Tag Archives: Business Intelligence News

Data visualization: Empowering when done correctly

Becoming a business intelligence leader, in the simplest possible terms, consists of setting up an application that suits the company's purposes and the needs of employees. The challenge comes from determining just what those requirements are and seeing through marketing hype to ensure that the chosen solution can really deliver on its many promises. This is an ongoing struggle for today's companies, torn as they are between old-fashioned processes that only gave limited views of structured data to certain employees and the future, which will introduce new information types, user profiles and application features. Fight through the confusion and the results could be thrilling.

The best way to visualize
Today's BI tools often go beyond the classic model of submitting analysis requests to be handled by experts in the IT department. Instead, self-service BI has become the order of the day, with graphic dashboards empowering average users. Consultant William McKnight recently gave some pointers to TechTarget to help organizations walk away with the best possible application for their unique purposes. He explained to the source that the best value comes from software that is not forbidding for business department employees to learn to use. The concepts behind BI are complex, but the best apps are available to any user who needs insights quickly.

As for the types of visualizations such users should generate, McKnight preached the importance of simplicity. He stated that it may be tempting to create extremely complex illustrations, but that this also bolsters the chances that something will go wrong. A misplaced data point could undermine the value of BI and set programs back significantly. For that reason, McKnight recommended working with less than the maximum number of inputs and ensuring that the content is legible and understandable. Just because users can commit heavily to complexity doesn't mean they should, at leas at first.

Modern BI tools
When prospecting for the best new BI tools to suit a company's needs, leaders should ensure every feature they may want is present. It would be a shame to have to try out a new solution a mere year or less after making a decision. Necto 14 contains the visual elements that today's organizations crave, delivering value through views that can be customized to suit employees in any role. From the marketing section to the CEO to the IT experts, all sorts of workers can unite around these dashboards. Getting the optimal BI experience is all about showing judgment and selecting carefully.

Advanced health care cases show value of visualization

Business intelligence has become an integral part of a number of industries and fields. Even organizations without much previous investment in IT can benefit handsomely from transforming their performance with the use of analytics. Observing how far BI has come in heavily regulated fields such as health care and finance can serve as a useful barometer of these programs' power and effectiveness, including when dealing with sensitive or difficult data. Even companies in very straightforward lines of business can take some inspiration from health care BI. After all, these are the processes that users turn to when dealing with hugely valuable data in life-or-death situations.

BI in extreme circumstances
Health care programs incorporating a huge amount of analytics data are becoming popular as the technology catches up to users' ambition. According to a recent Health IT Analytics report, visualizing information is important for these programs. This means presenting detailed and attractive graphics that are easy to use rather than deploying solutions that are only comprehensible by highly-trained IT experts. These interfaces have already reached some highly technical and in-depth medical research, according to the source. For instance, an ontology program created at the University of Maryland has applied data visualization to genetic data, highly complex and powerful medical information.

The idea of visual representations of BI information is to unlock the secrets that may stay invisible if data is only a dry stream of numbers. This, Health IT Analytics reported, is the role it could fulfill in many health care contexts. The news provider pointed to the use of electronic health records which, once placed into an analytics context, could show physicians if a particular treatment has caused negative reactions across a whole population. These facts could become visible through graphs and charts rather than raw numbers, helping doctors act quickly and ideally institute changes to save lives.

Learning to select the right technology
There are many different BI solutions available for business use. However, their feature sets can diverge drastically. If IT leaders want to ensure that they get the features they crave, visualization among them, they will have to select carefully. This is where Necto 14 comes in. This tool is based on taking a huge quantity of information form a variety of sources and placing it into relevant and resonant visual forms that can appeal to a huge variety of employee roles. From the boardroom to the IT department to marketing and beyond, personnel can examine valuable internal and external content.

Role emerging for data visualization

Working with business intelligence and analytics has become a multi-faceted role in recent years. No longer are these tools simply a way for specialized teams within the IT department to report numbers on demand. They have become more accessible and relevant to business users, dealing out the same results but without the middleman in IT. This transformation has been accomplished through the addition of some key features, with data visualization taking an important place among them. If information is presented in a format that is tailored to a particular viewer, there is a far better chance that he or she will get optimal results.

The visualization process
TechTarget recently prescribed some considerations companies must make when searching for a visualization element to empower their BI. The source explained that there are a number of different employee roles that should be involved when businesses choose their new software additions. For example, consultants Rick Sherman and William McKnight emphasized to the source that it's vital to have the leaders of the BI program on hand when selecting these solutions. However, the decision should not be made in a vacuum. Sherman told the source that the software's eventual operators should get a say, and that these individuals can exist in many departments throughout the power structure.

