In most companies, multiple applications support different functions and departments. Your sales team is using CRM, while the finance team uses ERP or an accounting system. The operation teams probably use line of business (LOB) applications that are specific to your industry. Each one of those applications comes with canned reports written for the “average” user.
The “average” user
Reports generally allow you to specify ranges of dates, products, document numbers or some other parameter and then generate the report in a standard format. Data to populate the report is pulled directly from the application tables which were defined when the report was designed. The format, including columns and rows, are predetermined based on the expected needs of that “average” user.
But what if you need more than average information? There is undoubtedly information in your systems that is important to your business and that the canned reports don’t reflect.
Above average information
A true Business Intelligence (BI) solution will consolidate data from all the applications across your organization. While a BI solution can still deliver “reports” to users, it also empowers the user to look deeper—past the high level information to find causes and solutions. With deeper information, every decision maker in your organization can look at data from new angles to make above average decisions.
In practical terms, BI allows the user to:
- access, build and save views of information that are more meaningful to the user,
- drill down from high level reports, dashboards or cubes to the transactional detail behind the numbers,
- create and distribute charts and graphs that provide information that team members and management can quickly comprehend,
- see only the information that is appropriate to his/her role.
Dashboards, charts and views can be manipulated to look at any combination of data points to provide new insights into causes, effects and solutions. All in real-time, enabling immediate response with more informed decisions.
The applications that you use to run your business, house information that will help you serve customers better. By replacing reports with business intelligence, you can tap that information to respond faster and stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s talk about how you can get above average results with better information from your business management solutions.