At the beginning of every year, millions of people make new year’s resolutions. These resolutions usually focus on goals, eliminating bad habits, or personal growth. But, what about companies? Do any companies make resolutions? After all, I’m sure most companies have goals, bad habits that need fixing, or areas for growth. With that in mind, I’ve come up with 4 IT-related resolution ideas that could help your company grow or eliminate bad habits:
Just the other day, someone asked me this question: “What is business intelligence?” It got me thinking…I frequently write about business intelligence (BI) and why it’s important, but I’ve never really defined the term. In this post, I’d like to take a step back and give you the what, why, who, where, when, and how of business intelligence. Sound good? Okay, let’s get started…
What is business intelligence?
Most companies collect and store data covering all areas of their business. This data sits in a database and is really pretty useless in this format. What do I mean by that? If you looked at data in a database, it wouldn’t make any sense and would most definitely overwhelm you. This is where business intelligence comes into play. Business intelligence is the process of taking that (overwhelming) data in your database and presenting it in an understandable, accessible, and useful fashion.
According to Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google), we now create in two days as much information as humanity did from the beginning of recorded history until 2003 (Quote taken from this article). This growing data trend applies to business too–Gartner predicts that enterprise data in all forms will grow 650% over the next 5 years.
I recently reviewed the results of a business data survey covering 543 executives in 17 countries. The results confirmed Schmidt’s statement and Gartner’s prediction: The majority of respondents feel overwhelmed by the influx of data and believe it will greatly impact their business.
Want to save money, increase productivity, or gain a competitive advantage? Stay on top of the latest technology trends. When you keep your eye on the latest trends in the tech world, you’ll run across some new opportunities for your company.
But how do you know which trends will stick and which will fade? Gartner recently published the results of their research into the top technologies for 2011. Technologies on this list will most likely affect many aspects of the business world in the coming years.
Pivot tables are great analytical tools—they sum up large amounts of data and let you view it in just about any way possible. More importantly, they help you quickly analyze business information, discover trends, and make better and more informed decisions.
Pivot tables are typically found in spreadsheet software, such as Excel. Spreadsheet-based pivot tables are great as single-user tools, but you run into problems if you want to distribute, share, or let multiple users alter or view one spreadsheet. Also, if security or data accuracy are necessities, spreadsheet-based pivot tables aren’t ideal.
Business intelligence is a confusing subject. Generally speaking, when a company realizes they need business intelligence (BI), they aren’t clear on everything a BI solution should include. Why not? BI isn’t the same across the board. As a result, comparing BI solutions is like comparing apples and oranges. Each solution contains different elements.
So, how do you know which elements to look for in a BI solution? I think a few elements are pretty standard, like simple ad-hoc reporting, the ability to use multiple databases, and exporting data to Excel and PDF. Besides these basic elements, I’ve put together a brief list of 5 essential elements that every good BI solution should include:
I’d like to introduce you to a relatively new concept: Pervasive business intelligence. It’s not some great new buzzword to throw around at meetings, it’s a truly actionable concept that could save time and money for your company.
The idea of pervasive BI is simple: Business intelligence should permeate throughout your business. Real-time data specific to your needs should be at your fingertips all the time. The value is obvious—Quick decisions, increased productivity, better efficiency, etc…
Business intelligence (BI) can provide incredible advantages when implemented correctly, such as agility, better decision-making, and even increased profitability. BI is not without risks, however, as evidenced by this article on datamation.com.
I’m excited to announce m-Power’s newest reporting template: The pivot table reporting template! (If you are unfamiliar with our template/model based approach to application development, please read our “build process” page.)
What are pivot tables? Pivot tables are interactive tables that automatically extract, organize, and summarize data. Pivot tables are usually Excel™-based and most often used to analyze data, make comparisons, and discover trends.