The Business Intelligence market, as we see it, is the following:
Disconnected Data and Applications, Repeated Manual Tasks, Slow Processes
Most companies have significant problems integrating data between end-user tools such as Excel, Access, graphical/dashboard tools, and various others. Data exists in one platform, but needs to be consumed in different platforms. Regrettably, data is often transferred manually. Value is also added manually via aggregations that are performed in Excel. Now, once that value-added data is consumed or has fulfilled its one-time purpose, the manual effort used to create it can no longer be leveraged and the process needs to be repeated over and over.
Performing manual data tasks numerous times is tedious, unproductive, and terrible for morale. Employees who perform these tasks are educated business people who could/should be using their brains to help drive the business more productively; but instead they are crunching numbers all day.
Unproductive processes result in frustrated upper management. It takes employees forever to answer management’s questions because of the data’s lack of responsiveness and flexibility, which hinders management’s ability to make smart effective business decisions.
Connectivity, Collaboration, Calculation, Productivity, and Speed
Bringing connectivity to the BI market is absolutely essential. Businesses cannot afford to continue in applications that are not connected or that are super laborious to translate information from one platform to another. Olation, for example, is a new and innovative technology that allows collaboration between end-user tools and traditional data sources. With Olation, the IT Department and end-users work together on the same data set, while using the tools they are most comfortable using. This is new because typically these two groups within an organization are at odds and don’t very well understand each other’s needs.
Additionally, to solve this problem, the connectivity between relational data sources (IT) and Excel (End-users) is coupled with a powerful mathematical calculation engine that makes business data modeling faster and smarter. This means end-users already have aggregated, value-added data when they are preparing reports. This frees up their time to analyze the data and use their brain power to find patterns or pathways to profitability in the data. It also makes people more valuable and empowered as employees, which increases morale and good feeling about their jobs.
Because end-user tools are connected and the data set is shared, limits on collaboration and productivity are lifted. Getting updated numbers is no longer a problem, and data calculations are already performed. End-users, like financial analysts, can report on findings in a faster, more productive manner, which keeps the boss happy. And because end-users are able to get most of what they need themselves, there’s far less burden on IT for report generation.
When everyone in an organization is able to get hands and eyes on the data they need, when they need it, in in their preferred application, it makes for a much happier workplace. Not to mention the ROI with such a system. Our customers typically pay for their implementations out of the money they’ve saved in increased profitability.