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Six Signs

its Time
to Take the BI Plunge

LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THE WAY YOU MIGHT BE


MONITORING AND MEASURING YOUR COMPANY

About the auther

Youre managing information from a number


of different data sources. Youre pulling
reports once a month and think you have a
pretty good handle on whats going on in your
company. But do you really?
Or maybe youre constantly frustrated because you cant
get the data you need when you need it, and your important
business decisions always seem like they involve a little bit
of guesswork.
If either of these scenarios sound familiar, its time to start
thinking about Business Intelligence.
Besides the obvious situations above, there are a number of
red flags that signify a company is ready to take the plunge
into BI. Lets take a look at some of the six most common.

The solution
The approach

The problem
Youre thinking it might be
time to streamline your
strategic business decisions
but arent sure if youre ready
to make the commitment with
a full Business Intelligence
solution.

There are six common red


flags that signal its time to
better manage your data
so you can make more
intelligent decisions faster.

If any of these signs


apply to the way you do
business today, its time to
take the BI plunge. Read
on to see what the common problems are, and
how BI can solve them.

Peter rum is the Product


Manager at TARGIT Business
Intelligence & Analytics,
where he has served since
2006. He is an expert in the
field of BI & Analytics, and his
resume includes the project
of implementing Business
Intelligence at Tommy Hilfiger.
Peter is resident in Tampa,
Fla., but is originally from
Denmark.

1. YOURE REGULARLY CONSOLIDATING REPORTS


FROM VARIOUS DATA SOURCES
As often happens when companies grow,
organizations split each business segment into their
own, largely autonomous division, each with its own
budget and management process. But at the end of
the day, information must be consolidated from each
division into a single report in order to keep track of
budgeting, forecasting, performance, and general
company health.
This involves manually extracting data from each
system and compiling a report in Microsoft Excel. But
this is time-consuming, tedious, and open to human
error. Usually it can only be done by the IT department
so those who need the information cant pull it or
adjust it themselves.

The solution
A Business Intelligence system automatically
culls information from all available data sources
and displays data in easily digestible dashboards,
reports, and analyses. Users can then dig deeper
and figure out the trends that might otherwise be
hidden deep within data.
Share knowledge across the company and control
who has access to what. Create one report or
dashboard, and let the system automatically
tailor it for each individual or department. Or
share access to data across the company from
all business units so users can make better, more
informed decisions.

2. IT TAKES DAYS TO PULL A REPORT


If youre still pulling reports manually, you know the many steps involved in hopefully getting
an accurate representation of your company data. Theres the process of extracting the
data, manipulating it by hand based on your needs, and validating the information to ensure
reports reflect the right data. This takes valuable company time and resources.
For many companies, it takes up to three days to pull a single report. This is a major
problem. Clearly, if a report or analysis takes significant time to generate, minute trends and
KPIs are not being monitored daily or even likely weekly. If a deviation occurs, it could take
days or even weeks before its noticed and action is taken to correct it.

The solution
With BI however, all data extraction
and processing is put in the hands of
the computer. Reports can be created
with as little as one click and a few
seconds.
And thanks to tools like notification
agents, you can sit back and let the
system monitor all the data incoming
from the ERP system and notify you
when changes occur. Which leads me
to my next red flag

3. YOUR COMPANY
HAS ESTABLISHED KPIS
THAT ARE ONLY
MONITORED MONTHLY
A Key Performance Indicator isnt indicating much if its only being
examined once a month. KPIs must be measured frequently. At a
minimum, they should be measured daily.Ideally, theyre monitored 24
hours a day, seven days a week. If it takes days to run a single report,
its simply not possible to make strategic business decisions.

The solution
A Business Intelligence system will extract data
every day, multiple times a day. This keeps a
steady finger on the pulse of your company health
by observing not only the large peaks and valleys,
but any minute changes in business.
With real-time observation, its possible to drill
down to find exactly what worked and what didnt.
Did a particular Tweet spike visits to your website?
Is there a particular day of the week or time of the
day that sees a bump in sales? Knowing these
answers gives you the key to improving business
by zeroing in on what works best and what
doesnt.
A true BI solution will not only automatically
generate these reports, but as I mentioned above,
will send notifications to your desktop, tablet, or
mobile phone if a KPI reaches a certain threshold.
This ensures action can be taken immediately.

4. YOU HAVE CLOUDY


INSIGHT INTO OPERATIONS
How can a decision maker be expected to make decisions without
full insight into all the operations of a company? Take, for example,
the CMO who must justify her budget but cant quantify the marketing
dollars spent on a Facebook campaign. Or the Director or Sales who
needs quick insight into forecasts, goals, expenses, and earnings
before the weekly sales meeting. Or the CEO who wants to know
which products are most popular in a specific location.

