Covering the essentials of business intelligence, explore the features & functions for an overview.
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The average business worker uses multiple applications throughout the day for productivity purposes. In fact, by mid-2014, modern enterprises used about 508 applications in their business operations. Today, that number has most likely increased due to the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, the rise of the Internet of Things and an overall trend toward digitization and automation of operational workflows.
With that many disparate data sources and the ever-compounding need for strong reporting and analytics, obtaining operational insights and business intelligence can quickly turn into a herculean undertaking, especially for mid-level managers – unless, of course, your organization deploys a flexible, self-service reporting and analytics solution that integrates with your enterprise resource planning solution as well as your plethora of productivity applications.
One such tool is Orbit Analytics. In this post, we look at some of the key ways that self-service business intelligence tools, such as Orbit Analytics, can make the day to day a little easier.
Historically, an overdependence on IT departments has been the biggest barrier to empowering management and supervisory teams to perform their own reporting and analytics. This is because data governance, which is defined as “the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security” of data, was a very IT-centric role. However, as the benefits of making more data available to the lines of business, and particularly mid-level managers, became more apparent, many organizations strived to improve the availability and usability of company data. Unfortunately, very few actually succeed at getting this just right. One of the reasons is that the quality of integration that is needed to let management teams easily work with data to create operational reports and perform the business analysis is often lacking.
It doesn’t help that support has ended for one of the most widely used operational reporting tools in the market, Oracle Discoverer, leaving many businesses with a treasure trove of reports that don’t work with their new solution, requiring months of manual migration processes or recreating the reports in a new system.
The good news is that Orbit Analytics addresses both of these issues in an elegant manner. Firstly, it supplies the seamless integration that’s needed to utilize a greater wealth of data from disparate sources, including the top ERP solutions, as well as productivity suites such as Microsoft Office. This ensures that business reports that may go all the way up to the C-suite will actually reflect the most recent data. Is also improves the accuracy of business intelligence that may be used to make important business decisions.
Secondly, Orbit Analytics has the ability to quickly and easily convert Discoverer reports en masse from Oracle EBS, along with custom applications. This makes life much easier for the IT department.
Combined, these capabilities enable the lines of business to access the data they need to proficiently handle reporting and analytics.
Orbit Analytics’ ability to integrate with a business’s many data sources gives management most of what they need to create compelling business reports about day-to-day operational workflows, and even to facilitate self-service BI for bigger-picture assessments of a business. This is a good start. The next essential component is a strong user interface that allows users to perform these functions intuitively and thoroughly.
Think of self-service business intelligence like a car. The data combined with IT infrastructure makes up the body of the automobile. Integration ensures that this “car,” which is analogous to a reporting and analytics framework, has all the parts and pieces it needs to function. But here’s the question: Who’s driving the car? Will they know how to navigate the complex dashboard, and actually take the wheel, or will their productivity come skidding to a halt as they wrangle with their own understanding of the controls?
This is precisely why UI has become such an important component of reporting and analytics. Many managers will be using these tools on a daily basis, and they’ll need to have an intuitive self-service BI system that allows them to create compelling, feature-rich reports without needing IT teams or graphic designers to intervene.
Orbit Analytics’ simple drag-and-drop interfaces and intuitive UI make it easy for managers to find business answers from structured and unstructured data sources by bringing them to life in the form of polished, compelling and thorough visual displays. Everything from tabular lists to multi-dimensional geospatial maps can be used to transform raw data into valuable business insight.
To really complete the picture, a reporting and analytics tool needs to accommodate mobile functionality. With Orbit Analytics, users can access the same data sets from multiple devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones, and from any location with internet connectivity. Because Orbit Analytics can integrate just as well with mobile platforms as it can with desktop and laptop operating systems, the user experience does not degrade.
So whether it’s the conference room, the airport, a client meeting across the country, out in the field, or from the home office, supervisors can continue to manage via mobile with Orbit Analytics. Never before have day-to-day operational reporting and BI functions been so streamlined.
Contact Orbit Analytics today to schedule a live demonstration.