Tag Archives: In Memory Business Intelligence

As BI market continues resurgence, technology is evolving

When studies and experts declare that the business intelligence (BI) market has experienced a resurgence, they really should include a qualifier. 

While technically true, the reemergence of BI solutions has been driven by technological innovations, many of which are completely different than traditional tools.

"The major investments in large-scale operational systems – ERP, CRM and SCM – over the past decades have given major benefits in terms of process efficiency, but they have not alleviated the need for better management information to steer the business," said Philip Carnelley, research director at Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC). 

A recent study from PAC found that the business intelligence market is worth more than $42 billion, reported Channelnomics, and it's projected to grow at about 7 percent annually over the next four years. At the same time, Carnelley emphasized that the sector is undergoing a transition period, during which purchases are shifting "from one-stop shopping with ERP vendors to best of breed to get state-of-the-art solutions."

"Keep a watching brief on the emergence of both big data technologies and in-memory computing. These are developing fast, but still immature and will require new skills and investment," Carnelley said.

The new BI: Meeting specific goals
In the past, larger systems like ERP were popular for theie ability to store large amounts of information and provide decision-makers with unprecedented insight regarding data. However, achieving success with ERP was often a long and expensive process, and the low success rates were enough to make any leader question investing in the technology. 

Business intelligence, on the other hand, has the ability to fulfill very specific goals. Rather than overhauling an entire system, companies can deploy some of these new BI solutions that cater to mission-critical needs. 

In a recent blog post for PMLiVE, Data Intelligence managing director Mike Askew discussed some of the components of successful BI plans. For one thing, newer solutions like big data have the ability to store much larger amounts of information, which will be important with the rise of cloud computing, mobile and social media platforms. 

But more and more, companies are discovering that BI's capabilities extend well beyond that. For instance, as Askew pointed out, the technology can provide relevant data in real time regarding "local conditions such as markets, supply chains, reimbursement statuses, business structures and other local rules."

In other words, BI tools can accomplish most or all of what old-school ERP systems were supposed to, without the high risk of failure.  

In-memory analytics: An amazing cost-saving tool

Automotive Resources International (ARI) is a global fleet management company that offers services ranging from consulting to risk management. Therefore, it was a problem when one of ARI's clients claimed the reports didn't provide quality enough insights. 

On the bright side, the problem never had anything to do with a lack of information to analyze – quite the opposite. Oftentimes, the ARI's database was so massive that it required too much time and resources to adequately respond to client requests.

"A lot of the reports were more aggregate because they took so long to run," Powell told TechTarget. 

Not only that, traditional analytics tools simply aren't capable of analyzing these vast databases. This is why a lot of companies are turning to in-memory analytics instead.

"We just design a report, put it out in front of the customer and then they can click it and it runs instantaneously, on the fly," Powell said. "If they want to start getting into the details and navigate down to anomalies or [data that points toward new] opportunities, they can."

In-memory solves problems of inefficiency
In a recent blog post for Business 2 Community, Terry Moffatt, executive editor for content and media production at SAP, highlighted several of the benefits of in-memory reporting, particularly when it comes to cutting costs. Citing statistics from IDC and IDS research, those advantages include:

  • Significantly better database management. This also leads to less time needed to aggregate different sources of information, which was one of the biggest problems ARI had with its traditional processes of compiling reports. 
  • IT expenditures declining dramatically. In-memory reporting has low capital costs in the short term, and over the long haul IT professionals have to spend substantially less time managing databases, thereby cutting down labor expenditures.
  • More productive IT departments. Because tech professionals are spending less time on duties mentioned above, they can reallocate their focus to areas like security, system administration and more, the blog post noted.

According to TechTarget, many companies have already achieved similar results by putting in-memory tools to work. For instance, Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting, said his company's supply chain processes run a lot smoother, as he can now "do multiple planning scenarios in minutes as opposed to hours."