Suggestive Analytics vs. Suggestive Window Dressing

One of the big BI industry players recently announced that their premier BI solution now offers ‘suggestions’. During the analysis phase, the solution suggests which charts might better be used to visualize data. This improves usability and can shorten the time that it takes to set up reports. That’s all great. But is this the extent to which a BI solution should enable self-service? Perhaps you should have higher expectations?

Think about it this way? Let’s say that you or your CEO wake up in the morning and ask a fashion conscious family member which suit to wear that day for the big meeting. That can be an important factor in presenting a professional appearance. Good for business. But what if that same CEO arrived at the meeting and had a team of business intelligence geniuses whispering all the right answers in his ear and feeding him insights exactly when he needed them? Now that would be good advice.

People suggest things to us all day, every day. Some suggestions are worthless. Others helpful. But then, there are the suggestions that make us want to hug someone. Don’t wash the car today, it’s supposed to rain tonight. Sell your shares. Hire her and you won’t regret it.

Sure, you could come to the right conclusion all the time if you had the time to research and analyze every situation. But suggestions from qualified and trusted sources are the shortcuts that get you to point B faster. In your business, faster than everyone else is often the difference between success and failure.

So, take all the good advice you can get. But when it comes to business intelligence, take my advice. There is a difference between your software suggesting the right chart and suggesting insights about huge deposits of complex data. One way your BI solution should be helping you is by running algorithms that instantly sift through multiple, complementary sources of data to find discrepancies and anomalies. That’s where the insights are hiding.

It’s no feat to organize structured data into charts where you can see obvious trends. But when operations in the field adhere to the rules of chaos, the data reflects that. But a chart or a table cannot easily display the problems that need attention if, in general, KPIs are being met. Let’s say, for example, that productivity in one division shows improvement. You would not necessarily consider drilling down into that statistic.

But, what if your self-service oriented BI solution did the drilling for you and found that there was a blip in the data which, if addressed, could improve productivity even further in the division. Furthermore, what if you discovered that this issue could be applied to productivity across all divisions? Had you been content with the presented numbers, you never would have discovered this business changing insight. You might, however, have had a nice chart.

Find out more about how Panorama Necto suggestive insights can help you achieve and retain competitive superiority.

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