Making the Case for Business Intelligence / Reporting

Posted by Larry Hill  I  July 26, 12

Business intelligence reporting is a subject that has created a lot of interest, many comments and many BI solutions.  Business intelligence, and specifically reporting, is important because it enables users to make decisions that affect how an organization is run.

For example, many companies are turning to business intelligence to help them to get a better understanding of the Key Performance Indicators that drive their business.  BI allows organizations to get a more accurate and detailed picture of what is going on in terms of a business and its customers, and it can bring visibility into the organization at granular levels and help link different aspects together.

As a company grows, the amount of data a company captures expands. The number of users that require access to the data expands as well.   As a result, the complexity of the needed reports increases, as management at every level demands the most up-to-the-minute information to assist with making business critical decisions.  The result is that reporting is requiring more time and resources which means additional costs to the business.

Business intelligence

So why do organizations consider reporting an afterthought?

Organizations have many reasons. Some say that they don't know what types of reports they will need until after they review the available data.  Others say that their needs will change once the system is built, thus they wait untill the end to address BI concerns. Lastly, budget constraints are sited by most organizations. A majority of application development budgets are spent on the development of the base-system leaving very little money remaining to dedicate to reporting.

Even though reporting is usually considered during project planning, all too often the details and planning are left until the end of a project.  The consequence of this is that the data needed for reporting is not housed in a reporting-friendly manner, making it difficult for the BI team to deliver meaningful reports in a timely, efficient manner.

In theory, if you want to have a proper reporting solution, organizations should be prepared to allocate anywhere from 20% - 40% of the overall project budget towards BI requirements.

In the end, the well-managed firms focus on streamlining operations, adding customers, and increasing revenue and profitability.  Often, significant benefits can be realized by those companies that are able to analyze activities and accurately plan for future business conditions. It can be argued that high performing companies are more analytical than lower performing businesses. Ideally, you want to monitor operations and quickly find and resolve potential problems while leveraging new opportunities.  And, as the marketplace gets increasingly more competitive, organizations need to ensure that they stay ahead of their competition. In order to accomplish all of these goals, an organization's analysis capabilities must graduate from spreadsheets to more powerful tools, consisting of comprehensive reporting / business intelligence.

Simple put, by having access to meaningful, timely, intelligent reports, organizations can more effectively make their business-critical decisions, which positively impacts the bottom line.

Interested in talking with Techport Thirteen, and how we can help you with your reporting needs? Call or click us today.

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Tags:  HP, Westbury