Any business will create data; this data may be sales figures, cost figures, profit margins, overheads, spend levels with particular supplies and from customers. The sheer amount of data from even a small company can be mind boggling. For this information to be useful to anyone running a company or making important decisions it needs to be turned into readable information. This can be in the form of charts and graphs or even simple spreadsheets.
The information can be converted by hand or on spreadsheets but this can be a tedious and very time consuming task. An unnoticed error on one of these sheets can also create serious problems if decisions are based on incorrect information.
Most companies have a wide range of experts; from finance experts to marketing or planning experts. Each person knows what information they need to complete their job in the most effective manner and to motivate their own teams. The issue is providing them with this information as accurately and timely as possible.
Computer software is designed to make life easier for everyone. Business intelligence software will provide accurate information displayed in whichever form is most relevant for the business’s needs. The information can be accessed by any member of staff with the correct rights and can be easily kept up to date. Some of the software on the market links to other products to ensure information is only input once. This reduces the likeliness of errors and improves the speed of information being available.
There are many providers of business intelligence software and each product has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are some products which are expensive but may provide every possible way of interpreting business data. It is important to study the available software solutions to ensure the one purchased is the best option for the business.
The following are some of the best products on the market at present:
1. Corporate Technologies are a Fortune 100 company and have been an established leader in the market for many years. They offer a package which covers the main elements of business intelligence with modules in performance management, human resources, marketing, sales and supply chain management. The company work hard to ensure every customer is completely satisfied with their product. They will even work with businesses to develop a personal Business Intelligence solution which provides all the information needed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
2. SAS Institute Incorporated has been in business since 1976 and is possibly one of the oldest companies in this field. The company has earned excellent reviews and ratings from the likes of Gartner, Forrester and Telecom Italia. The software uses a mixture of spreadsheet style data and a variety of graphs and pie charts. There is also the option to have the software decide by which method the data should be presented. The data can also be shown in several different formats on the same screen to allow quick comparison and analysis. This is often essential to noticing a trend that may not, otherwise, have been spotted. The software is designed to be extremely easy to use so that time is not wasted getting the information. Instead, this time can be used to plan the business’s next move. The company offers an excellent support package and there are online forums to assist with issues or sharing tips.
3. Sisense Incorporated are so confident in their product that they offer a free trial. They have some big named customers and have a different approach to the world of Business Intelligence. Forbes has called them “disruptive” but the company states that their intention is to allow companies of all sizes and resources to understand their own data. They offer a complete solution in one product and offer the software at the cheapest price they can. The product is designed without a reliance on the need to understand coding or data scientists and is therefore simple for anyone to set up and use.
4. TIBCO Software is considered to be one of the global leaders in infrastructure and Business Intelligence software. They work on the premise that even the smallest piece of information available before it is needed is better than all the information in the world after the event. Their Business Intelligence package is known as Jaspersoft and their site offers a free trial and demo if required. There are a huge range of resources built into the software to allow users to fully understand and utilize their product. The data is taken in a variety of forms from the original input and quickly presented in an interactive dashboard. This allows the user to access important information quickly and create comparisons or forecasts with a few simple clicks.
5. Tableau is a business intelligence software provider which uses their own product. This is one of their core beliefs along with the idea that people need to change the way they see and interpret data and with this they can change both their company works and the world around them. The companies prides itself on having a different approach to other companies and are determined to make the analysis of data simple and open to all users. Installing the software takes minutes and the information can be easily shared and interpreted by users – whether internally or globally. The emphasis is on users who understand the problem the business is facing. They can then visualize the data on screen and share with those who need it.
The analysis of Business Intelligence has always been important and will become even more so. With the advent and growth of online industries the information which needs to be interpreted is becoming more and more complex whilst businesses need to know the options and solutions even quicker. These factors are combining to make it extremely difficult for any business to fully understand their data without such a software package.
The above packages may all take different approaches but they are all excellent products which can provide a business with the competitive edge that it needs to survive.