One of the biggest keys to Business Intelligence is simplicity. Do you know what happens when you give users difficult BI apps? They revert to whatever they’re already comfortable using, which is usually Excel. Apparently, BI software in general isn’t very easy, as research shows that spreadsheets are the most commonly used tool for Business Intelligence.
The truth is, this isn’t such a big problem if users only use spreadsheets for their own analytics, and aren’t trying to share or distribute them throughout the company. Unfortunately, that’s what usually happens. Users start using Excel for Business Intelligence, and then distribute those spreadsheets to others in their company. This can actually turn into a dangerous problem, for a few reasons:
1. They’re inaccurate: What happens when one user creates a spreadsheet and emails it off to 3 other users? Then, 2 of those users make changes and email it back around to the other 3. Unfortunately, this happens all too often and leads to data errors. In fact, a study found that 80% of spreadsheets contain significant errors.
2. They’re insecure. What happens when one user emails a spreadsheet full of critical data off to 10 other people within the company? How can you guarantee security? The fact is, you can’t.
3. They’re outdated within days: When dealing with spreadsheets, nothing is in real-time. If users want to analyze current data using spreadsheets, that data is old within a few days.
How do you combat the problems associated with spreadsheets? Give users Business Intelligence that’s easy to use, easy to create, and accessible. For example, this web-based ad-hoc report is extremely easy to use and accessible from anywhere. If you want to take it up a notch, here’s an interactive report and a web-based pivot table that both display real-time data in an easy-to-understand format.
The best thing about those apps: They were all created without any programming (using m-Power). Users can not only use those apps easily, they can create them as well. If you want to see how you can create BI web apps without programming, feel free to sign up for a free trial right here.