Tag Archives: cloud business intelligence

Business intelligence can revolutionize small companies

Business intelligence processes, like so many other high-level IT deployments, were once restricted to large companies. This is unsurprising, as bigger firms are the ones with the on-site horsepower to run algorithms and hoard resources on-site. What if organizations could tap into an appropriately scaled system whenever they needed one, though? That idea has come to fruition through the cloud and now, all bets are off. Organizations of all sizes and industries can harness cloud-based tools to assess data and improve performance on a scale they can handle and afford. Analytics functions have become universal, and all that remains is for businesses to determine their own best use cases.

The installation process
A Business 2 Community post by BusinessVibes recently explained the steps that should take place before a small company adds a BI process for the first time. This momentous event should be handled with appropriate care, as tech deployments made without forethought could end up wasting time and money. No matter the size of the organization in question, BI begins with a problem. What does the company need to know to make itself more effective? The source stated that choices are where analytics processes shine – companies with these in place will be able to alter their decisions based on an incisive view of data.

There are many different sources of information accessible within today's companies, and this includes the small organizations. Over the course of its advice, BusinessVibes noted that sources can include supply chain metrics, online sales and more. If organizations lead using intuition, they may find themselves outmaneuvered by competitors that are deriving actionable market insights from their collected and streaming data. Today, it's important to not limit analysis to databases that aren't frequently updated. Leaders need more advanced tools that can observe changes and shifts to create accurate projections of the future progress of their markets.

The right tech
Once leaders determine what their objectives are and which internal and external information sources they have access to, it's time to unite all of these elements with a good analytics software deployment. Organizations of all sizes can benefit from BI solutions powered remotely and hosted on the Web, as these programs don't call for installation on all relevant machines. Organizations can access them sparingly when their need is limited and then scale up and deploy them widely across the whole enterprise. This is one of the key features of Necto 14, which is accessible across desktop and mobile devices.

World of Analysis on the World Cup

Similar to a world champion Olympic sprinter, the Spanish national team seemingly stumbled out of the blocks so badly that their tournament was over almost as quickly as it had started.

The spectacular and quite unexpected surprise of this year’s World Cup was the level of parody between power-house and underdog teams with a special mention to Costa Rica. They were unarguably this year’s overwhelming underdog of the tournament, surprising everyone! (ie. A bet of $1 on Costa Rica reaching the quarter final would have won $180).

We can see that there was a technical superiority of the European teams, as Europe was the continent with the most goals scored. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the South American teams were punished with more yellow cards than any other continent. However, an interesting trend was noticed when the lower tear teams were facing a superior team, they would raise their level of aggressiveness on defense in an attempt to offset the superior teams’ offensive prowess. Although the “Fair Play” award was given to Colombia, in general every team behaved accordingly during the tournament with only a few minor exceptions. Most notably, the infamous Suarez bite.

Overall America as a continent was the great winner of this World Cup in terms of teams from that region being able to qualify for the second round.

The highest possible percentage of teams (66.7%), followed by Europe (53.8%) and rounded out by Africa (40%).

There is no doubt that Germany deserved the glory! Throughout the World Cup they lead in attacking statistics. Known for being a sport that is turning into tactical and at times offers fans just plain boring games has a hope, the old way of playing is still very exciting and valuable.

Business intelligence activity is high

Information is something every company owns. It is invisible and, in the past, it has merely stayed in databases rather than producing results for organizations. The value proposition of business intelligence is that it turns this passive asset into something that leaps out and helps firms excel. As technology has improved, these processes have become more common and in greater demand among leading organizations. Soon, it could be strange for a company to not have any access to its information, and there are many powerful and potentially effective BI solutions to choose from. The tables will have turned completely in a matter of a few short years.

The rise of BI
A recent Forbes report by contributor Louis Columbus aggregated the past few months' worth of BI and analytics views from experts. He explained that there are many of these market insights at the moment because IT departments around the world are very interested in making BI work for them. These tend to break down by the specific element of data management technology in question.

  • Columbus stated that A.T. Kearney is very bullish in its projections for big data products, with a projected 30 percent compound annual growth rate that will last through 2018. That would create a $114 billion analytics industry, encompassing the hardware needed to keep this content and the software that analyzes it.
  • An even more optimistic projection relates to the cloud BI movement. According to Columbus, a survey from Redwood Capital sees hosted technology growing by 31 percent between the present and 2018. Such an improvement will make this type of technology worth nearly $3 billion on its own.
  • Some industries are especially interested in BI and big data. Columbus reported that Bain & Company sees financial big data being a $6.4 billion market as soon as next year. The traditional wealth of data among banks could soon be a huge asset in itself.

Powerful solutions
Working on an ambitious BI program means using the right type of software. Necto 14, for instance, contains a number of features that today's IT departments want. The interface can be accessed through the cloud, meaning it grants the location and device agnosticism that widely dispersed organizations need. It can also generate insights from a huge variety of inputs, delivering much-coveted big data capabilities. While the next few years look strong for business analytics, there is no reason for enterprise leaders to wait. They can purchase strong technology now and help their own causes.

