Businesses make thousands of decisions every day – technology and data help them make the right ones.
The so-called business intelligence (BI) solutions have been on the market for three and a half decades. One would expect them to be well known and used by all businesses around the world, but this is not the case.
Even after 30 years or more, there are still about 70 percent of business users in the business world who do their jobs more or less successfully without smart BI tools. But they would certainly be better at it if they relied on modern technology and quality data.
Who uses BI tools today? Mainly business users who make strategic decisions and have enough time to make them – at least a few hours or even days. Only rarely are these tools used by employees who have to make their decision in a minute. And these, currently “unsupported” users will be targeted by business intelligence solutions providers in the future.
MicroStrategy, the leading provider of BI solutions, has taken the challenge very seriously and has already introduced a solution called HyperIntelligence. Its great feature is that a business user receives an answer before even asking a question and without any clicks.
MicroStrategy's goal with HyperIntelligence was to empower employees. Developers were aware that most businesses do not yet use BI tools, so they found a way to get their functionality down to the products and tools employees do use every day – that is, office and email software. The best thing about HyperIntelligence is that employees do not even need to know and work with BI tools, they just use the processed information and data in an environment they already know.
The challenge of some modern business environments is also the heterogeneity of analytical solutions, as many advanced companies use several different tools from different vendors, such as Cognos, BusinessObjects, Power BI, Qlik, Tableu, and others. If you use three BI tools, you have three versions of the truth in your company. Such companies have trust issues – they don’t know which information to trust. Without trust, however, solutions are not being used.
MicroStrategy has also found a solution to this challenge. They were aware that users would not give up the use of BI tools that they had been using for years. As a result, they have opened their analytics platform to the outside world, enabling the integration of different systems and BI tools. This way, various analytical tools can gain access to refined and quality data while retaining their definitions, user rights, etc. The purpose of such implementation is for the employee to use the familiar user interface and features of BI tools, while the platform takes care of data quality.
Delivering trusted information on time is a challenge in the business environment itself, and becomes even more challenging when the company management wants to move it to the field. All providers have been working hard to develop mobile BI solutions in recent years, the best of them have been at it for over a decade. Most business users are mobile, and they want dedicated mobile applications to support their work so they can do the job quickly and efficiently – just as they would do on a desktop computer.
MicroStrategy further simplified the development of mobile applications in the fields of business intelligence and analytics. Now businesses can easily develop advanced BI applications that are readily available to employees on their smartphone or tablet in the form of MicroStrategy Mobile – Android and iOS operating systems are supported. The big plus is the fact that in addition to analysis these include support for transactions. That way, you can perform an analysis on a tablet or a phone, make the decision and send it back to the system via the same mobile application.
Business intelligence platforms are really about connecting data with business users. In the BARC BI Trend Monitor 2019 survey, which is considered to be the most comprehensive and complete survey of BI solutions in the world, the respondents ranked the following among the 20 most important features of BI solutions: obtaining quality data (1st place), data management (4th), data-driven culture (5th), preparation of data for business users (6th), data warehouse modernization (7th), real-time analytics (9) big data analytics (10th), use of external/open data (16th) and analytics of the Internet of Things (20th). Surprisingly, half of the most important features are not directly the functionality of BI solutions but belong to the field of data capture, preparation, and storage. This certainly shows that business intelligence should be considered as part of a comprehensive analytical system and that the properties of data preparation, processing and storage greatly affect the usefulness of BI tools themselves.
Each company's decision to choose a BI platform is also strongly conditioned by its requirements and needs. In environments where multiple BI solutions are used, business intelligence consolidation should be considered. Several factors, such as the huge number of reports, data silos, BI silos, etc., indicate that this is necessary. Only then a BI overhaul comes to the forefront, with centralized metadata, centralized security, and user management coming first.
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