Source: Cloud Data Integration Software | Matillion
Business intelligence can be completely transformational if done correctly. Users can get access to self-service reports which in turn creates a faster and more efficient timetable. Well-designed data warehouses can reduce errors and possible conflicts in the information found. All that needs to be done to make sure that this happens is to build a good business intelligence system.
4 Factors of Successful Business Intelligence
- Don’t Focus on Every Type of Data – Focus on one subject. Which area would benefit the most from getting better reports? Work on that area until fully improved, then move onto the next area. It’ll help to build your reputation among the competition. It seems like will help to lower your costs and shorten timelines also because of the more streamlined setup.
- Ease of Use – The front end needs to be with no complicated, less understood technical terms. Along with this creating ease of use, tables help make finding data easier. And then reports can be built this way if not using self-service options. In other words, have a search option available so that people can find data through a browser instead of through programming alone.
- High Performance – Try using modern technology when building your business intelligence system. in-memory analytics, columnar databases, SSD disks and advanced caching will help to speed up your system, therefore making all users happier to do the work.
- Choose Technology Carefully – Don’t just go for the one that’s bundled to what you have already. Make sure you check out everything and all your options first before deciding to go for the easiest. Consequently, you might get more bang for your buck and save at the same time.
4 More Factors to Consider
- Understand the Cost – When you see the license it’s really only about 20% of the cost itself. The other 80% includes hardware, consultancy, and software to run the databases and operating systems in some cases. It’s not always this way, but it’s something to consider when shopping around.
- Advocates – Who are your domain experts? They can become your advocates as they really have a full understanding of what your reporting requirements are. They can test the numbers and turn in the reports correctly. Because of this, they are your best bet for getting the rest of the workers to accept implementing the new system more quickly in the work area.
- Reconcile – You have to make sure that your numbers add up correctly, or you’ll have your users losing faith in you and your company. Ensure the reconciling of the numbers back to trusted sources in order to make sure everything adds up correctly. If including calculations allow a way for the user to find out what they mean through something like tool-tips.
- Involving the Executives – Business intelligence works much better with involving executives then not. Because of this, the executives can make decisions easier and more quickly, along with allocating resources to the right places.
Involving everyone in the process of implementing a new business intelligence system is a priority. It’s like anywhere else. It the worker doesn’t see interest in the executives and managers, then they aren’t going to want to work with it either. Consequently, it could cause you problems in the future and a loss of money. To deter this from happening, make sure all are on board to support implementing the new system. Focus on small areas first to improve, then move to other areas. This will help you to not spread yourself too thin. Make sure that the system is put into action is easy for everyone to use and is high performance. Otherwise, people will really hate to work with because it’s too slow. It won’t be cheap to build either, so make sure you shop around for what you really need instead of what’s there. If you do this, your business intelligence system could become one of the best.
The first thing you should do after buying a product for the business analysis solution is to verify if the software will work with your vision. Will it do what it is supposed to do? When it is being verified the testing team who can be anyone from developers, QA and business analysts work with the software to make sure that it really works for what it was bought and/or created for. There are many phases to be completed in order to ensure the new product will work well with your system.
The Test Phases
The Smoke Test comes before anything. It’s a pretest to find out if full testing can begin. This test shows simple failures that could keep further tests from being executed in the next 3 phases.
- Unit Test: Here every unit is tested separately to find any possible bugs before moving on. It’s another name for the smoke test. Don’t just have the development team test it here, but others to so there will be unbiased testing completed.
- Integration Test: This part makes sure that all the individual parts can work together; either as a subsystem or linked units. Here you would want to find problems with how components will work together in the software architecture design. This includes multiple levels of integration where subsystems might be brought in to see if they would work, then attached to larger subsystems when in compliance. The development team and possibly business analysists work here.
- System Test: Here is where problems are found with how the new system meets users’ needs. It’s ran through the entire system, auditing everything from linear perspective’s. It’s the last chance before turning over to a user acceptance test, and verifies if the software meets original requirements. The business analyst works here for the most part.
Other Tests to Be Completed
There are numerous other tests that have to be completed during these 3 phases.
- Requirements validation test: Verifies system logic, making sure that it supports system analysis.
- Regression Test: Retesting to ensure changes don’t break what is working. There’s usually more than one test completed to make sure all the applications work.
- Dynamic Test: Testing of the software in different circumstances. There are 3 tests completed here:
- The Performance Test: How fast can the system complete functions?