What are all of these diverse personnel looking for when they pick visualization processes? McKnight told the source that mobile functionality is important, as is a diverse array of chart types. If software conjures up the same visual aid every time, it may be poorly suited to the more complex questions it will be called on to answer. Better, then, to be flexible and capable of a number of in-depth projections. McKnight dismissed the idea of "your basic line or bar charts," explaining that today's business world requires many more options.

One powerful option
When selecting a solution to visualize data, it's important to ensure it will work within all the using company's many different requirements. For this reason, Panorama Necto 14 may be the answer. Rather than a bolt-on addition to an existing analytics program, this is a full BI suite containing visual features. Its dashboards are viewable across a range of device types, too, meaning that the diverse charts will be as useful to the CEO wielding an iPad as to the IT department with its high-powered workstations. Selecting a BI suite shouldn't be carried out lightly, which means ensuring that all the most important features are present.

Visualization can help translate analytics insights

What good is data if no one can understand it? Business intelligence suites were created to answer that very question, turning huge amounts of corporate data into useful material for decision-making. However, in some cases, processes may not go far enough. Answering business questions with a string of incomprehensible figures won’t solve anyone’s problems. Organizations need to find a way to not only process a huge range of information sources but also present the results in a coherent and sensible way. Data visualization techniques, employed by some of today’s leading BI suites, may be the answer to this quandary, representing an evolution of the analytics concept.

The case for visualization
ARC Advisory Group recently explained that difficulty of use is keeping some businesses away from using BI. This is a huge problem, as the technology can provide expert guidance and seems on pace to become an industry standard. The source went on to note that there is little time to get users up to speed on solutions that aren’t immediately resonant. If the technology fails to catch on at many levels, it may end up having a minimal impact on company culture. ARC explained that this is where interactive graphics come in, resonant to look at and updated often.

The perception of analytics without a visual element may be poor. According to ARC, managers may not prioritize learning to read a stream of raw insights from BI processes that are not user-friendly. This makes sense in a way, as there are many things for these leaders to take care of today. Still, if there’s one source of information that should be heeded, it’s the output from BI. Graphical interfaces and vibrant visuals can take several forms, and companies should choose the one that’s right for them. While ARC suggested a few that were limited in either functionality or industry, other solutions are more universal.

Getting the right visual features
One major benefit of visualization is the potential to expand BI use well beyond power users and place the software in everyone’s hands. Solutions such as Panorama Necto 14 leverage these techniques to this end. The software can deliver a number of different selections of data in a visual format, either tailoring the graphs to the specialized needs of business department staff members or the more trained eyes of the longtime analysts. There are also ways to ensure that many employees see a current infographic, allowing leaders to spread their findings to every department that can benefit from them.

Does Business Intelligence Continue to Grow in Health Care Industry

Business intelligence can be put to use in any industry, as it has near-limitless applications as long as there is data to be analyzed, and it is growing increasingly popular among health care facilities. The latest market research report from MarketsandMarkets indicated this sector of BI is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall BI market. As more health providers begin to take advantage of data analysis, it is likely that they will find even more ways to put collected data to work to improve everything from patient care to hospital administration and cost-savings.

Health care market embraces business intelligence
A report released in February by Research and Markets predicted that the overall BI market would see a compound annual growth rate of 8.9 percent between 2013 and 2018. While this is impressive, the health care sector’s expected growth outshines it dramatically. The MarketsandMarkets research found that the market for BI in the health industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8 percent in the same period.

It’s likely that the health care industry will show more interest in mobile BI and cloud BI, as technologies in the field are expanding in these directions as well.

Putting data analysis to work in health care field
“We, as a society, need to start creating our own metrics for how health care quality is defined,” said Dr. Anil Jain, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Explorys, according to InformationWeek. “In the sense of looking at costs, we know where there’s avoidable cost in health care. We just need to get folks the data they need to avoid those pitfalls.”

Analyzing patient data can give medical professionals insight into everything from daily emergency room admission rates to rehospitalization risks that can help them improve care delivery, cut costs and create a better environment for doctors and patients. InformationWeek highlighted the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which used data analysis to predict whether patients would need long-term care, emergency services or repeat appointments. By examining the patient data, the hospital was able to improve patient care.

Health care professionals interested in getting the most out of data analysis might want to look for a BI solution like Necto 14. Panorama’s latest software offering puts the power of analytics into the employees’ hands. The dashboard is intuitive and user-friendly, which makes it easy for anyone to collect and manipulate data, even if they are not data experts.

