We refer to three “streams” of BI here at Encore Business Solutions: Reporting, Data Visualization, and Corporate Performance Management (CPM).
The world of Business Intelligence (BI) is not as clear cut as buying your groceries. To fully utilize Business Intelligence, you need to understand your business pains. So, how would you know your business pains if you are unfamiliar with what BI can provide you and your business?
To answer this Catch 22 question, lets knock off the low hanging fruit first. Everyone from a multi-billion dollar company to a mom and pop company needs Reporting and this is Business Intelligence (BI). What I mean by reporting is a balance sheet, income statement, cash flow and any other core business reports you might have.
For reporting, almost every Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application has a feature to allow you to build these reports, be it something out of the box or custom built. We have software such as Prophix, JetReports, Microsoft Management Reporter, and Microsoft Reporting Services. Each piece of software is meant to work with your ERP system to build out the reports you need.
Great, now we have your reporting needs and budgeting needs out of the way.
What is the next evolution of Business Intelligence? Well, that is Dashboards and Data Visualizations.
For this we have Tableau to assist us with an easy to use and friendly interface to build and analyze data in ways that will get the message across in your Quarterly Management meetings. Tableau helps you visually explain things to your CEO, who wants a high level overview of the products that are not performing as expected.
Tableau is an interactive and visually stunning way to present the data you have curated. For Business Analysts, it is a product that allows them to access all the data they need from one application to build complex budget to actual models to building a forecast where you can quickly see the risks and gains for a possible business move.
Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
Once you have all the reports you need the next step is Budgeting and Analysis. This is where we start looking at Corporate Performance Management (CPM), another arm of Business Intelligence. We find companies building out their Budgets and their Cash Flow Models all in Excel; versioned in 20-30 different files for every scenario to every forecast they have created.
This makes life hard for an account and lessens the efficiency of your highly skilled team. Your finance team should spend more time on analysis and less time compiling or running macros on your excel spreadsheet. This is where a centralized and version controlled Prophix will make your business run smoother and faster. With added features such as workflows and the ability to pull data from almost every source imaginable you now have a place to start looking at your line item details to drilling across into other data to really understand your business better.
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