ROI. What they forget is that there are ways to improve it as well. Simple analytics in standard sheets is not enough anymore. What you need is a powerful analytics tool that not only gives you a clear picture of the past and the present, but also predicts future recourses.  And, what you need more is a heart to embrace these systems with open hands!

How this really works?

There are no complex algorithms to scare you away. All you need to do is plug in your data into the system and voila! Your complex stats would be transformed into interactive visuals that will help you see through things clearly. What is working, what is not, are the customers happy? How is my inventory? All of these critical questions get a clear answer in not time!

Quantify your values

Each business has some vision and mission that drives its operations. Using analytics, you can actually transform your vision and values into actual numbers.  You can use the trends shown by the analytics tools to build processes that are in sync with company values and have clearly defined ROIs.

Make Smart Decision Making a Habit

A lot many times, important deals are lost due to delayed decisions. Which client is giving me more business, vs. who is a bigger brand for me, all of these queries are handled smartly by analytics. With analytics in place you can be sure of taking quick and informed decisions, always! With more information at your fingertips, it’s easier to empower your whole team to make quick decisions and make this a habit across the board.

The Bottom line

The modern day businesses cannot rely on guesswork. The spray and pray technique does not work anymore. It’s time to make analytics a part of your work culture, a part of your daily operations. Analytics make you agile, they help you make smarter choices, they help you define where you want to take your organization, and how you should get there.

Trends that are changing the BI Landscape

Trends that are changing the BI LandscapeIn the recent years, Business Intelligence (BI) has become a very popular technology for businesses. From analyzing consumer behavior to operational efficiency, companies are using BI tools to get clear insights into all aspects of business.

With increasing demand and varying needs, the BI landscape is also changing rapidly. Below are some key trends that are leading this change:

  1. Evolution of Self-Service BI

Not everyone using a BI is a techie. Keeping this in mind, BI tools have re-structured themselves. Be it a front desk executive or a sales guy, anyone can now start using the tool quickly. A statistics or a data analysis background is no more needed.

  1. Interactive, engaging Visualizations

BI tools are all about graphical representation that is easy to understand and interpret. The higher the quality of visualizations, the better is the tool.  The new age BI tools are now ready with snippet based interactive visuals that can be generated and changed in a single click.

  1. Analytics on the go

Traditionally, BI tools were not mobile friendly. Companies thought that their data is confidential and linking it to mobiles could be an information threat. But not anymore. With more and more users getting on mobile, BI analytics are adapting to this change too. All you need is an app that is easy to use and secure.

  1. The Rise of the Cloud

Being on cloud has become a mandate for modern day technologies. As more and more businesses move to a SaaS model, BI would have to scale up their cloud connectivity.

  1. Tech Savvy SMBs

Small and medium businesses have become increasingly adaptive of BI technologies. This segment has varying needs and a standard BI system may not always work for them. To tap on to the potential of this market, BI players would have to come up with options that fit the business needs and pocket both.

  1. IoT and Real-Time Data

“The Internet of Things [IoT] will continue to bring in newer opportunities for real time data analytics and visualizations.BI tools would need to scale themselves and deliver data from multiple connected devices, real time.

Business Intelligence FAQs

Business Intelligence FAQsWith the whole world going ga-ga about the new gen business intelligence tool, there is a lot of confusion around what works and what doesn’t. The market is flooded with a number of BI products and it becomes difficult for businesses to decide which BI solutions they should pick and how to use it in the best way.

Here are some facts and FAQs that would help you decide better!

Q: How is Business Intelligence (BI) Useful for my small business?

A: Your business can use BI to give the right, accurate information to people who need it, at the right time. This means that you can take informed decisions, faster. Eventually, you can get rid of expensive and time consuming manual processes, have accurate data at hand, and be able to analyze the root cause of any problem!

Q: How do I know that my business needs a BI system?

A: When your sales, marketing and finance departments start crying for detailed analytics or miss important decisions due to lack of data, you know that you need a BI in place!

Q:  What areas can my BI solution cover?

A: Many! You can use your BI system to analyze a vast range of functions including, sales, customer service, financials, product segmentation, demo graphical performance, cost & revenue, market analysis etc.

Q: Who can be the target users of my BI?

A: Key stake holders and top management would definitely be the target users as they would need to look at the reports. Within different departments analysts and department heads could use BI to create these reports and track performance.

Q: How do I ensure the success of my BI system?

A: The success of a BI system is not dependent on the IT department. Though this is a popular misbelief, the fact is that success of BI depends largely on the people who use it, the departments that run the reports. Further, you need to construct your plan in a bottom up approach. Identify and build the basic data blocks first and then tweak them to generate reports.

Q : How is BI better than conventional MIS reports?

A: BI is much more insightful and customized as compared to the standard MIS reports. Moreover, it provides real time data every time you fetch the reports.

Q : How should I evaluate a BI system?

A: When considering a BI system, evaluate it on parameters like: ROI, scalability, agility, support, adaptability to business changes, types and number of reports, single solution for entire gamut of departments.

Hope these FAQs would help you find the right BI solution for your business. If you have any more queries, you can ask our experts at info@uneecops.com.

Are You Running Your Business Intelligently (enough)?

Are You Running Your Business IntelligentlyOf course I am! So would you think and what an absurd question is that! Yeah, we agree that all business owners put in a lot of effort, sweat and hard work in setting up successful enterprises. But there is always something more that you could do…

These are disruptive times. From technology to customer behavior, everything is changing at a very fast pace. For businesses this means that they have to remain on top of a lot of things – be it consumer trends, sales history, forecasts and a lot more. This also means that they need some mechanism at hand that enables them to be more intelligent and stay ahead of the curve.

It’s time for businesses to say hello to Business Intelligence!

From its very basic definition, Business Intelligence is all about capturing a lot of data and then interpreting it in a meaningful way for you, to be able to foresee, analyze and take better decisions. There are a lot of systems available on the cloud that can deliver jazzy dashboards for you to take a quick look at what is happening in each corner of your business, while sipping your coffee!!

But hey, Business Intelligence systems are a lot more than the colorful charts. You can use them different ways to build a better, more effective business framework. Here are some more reasons as to why you should consider a BI systems soon:

  • Actionable Info on the go: With data increasing every minute, it has become impossible for companies to manually tab and assess info that they want. A Business Intelligence software can not only record all the zillions of data that you need, but also process it in an easy to read format, whenever you need.
  • Improved Productivity: Encapsulating data manually could be a marathon task, especially for small business who do not have enough people or time for this. Having a BI tool in place would mean that your people would have more time to focus on their core tasks, while data analytics would be taken care of automatically.
  • Faster Decision Making: How often have you missed an important project / opportunity due to lack of information or delayed decision making? With a handy BI tool you would have all the info at hand to make smarter, faster decisions and accelerate your business growth.
  • Achieve what you want to: All projects begin with a set objective, but there are always instances when the final outcome is a far cry from what was expected. A BI tool ensures that such surprises happen no more. With a BI tool you can track each and every stage of a project closely and keep it on track so that the final output you get is exactly what you wanted!
  • ROI: Of course, no business investment ever happens without an ROI defined. Quick reports, reduced operational costs, effective decision making at the right time, and an improved quality of information are the key factors that influence the ROI positively. T