The solution
With the ability to translate data into visualizations, getting your head around
what was once a complicated spreadsheet becomes easy. But Business
Intelligence is about more than just insight and data graphs; its about working
within the information to see where the trends begin and how to move forward
with them.
No detail is too small with the right tools. The more the picture of a company
comes into focus, the more confidently decisions can be made. Theres a
reason the OODA loop starts with Observation, and BI makes that step easy.
Move through Orientation, Decision, and Action faster and more intelligently.
BI enables users to push high level reports and analyses out to the entire
organization so everyone has insight. This creates a more informed
environment and motivates and inspires employees to reach their goals. As
Ill touch on further in a moment, you can rest easy knowing everyone in the
organization has the most updated information available.
6

5. THERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH IN YOUR DATA

Not only is the amount of available data sources growing, but so is the
complexity of the data. As a result, theres a rise in reporting experts
spending an increasing amount of time developing reports and analytics
for an extended user base within a company. With different users each
manipulating data differently, it becomes challenging to maintain a consistent
shared world view across the company.
This is especially apparent when those reports are generated in Excel
and manipulations live only in an individuals own files. These might
then be shared through paper reports, word of mouth, emails, or via the
company network, causing further fragmentation and loss of control of data
consistency.

The solution
With a full-fledged BI solution, companies can harvest
the benefits of a single reporting and analytics platform
that provides a consistent user experience across all
platforms. Changes and manipulations are reflected in
real time.
And reports and analyses can be shared throughout
the company, with only relevant data for each individual
or department shown automatically. Dashboards can
also be added to storyboards, so each department and
team can effortlessly follow the progress of ongoing
project. Never again wonder if everyone is viewing the
most current data.

6. THERES RESTRICTED
ACCESS TO YOUR DATA
Information doesnt do you any good if you cant
access it when you need to. As mentioned above,
data sources and complexity are growing at a rapid
pace. Not only is it vital for companies to measure
and monitor internal data, but they now need to keep
a reading on the external data exploding around
them. In fact, over time a companys external data
will far exceed their internal data. Companies that
dont learn from and adapt to this Big Data will be
quickly left behind.
As such, many companies keep BI in the hands of
the IT department. Generating reports and analyses
are time-consuming and complex. If you dont have a
degree in computer science, it isnt likely youre going
to master the system.

The solution
With advanced Business Intelligence and Analytics solutions however,
BI is put in the hands of everyone in the organization. User-friendly
search engines make creating reports, analyses, and dashboards as
simple as plugging in a few natural language words and watching the
computer do the work for you on any platform.
Anyone can edit criteria and drill down on data with a few clicks. And
create stunning data visualizations that make the answers youre
looking for obvious. Suddenly, everyone has an advanced degree in
BI. Just one of these red flags is strong sign that you need to start
thinking about Business Intelligence. Once youve opened your eyes
to BI, youll be surprised at the picture that comes into focus.

TARGIT IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND ANALYTICS


SOFTWARE MADE FOR ACTION
Gather Your (any) Data

Learn From Your Data

SQL, ERP, CRM

Review your KPIs against your goals.

Excel, External stats

Google Analytics, Social media

Dashboards >

Analytics >

Understand what happened,


why it happened, and whats coming next.

Reports >

Share Your Data

Storyboards >

Motivate employees by showing


progress on display TVs.

Emails >

Improved collaboration with one-click


distribution of analyses via emails.

Alerts >

Get a heads-up when metrics deviate and


action need to be taken. Anywhere.

Intelligent Wizard >

Tell the system what you want. The BI Wizard


tells you what you want to know and
remembers your preferences.

Batch report scheduling >

Build reports in less than one minute with


one-click-to-analysis integration.

Customize where your reports go and


distribute them automatically.

In-Memory Analytics >

Mobility/Web/desktop >

Analyze the crucial data that doesnt


live in your data warehouse.

Act On Your Data

Access your data when and


where you need it.

ONE SOLUTION TO COVER ALL ANALYTICS


AND REPORTING NEEDS
TARGIT is designed for your entire
organization, from the CEO who follows the
key metrics, to financial workers who need
accurate reports, to sales managers who
need performance analytics and customer
insights, to marketing who cares about the
cost of leads, to IT who wants data security
and smoothly integrated data processes.
TARGIT has everybody covered.
In fact, TARGIT is the most widely deployed
solution in the market, and customers rate
TARGIT higher in usability than any other
solution.

Thats why TARGIT is designed to get you


from dashboards and reports to analyses
with only one click.
Add to that the integration tools that
prepare your data for analysis in less than
a day and the intelligence that lets you
use natural language to ask for the report
or analysis you want. TARGIT takes you
from observation to action faster than any
other tool on the market.
TARGIT gives you the courage to act.

We believe that data should be connected


and available to decision makers when and
where they need it. There is always one
more question to ask of the data you see,
and if the answer is not immediately available
you run the risk of having to act on intuition.

www.targit.com