Analytics is evolving (and everywhere)

Changing up an analytics strategy can happen for one of a few reasons. Either companies realize that they don't have the right business intelligence processes to suit their own needs or, even more serious, they are behind the time and unprepared. In the latter case, it's especially important to take action immediately. Analytics processes are transitioning from a possible addition to corporate strategy to an absolute necessity, and they are making the journey quickly. Dealing with this evolution requires quick thinking by IT purchasers. Act too slowly and competitors may already be too dominant to unseat, equipped with their own systems.

Yesterday and today
The VAR Guy recently reflected on the rapid changes that have come to BI in the past few years, noting that processes a mere 15 years ago were completely different from the suites deployed today. Among the several major shifts that have occurred in that time are functional advancements and improved distribution methods that have seen BI catch on with firms that never would have had access to their data. The source explained that organizations can afford BI even if they are not massive, enterprise-scale operations. This trend is at least partially due to the rise of cloud BI, solutions that can change size to fit the needs of the buyer.

Deploying business software was once an ordeal, with massive physical servers set aside to deal with the new solutions' demands. Sometimes this hardware didn't provide enough power and more was required. Other times it gave too much, meaning money was wasted. The VAR Guy suggested that with the cloud, it is now a comparatively short process to go from BI window shopper to entrenched user. This could do away with some timid attitudes in boardrooms around the world. Wondering if BI is worth it becomes a lot easier when the solutions will be ready to go in a hurry.

Using Necto to deliver cloud excellence
Panorama Necto 14 harnesses the ease-of-use features that have set this generation of BI apart from the past. The solution is completely located online, meaning users can simply access their software from anywhere. This is a far cry from the awkward installation and access procedures that defined all corporate software for years. Dealing with the same application and identical data across the enterprise has other benefits in addition to the ease of deployment and use, too. With this connected ecosystem, users can become part of a team and contribute to joint conclusions, regardless of location.

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.

Big data can help predict weather patterns

Big data can be used for many things, including weather predictions, and that is exactly what the Weather Company is doing to provide information about the latest temperatures and weather conditions to its audience. The Weather Company, which owns The Weather Channel as well as Weather Underground, announced in November 2013 that it was moving its big data analytics to a global cloud-based system that would vastly enhance its weather prediction services, according to InformationWeek. 

"Weather is the original big data application," Bryson Koehler, the CIO of Weather Company, told the source late last year. "When mainframes first came about, one of the first applications was a weather forecasting model."

Now, the Weather Company's Storage Utility Network, or SUN, pulls in about 20 terabytes of data per day. An updated report on this project from the news source revealed that SUN is collecting as much as 2.25 billion pieces of data from around the world every three minutes. Yet, there are still questions that need to be answered and issues left unresolved.

Deciding how to handle big data
Adding 20 terabytes of information to a cloud platform on a daily basis means that data analysis tools are crucial to sorting and interpreting this data. The Weather Company still needs to come up with a strategy for updating the generated predictions and properly aligning analysis tools to best valuate all the various data points.

"We're still on the learning curve on how to best tune the system, how we monitor and how we respond when things go wrong," Koehler explained to the source in a follow-up interview.

Merging the cloud and big data
Silicone Angle reported that finding ways to properly link cloud services and analytics is an industry-wide effort. The main advantage of cloud services is that data can be uploaded from virtually anywhere to one central storage area. Many companies are developing software and processes that will enhance the ability to analyze data in the cloud, making it easier for businesses to get real-time feedback whether they're examining weather patterns or determining how to market new products to their customer base. The overarching message is clear, however: big data and the cloud are a perfect match. It's more a matter of time until the kinks have been ironed out and real-time analytics can be pulled directly from a cloud hosting service.

Business intelligence usage evolving subtly

While business intelligence and analytics tactics have become securely entrenched as parts of the enterprise world over the past few years, that doesn't mean they are stagnant. On the contrary, new developments have helped them evolve. The goals that can be accomplished through data use are diverse and growing more so all the time. In a similar vein, the number and complexity of resources that can become fuel for these plans are on the rise. Tracking these changes and understanding the current state of the market may be critical for users today, and this knowledge could be the factor that helps them outmaneuver their rivals.

Technologies combine
One way to predict where BI is going and become adept with its latest permutations is to consider it in the context of the other leading developments going on in IT. In 2013 that was cloud computing, and 2014 seems to promise a continuation of the theme. In its predictions for the new year, Enterprise Apps Today singled out the cloud as a difference-making technology, and not necessarily as a replacement for the more traditional model of analytics.

The source specified that cloud BI presents an agility advantage: It is ideal for quickly getting new ideas underway and in production in a hurry. According to Enterprise Apps Today, hosted architecture could be the place to go when organizations want to launch targeted programs. When departments call for intelligence they can use, these limited operations will be there to provide the answers. Meanwhile, the main BI programs can continue to deliver the same results they traditionally have.