- The Stress Test: Push the software to its limits to see how it handles levels of users, rates of input and speed of response.
- Volume Test: Can the new software handle growth projections?
- Security Test
- Installation Test
- Configuration Test
- Usability Test
Why Test and a Way To Help Implement
With all these tests completed it will help you to not have problems down the road. There’s a need to make sure that everything will work before turning it loose for everyone to use in your company or sell online to your customers. Click here to get an awesome partition assistant from AOMEI to help maximize disk space and improve the performance of your computer(s). This will be needed when growing your system, implementing new programs and applications. The best part of this is that it has the Windows to Go Creator which would help immensely in the long run too.
The use of information technology (IT) has dramatically increased in the business world in the past decade. It has been acknowledged that information systems (IS) is a very important step to compete and grow. There are four elements of IS that new systems need to work correctly.
- Customers – The main function of IS is to be able to better support the end user or customer. This is both internal and external. Externally it could be an online shopper who wants to buy from a website. Internal customers would be something like employees or one department in a company who needs supplies from another department. IS was developed in order to better support external customers. Also something to focus on is flexibility supporting internal customers.
- Products and Services – This deals in data transformation. The IS has to work well in any industry. It helps prepare many types of services and/or products based on design. Customer expectations have to be satisfied in order to be considered successful.
- Business Processes – Improvements to processes directly influence performance. It provides relevant information to the company. This improves said company’s processes by adding or removing steps as needed.
- Communication Technology and Computers – This is the central piece of the information system. They have to be able to deliver efficient business processes and make the customers happy. This is done through either delivery of product or services rendered. Technology helps to improve communication through email and chat internally. Externally it provides a good website that people will enjoy visiting. Information can be accessed much more quickly which increases the competitive edge.
Why Use IS?
Information systems helps improve relations between customers and the business, or business to business relationships. The question is, which type of system does your company need? A lot of questions to consider before making the leap to upgrading
Define Enterprise Agility
To be able to operate and be strategic, there are tons of factors to consider. Hyper-competition, higher demands from customers, advances in tech and changes in regulations have to be considered when upgrading. There’s something called enterprise agility. It’s comprised of two things. Being able to sense what is going on and respond to it. The timelier the response, the more likely the company will succeed in difficult times. Dynamic capabilities are included here. One has to consider how to build the new system that will respond to the new environment. In order to keep up with competition capabilities have to be able to adapt to new changes.
Market orientation deals with market intelligence focusing on new and current customer needs. The information gathered will be spread across all departments so there can be company-wide responsiveness to changes. Absorptive capacity deals with how well the company assimilates, transforms and uses the knowledge gathered. Strategic flexibility is how well the agency manages both economic and political risks to market threats. It also looks for future opportunities. The flexibility has to include both reactive and proactive approaches to problems. Organizations need to be watchful for and respond to competitors’ actions. They need to look at consumer preferences. There has to be a focus on economic shifts. The agency needs to look out for changes in regulations and advances in technology too.
The Role of IT
The role information technology (IT) plays in this is very important. Responses are completed through direct and indirect means of digital options. Through direct means IT can anticipate and sense changes dealing with businesses. IT systems help as sheer volume of information processed goes further than can be handled otherwise. Indirect means are more pronounced though. This is where product development, manufacturing and supply chains add to performance of the organization.
Digital options can be considered indirect too due to them being work processes and knowledge systems. Knowledge reach is the comprehension and accessibility of codified knowledge available. If the system is built correctly it can help companies to gather and use the knowledge gained. Knowledge richness is when IT gives out high-quality information in a timely manner. IT also reviews real-time pattern recognition and monitors data. It helps create strategic scenarios assisting strategic decision making. Process reach is when IT integrates customers, suppliers and partners internally. The richness of these processes are improved by quicker timeliness of delivery. They become more accurate and relevant.
Depending on how the new systems are deployed and managed, IT could hurt as well as help businesses. The older the technology being used means responses could be limited by the range available. Everything would have to be updated, not just programming. Systems might restrict the ability to retrieve and interpret data being gathered for analyzing. Or processes could be incompatible with new systems. This would mean that they would have to be upgraded. It’s up to the firm as to how well IT is going to work for them if at all. Agility is the ability to respond quickly to change that comes up. The company has to understand the updates in order to create and implement them correctly. If not, they could fall behind from their competition even more.
