Still think business intelligence (BI) and analytics are only for big companies? The truth is, small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from BI and analytics in a big way.
Thanks to innovative new developments SME’s (and small teams who haven't yet gotten IT’s attention) can now use BI and analytics without buying expensive hardware and software, and without hiring expensive technical or analytical skills.
Depending on the size and the vision of the enterprise, they can now choose between various formulas and deployment methods (on premise or in the cloud) in order to start using their data to improve business processes. The bottom line? They can start to experiment with BI and analytics with a minimum investment.
SaaS and self-service
With the emergence of the SaaS-model (software-as-a-service) and ‘self-service’ capabilities, even SME’s and small teams can now use BI and analytics without a technical background. With just a few clicks you can deploy your own BI and analytics sandbox in the cloud and start analyzing your data with an availability and support that few IT departments can guarantee. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Ad-Hoc explorations and industrialized reports
SME’s can save time by creating a single version of the truth and standardize reports with important KPI’s instead of letting different persons within the enterprise mess with some data and let them share their conclusions. Once they have these reports setup, they can find out which data is missing as well or where they have to keep an eye on the data quality in order to have dashboards that give a correct reflection of the reality and start competing with founded conclusions based on data.
Access anywhere, anytime
Business users can play with their data in a ‘protected sandbox’ without installing a single piece of software on their laptop and view their reports everywhere on their smartphone or tablet.
With the latest developments in in-memory technology, analysis is instant and and changes on calculated items, aggregated measures, custom hierarchies and more are instantly available instead of going through a long cycle of development and deployment.
Strategy – plan ahead
When considering the offering you’re going to purchase, it’s important to think ahead and align with overall strategy. In today’s competitive markets, it’s not sufficient to do BI only. Many BI vendors claim to do analytics, but don’t live up to their claims. It’s vital to do thorough research: Find out how approachable the analytics offering is for business users without a technical/analytical background.
Once you have a solid solution in place, then you can start finding the true value in your data.
All SME’s can benefit from the value of BI and analytics, today. Watch these videos on visual analytics and SaaS to start transforming your data into value. And you might want to read this blog post: 5 reasons SMBs shouldn’t ignore or go it alone with analytics