Businesses turn to collaborative BI to get things done

There are plenty of advantages to employing business intelligence tools in your business, and it can be even more useful when various members of the company can collaborate on projects. Of the many trends evolving around business intelligence, collaborative BI is growing rapidly as more and more enterprises embrace the team approach to data analysis. As the expression goes, two heads are better than one when it comes to putting data analytics to work for a business, as teamwork can allow good ideas to flourish whether choosing which data to use for a given project and how to interpret the analysis.

Interest in collaborative BI grows
Dresner Advisory Services recently released its third annual Wisdom of Crowds® Collaborative Business Intelligence Market Study, and the results made it clear that collaboration is key when it comes to analyzing data with a BI solution. The survey revealed that this aspect of business analytics was important to more than 60 percent of surveyed businesses around the world, according to Midsize Insider.

“… this year there is a rebound in interest in collaborative BI, placing it above such high-profile topics such as big data and social media,” Howard Dresner, the organizations founder and chief research officer, explained. “In addition, we see a much closer alignment between the tools and capabilities that users want and the features and functions that vendors are incorporating into their offerings.”

Harness benefits of collaborative BI
The ability to combine analytics with social applications and crowd-sourcing opens up a world of possibilities for using data to improve operations and strategies. Working with others on a project involving data can make it easier to interpret the information and determine the best way to use the analytics to make changes to current and future projects and operations.

It helps to have a BI solution that makes collaboration easier, and Panorama has software that can satisfy this needs. Necto 14 takes teamwork to the next level by offering options for collaboration along every step of the process from determining what raw data to use to analyzing that information to organizing it with data visualisation. The software allows multiple people to work simultaneously on the same projects, as they can make notes on various infographics, charts and other data and share instantly with their team.

How do you know if your company is ready for business intelligence?

Companies in virtually any industry can benefit from business intelligence, whether they want to improve their marketing strategies, enhance overall operations or monitor production activity. There is some preparatory work that will need to be done before a firm can start effectively collecting and analyzing data with business intelligence tools.

Analyze your business’s BI readiness 
Smart Data Collective recently surveyed more than 60 chief information officers from U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses to find out how various companies were using business intelligence. The researchers asked about each company’s current BI platform and usage and calculated their scores on a scale of 0-100, then categorized responses into five categories from lowest to highest levels of BI maturity.

The results showed that 77 percent of respondents were still in the preliminary stages (nascent and low) of BI development. Nascent companies have either made plans to invest in a BI solution or were just beginning to establish methods of collecting big data. For those that fell into the low category, basic data analytics were readily available, but typically only for a select number of departments within a company.

Determine how you could put BI to use
The survey also revealed that one-third of businesses using BI do so to examine data from the past. While examining the details of sales from the previous quarter can provide insight into how well the business did, companies can also monitor real-time data to get more up-to-date information. Panorama’s latest BI software offering, Necto 14, can easily pull the latest information from a database. The ability to see and analyze data in real-time makes it easier for companies to implement changes when strategies may not measure up to expectations.

Make BI available to everyone
Data analysis can have many uses that span across a company’s operations, so it would make sense to use a BI solution that every department can put to use. Logi Analytics reported that since some employees may not be at all familiar with BI tools, such as dashboards and reporting, companies should select software that is accessible to any user regardless of their familiarity with business intelligence. Working with raw data can be overwhelming for people unfamiliar with IT and data analysis. Necto 14 makes it easy for any employee to determine which information they need, and helps them analyze and organize the information into data visualisation through the use of clear, concise infographics.

Business intelligence report shows slow but steady growth

There's no doubt that business intelligence is becoming an increasingly important aspect of running a company successfully, and the latest reports only highlight this growing trend. Gartner recently released a report on BI growth in 2013 ahead of the annual Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summits taking place in May and June in Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Mumbai.

Slowed growth still bodes well
"Overall, just like last year, the market is shifting gears, which is keeping growth in the single digits," said Gartner's research director, Dan Sommer. "At the same time, paradoxically, we're at the cusp of a series of tipping points, which will facilitate unprecedented interest and adoption of analytics."

In 2012, the BI market brought in $13.3 billion in revenue, and 2013 saw an 8 percent boost to $14.4 billion in sales of BI solutions, data analysis tools, mobile BI and other software. The report also showed that analytics is moving away from silos, making it easier for companies to share information across departments and even with other businesses.

Handful of factors slowing growth
The report highlighted companies' ability to harness big data for analytics purposes as a major factor that slowed growth of business intelligence last year. According to Gartner, while big data saw gains in 2013, the investments were not made in traditional areas of business analytics, such as silos and infrastructure.