Define Information Systems
What exactly is an Information System (IS)? Let’s look at the definition here…an information systems focus on networks of hardware, software that people and organizations use daily to handle their data and information. These components are used in order to gather, analyze, store and disseminate information. The information in turn helps to support strategic decisions being made for the agency.
As for a competitive advantage, it can go either way. It seems that there’s an ongoing debate as to how much of an advantage IS gives, if at all. But as an example, Walmart has used it to a great advantage. One key to success for them was implementing a brand new supply-chain management system. It’s unique for them only to where suppliers can go in and review how well their products are selling at Walmart, in any of their stores at any location. Suppliers can petition them if they feel products are being sold to quickly so inventory levels can be increased for their products. It’s pretty interesting how it all works…so Walmart can drive prices down and respond to the market more quickly due to this new management system.
The Main Goal
The main goal of IS is to be able to change data into information that can be used in strategic decision making. Databases are what is considered collections of related information. Examples of this are MySQL and Microsoft Access, where data is inputted and organized into records as one example. A database has to be created in order for an IS to be built that will work correctly. The question is, where can big data be collected, sorted out and put into reports?
Competitive advantage is when said company can sustain profits over average for the industry they’re in. Differentiation comes to play also. The key is to learn how to use information systems to build competitive advantage. This is where SISP comes to play. The information system has to try to do one or more of the following:
- Deliver products or services at lower cost
- Deliver products/services differentiated from others
- Assist companies to focus on specific markets
- Allows for innovation
Examples of IS falling into this category are:
- Electric Data Interchange – Integrate supply chain electronically
- Collaborative Systems – Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, or Cisco WebEx
- Decision Support Systems – Helps companies to make strategic decisions
It has been shown through studies that information technology (IT) has assisted in increasing differences between companies instead of reducing them. Technology has sped up and heightened the amounts of differences. It also helps with increasing good management abilities in organizations. Through figuring out the right types of innovations to include with the upgrades, it can greatly increase competitive advantage in their industry.
Questions to Answer
What the company in question has to answer before upgrading anything though is, what exactly has to be changed in order to allow for competitive advantages? Is it the hardware that needs to be upgraded? CPU’s hard drives, devices? Or does the software have to be upgraded? Which new programs need to be implemented and to which department? What languages do the programs need to be written in? What kind of databases will be used? Are they going to create all new programs tailored specifically for them and maybe suppliers like Walmart did? These are just some of the questions that have to be answered before they begin anything, or there will be a mess of confusion at some point.
Whether or not a company wants to believe it, information systems (IS) are a very important part of how the business runs now. This includes how data is stored, transferred and understood by all the different departments in the agency. The problem is, it seems that business owners are not really aware of how important IS to their companies in being able to be managed in designated systems.
10 Reasons to Have New Information Systems
10 reasons that it is so important for companies are:
- Control Creation and Growth of Records – Less paper wasted as everything becomes computerized
- Reduces Operating Costs – Storing inactive records in IS costs less per linear foot for the company
- 3. It Improves Both Efficiency and Productivity – Helps to upgrade record keeping so retrieval of information needed is vastly improved
- Assimilate New Records Management Technologies – Can be used in any area of the company, helps analyze manual recordkeeping and applied automation
- Ensures Regulatory Compliance – Companies have to be able to make sure that they are in regulations by having a good IS that is responsible for regulatory compliances
- Minimize Litigation Risk – The main reason IS is used is to reduce the risk of litigation and penalties. A newer system put in place will help to ensure this happens.
- Safeguard Vital Information – This is necessary in order to protect records and information as all agencies are susceptible to attack or natural disasters. This will provide backups and save the information in a safe place of the company’s choosing, for retrieval later.
- It Helps to Support Better Management Decision Making Capabilities – A newer system put into place will help managers and executives to better find information that they need when they need it to make critical business decisions. ERP systems would be perfect here instead of doing everything manually.
- It Helps to Preserve Corporate Memory – This is done through everyday activities and record keeping.
- Foster Professionalism in Running the Company – Neatness and cleanliness are key in running a smooth organization
Why Update at All?
Good, solidly built IS means that companies that use it will be able to align their strategies together into a clear point of view as to where they want to go. It also helps to find relationships that would be considered critical and gaps in their company culture and infrastructure. Good information systems find answers on how to gain competitive advantage against their competition by improving alignment to strategic decision making.