Let’s Begin at the Beginning, What Is a Business Intelligence Software Solution?

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Businesses and organizations need a way to analyze the data that they have collected in various financial and operational databases so they can make fact-based decisions to optimize their resources to benefit the company. More profits, better long-term positioning, higher market share—whatever the goal for your business, you need to be able to understand your business and all of the things that influence it so you can get where you want to be. Business intelligence (BI) is the perfect tool for sorting out and leveraging all of that data that you already have. A complete business intelligence product has three components: a visualization tool or front-end, content, and a design and modeling platform.

startBI Visualization Tools

BI visualization tools let you do more than just open reports and present dashboards. These tools let you analyze data and discover trends, correlations, and anomies. They let you drill down, aggregate, calculate, apply ranges and filters, and add “traffic lights.” They give you the ability to create advanced, interactive graphics that let you look at five or more variables at the same time and they let you change a report, graph, or analysis at the speed of thought.

BIO Business Intelligence lets you chose from our standard view, BIOVue, or any of hundreds of viewers on the market today. You can combine viewers so your analysts have BIOVue, the work horse, and one or two of your users have a more costly tool just for advanced presentation graphics.

BI Content

Content is the “stuff” that is programmed into a BI solution when you open the box. BIO’s content includes database connectors and hundreds of business objects plus pre-configured reports and graphics, pre-defined cubes, built-in formulas, and pre-programmed folders, hierarchies, and views. Having all of this content “out of the box” will save a tremendous amount of time and effort, making your implementation faster and easier and therefore reducing your “time to value.”

While providing rich content, a BI solution should be completely customizable so it can be adapted to your company-specific needs, yet provide security to restrict access and modifications as necessary.  BIO allows you to do that and a lot more in the design and modeling platform.

Design and Modeling Platform

This is the real “belly of the beast,” the guts of the BI solution. Here is where you manage the relationship between specific requirements, the data source, the data warehouse, and analysis services. This is where you extend the solution and integrate it with multiple databases or Excel spreadsheets, modify existing cubes or create new ones, create user-defined drill-through transaction detail, add or remove attributes for analysis, and accommodate multiple currencies.

The modeling and design platform, or back-end, is generally used by only a few people. In some solutions, a developer is needed to make any customization. With BIO, many of these design and modeling functions, like creating cubes or changing attributes, can be performed by super users.

BI Options

BI is not implemented in a vacuum. Your BI solution will need to fit into your information technology structure like a puzzle piece and to do that it will need to provide options on many levels. On-premise or Cloud? In-memory or multi-dimensional? Data warehouse or direct-to-data? Mobile options, security options, pricing options, visualization options, distribution options…the more options, the better the fit.

BIO offers ALL of these options and more. Join BIO for a free business intelligence webinar to get to see how BIO business intelligence software can help you meet your business intelligence and reporting needs. And please contact me at 203.705.4648 or by email at sandi@bio4analytics.com if you have any questions about BIO or business intelligence in general.

By Sandi Richards Forman of BIO Analytics Corp., Microsoft Dynamics Business Intelligence (BI) Solution Provider

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