IT budgets also held many companies back, as funding for these departments remained stagnant throughout the year. The majority of funds spent on IT (59.5 percent) went to BI platforms, while advanced analytics had the least amount of funding with just 7.5 percent.

The right software makes the difference
Business intelligence can be a daunting prospect for companies looking to expand this useful technological tool beyond their IT departments. Panorama took this into consideration when designing the latest product offering, Necto 14. This BI solution provides numerous functions and features that help users piece together information without needing an IT expert by their sides.

With Necto 14, employees can form teams and solve problems together. The software not only offers collaborative tools, but it can suggest which data users should be looking at depending on the parameters of their assignment. Then, they can easily turn the analytics into infographics that lend themselves to presentations, making it easier to explain a new policy or strategy that was formulated with business intelligence tools.

Panorama launches latest BI solution: Necto 14

Panorama will release Necto 14, its latest business intelligence software offering, Wednesday, April 23, and the new features and services will provide more advantages and better insights for businesses. With an intuitive and modern user interface, simplified dashboard reporting, self-service tools and clear and concise infographics, businesses can get more out of data analysis. Necto 14 is designed to be easy to use for anyone who needs access to data, whether they're data experts or not. This is perhaps the biggest innovation of the new software, as Gartner research has shown that about 71 percent of users in organizations don't have statistical backgrounds and have never used BI tools before. Necto 14 is setting out to change that.

Here's a brief overview of what Necto 14 has to offer:

Governed business analytics environment
When users access the Necto 14 app, they have the ability to pull data from a number of sources. Thanks in part to a Web-based platform, users can all gain access to the same information, creating a "single version of truth."

Visual displays of data
When users are not familiar with statistical charts, graphs and other data, it can be difficult to understand business intelligence findings. Necto 14 helps users take this information and convert it into infographics using a library of graphics and a customization option. These images are not static either, as they link directly to live data, making it easy to monitor aspects of a business in real time.

Automated analysis and recommendations
Necto 14 makes it even easier to understand how different variables affect certain aspects of a business, allowing users to explore the cause and effect of making business decisions before they implement any changes. With Necto Notifier, users can set up the software to alert them and others when there are any changes. When someone needs assistance understanding data, Necto 14 can make recommendations about where insights may be found and help point users in the right direction.

Collaborative decision-making experiences
The self-service BI portion of this new business intelligence software allows users to work together to analyze and learn from business intelligence data. This function gives users the ability to create teams that can work together on the same project. Each individual user can add his or her input to the task at hand by way of making annotations in the software along any step of the decision-making process.

Panorama is a trusted visionary and thought leader in the world of business intelligence, and Necto 14 promises to be an innovative product that will bring business intelligence to a broader demographic of businesses and end users.

Air travel businesses embrace business intelligence

Business intelligence can be used to many ends, including enhancing the consumer experience, and a recently released study revealed just how the data analysis tools can be put to use for airlines and airports. SITA, an air transport IT and communications provider, looked into how air travel companies and airports are using business intelligence to enhance various areas of operations. The study, "Smart Thinking," revealed that 90 percent of airports are embracing a BI solution, while every airline involved in the study reported the same.

"We asked airlines and airports to measure themselves in four categories of business intelligence best practice for this index: data access and management, infrastructure, data presentation, and governance," SITA director Nigel Pickford said in a release. "Our analysis shows that on average, this industry is only halfway to achieving best-in-class, and further progress is needed."

Improve business intelligence reporting
Perhaps one way for airlines and airports to get the most out of business intelligence and data analysis is to invest in software that offers self-service BI and mobile BI options. These tools make it easy for anyone, not just IT experts, to access, manipulate and interpret data. Mobile analytics can help improve consumer-facing services such as flight statuses, security wait times and even directions to help them easily find airports and the correct gates, according to Bangkok Post.

Areas of focus for customer-facing BI
While flight status updates may already be widely prevalent for end-users, the study found that this service will be even more prominent by the end of 2016, becoming available for the majority of airports and airlines. In that same time frame, many will focus on adding other services – 79 percent of airports are looking to provide passengers with updates on security wait times and estimates on how long it will take to reach their gates. Additionally, 61 percent of airlines will push forward on baggage status notifications.

Long-term effects of offering these services
By harnessing a BI solution to improve the air travel experience for travelers, airlines and airports may also be able to gage the success of such initiatives. They may be able to track the amount of individuals taking advantage of these services to get a clearer picture of what strategies may be more successful than others. Say, for instance, that an airline offers mobile BI that lets passengers know if their flight status has changed. Data analysis could pinpoint how frequently consumers are using this service. If there is a decline in usage, it could indicate that the technology is not as accurate as it could be, giving companies the opportunity to make improvements in real time.