There could soon be a whole new BI paradigm, in which many affordable analysis processes are created at once, rather than devoting the whole budget to one effort. Enterprise Apps Today explained that this is another natural role for the cloud, with good projects surviving and poor options falling by the wayside, all without the effort or funding that would be necessary to accomplish the same on-site.

Positive growth
The continued use of BI in many different sectors, as well as industry watchers' confidence that such operations will continue in the coming months, were reflected in a recent MarketsandMarkets survey. The source indicated that the technology will grow at a rate of 8.3 percent through 2018. As the market for BI is already worth $13.9 billion, that means it will reach $20.8 billion. The worlds' companies are deeply interested in comprehending their information and plan to do so in the years ahead.

Panorama Necto Customer Testimonials

Neopharm:

“Panorama Necto is extremely easy to use and with the self service features our users can create their own private views, reports and dashboards and share the information with their teams.”

Necto has enabled us to expose relevant BI data to our major suppliers where they can analyze the data that is relevant to them. The system is extremely intuitive and most of the users go way beyond reading reports – they easily deploy a wide range of features; creating their own reports, views and dashboards

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BI being purchased through SaaS model

There are many advantages to purchasing new applications through the cloud rather than deploying them on-premise. Hosted applications can be billed as operational expenses rather than capital expenses, and add value without becoming a massive one-time line item. Companies that want business intelligence functionality immediately can add cloud BI to their offerings and watch things improve. No software installation means the lengthy adoption process is condensed, and the hosted nature of the programs dictates that patches and updates are automatic and require no input from the using firm. As the pressure mounts for more types of businesses to use analytics, the cloud will make that goal more reachable than ever before.

Survey points to adoption
According to Information Management, Dresner Advisory Services' latest cloud-centric business intelligence survey has found that adoption of hosted business intelligence is up. The news provider stated that many of the observed cloud BI deployments are not massive, corporation-wide projects. Instead, companies are giving hosted BI projects to teams with specific goals. In other cases, small firms that may not have had any BI before are making use of the low-overhead SaaS options. In each of these cases, cloud BI is broadening the scope of analytics rather than replacing a previous type of technology.

Information Management noted that the Dresner survey found a correlation between plentiful BI use within companies and the success of those programs. This means that organizations using analytics tools in more departments are seeing better results. The source also pointed out the recent trend of business intelligence use in the HR department. The 2012 edition of the Dresner survey found companies expressing little need for such deployments, but the tables have now turned, with HR professionals the most eager of all business departments to use BI.

Cloud suits other trends
The cloud is a powerful infrastructure trend in modern business, at least in part because of how well it works with other approaches like enterprise mobility and self-service application deployment. With access to software through the cloud, IT leaders can spread the functionality to a massive cross-section of employees, even when they are not working in the physical office. In this way, the cloud is yet another step on the road to agility. Becoming more efficient through IT is one of the chief goals of today's companies, meaning they can gain significantly from the use of new software in the cloud. This can include BI.

Gartner: Analytics use growing en masse

The need to grow and change is evident in today's competitive IT environment. Companies don't get to the top of their fields by doubling down on legacy processes, they evolve by embracing the new. This is evident in the fact that agile startups with new, fresh ways of looking at things often disrupt existing industries with cutting-edge innovation. The way to compete with these small but powerful entities is to become thoroughly modern and beat them at their own game. Corporate leaders are looking for technology that will help them do just that, and business intelligence may be the answer.

Wide adoption for analytics
New technology tends to either burn out or evolve quickly. Business intelligence and analytics systems have taken the latter route, according to recent Gartner research. Dan Sommer, Gartner principal research analyst, explained that the adoption base for analytics is growing steadily, with 50 percent of potential users having access to the solutions by 2014. He followed up this impressive prediction with another – 75 percent of potential users will have analytics by 2020, and the years beyond will be a march to adoption by the rest and the creation of a connected network that spans every kind of endpoint.

The massive spread of business intelligence systems can be attributed to a few factors, according to Gartner. The research firm stated that companies now have new cases for their BI software deployments, with employees who never touched the systems before getting specially-tailored dashboards that suit their functions perfectly. This group, according to the source, includes HR professionals, risk prevention leaders and telecommunications workers. There are also new ways to buy these programs, with Gartner stating that new models, including subscriptions, are taking hold in preference to one-time purchases. SaaS BI represents a new way to budget the addition of serious data analysis.

Departmental needs
The agility of the cloud could help business leaders tackle problems that are limited to a few sections within the company. According to BeyeNetwork contributor Jean-Michel Franco, this is one of the possible uses of the cloud BI model. If needs change, a new deployment is always ready to go.

Giving powerful IT technology to users outside of the normal technology infrastructure may open companies up to evolution and improvement within their respective fields. Each internal team can boost its own performance and, as a result, enhance the firm as a whole. The software solutions they need are out there in force.