Business Intelligence


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The core value of business intelligence solutions is to convert data into insights. This enables businesses to use a clear decision making process and ultimately make better decisions, faster. The benefits can be equally as valuable for executives making strategic decisions, as it can be for middle management, business analysts or operations staff making tactical decisions. A business intelligence solution must be able to integrate historical business data from multiple business applications into a single database which is optimized for responsive querying and analysis. To ensure that the solution is utilized long-term, desktop applications must provide users with flexibility and the ability to perform complex analysis without a steep learning curve.

OLAP Office™, using Microsoft’s market leading products, allows for a complete business intelligence (BI) platform that provides the features, tools and functionality to build both classic and innovative kinds of financial, analytical and business intelligent applications. From data warehouse generation to reporting, OLAP Office™ and Microsoft technologies, provide the knowhow and the tools you need to build scalable, secure and comprehensive BI solutions.

The most common bottleneck to making good decisions is the ability to quickly and routinely measure business results and perform complex analysis. This bottleneck can be the result of information being too slow to obtain, too complicated to access or too much to analyze.

  • Too slow. Standard business reports are typically dependent on operational cycles and may not be produced for days or weeks after the close of a period. Manual intervention may also be required to produce final formatted reports.
  • Too complicated. Data from multiple corporate database systems is often not integrated and usually only specialized technicians know how to get to the data.
  • Too much. The sheer volume of data can make analysis overwhelming. Data often requires organization to make sense.

Today’s medium sized businesses capture data about their business in many forms. Data sources could include Web site statistics from the corporate Internet or various intranet sites, financial and customer data in Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases as well as any number of custom solutions that store data in text files, desktop productivity software or corporate databases. The sheer volume of this data can become overwhelming. Yet merely possessing the data, in itself, does not give the organization a competitive advantage.

The value of data is realized by putting it in the hands of business decision makers, so that they can analyze it, put it in context, turning it into actionable intelligence. To do this you need a solution with four main elements:

  • Aggregation. Pull data together from many different data sources and formats. Ensure that data is consistent and accurate.
  • Storage. The data must be stored in a format that makes efficient querying possible. The data needs to be managed and kept up-to-date.
  • Modellable. The data must be modellable to produce additional business critical information that is not present in the original data source.
  • Analysis. Make the data available to decision makers through sophisticated, yet simple to use, analysis tools.

The combination of these four elements result in a business intelligence solution. A BI solution provides knowledge workers with the data they need to make informed business decisions. Over time, these decisions can have a dramatic bottom-line impact on the business. For example, with a business intelligence solution, an organization can analyze:

  • Product performance. Understand sales trends, product mix, seasonality, profitability and product life cycle issues. Determine which products will bring the greatest opportunity for return on investment (ROI).
  • Customer trends. Understand customer buying habits. Shift sales and support focus to customers that will bring the greatest ROI, and devise strategies to grow the customer base or retain existing customers.
  • Marketing campaigns. Reduce the cost per lead and improve the quality of the marketing pipeline by measuring the success of individual marketing campaigns.
  • Sales performance. Measure sales interactions to help managers identify low-performing areas and spotlight the most successful sales channels.
  • Customer Service incidents. Analysis of customer service data may focus on evaluating efficiency of the customer service center. It may be desirable to analyze cost per request, customer, product or customer service representative. This analysis can help management determine if changes are required, such as additional headcount, improved documentation, increased training, changes in pricing structure for service calls or customer self-help options.
  • Order & shipment trends. Optimize production through efficient inventory management, reduce or eliminate shipping backlogs, help sales set accurate expectations for product delivery and negotiate lower shipping costs by understanding order and shipment trends.
  • Inventory Levels. Reduce inventory costs by more accurately anticipating inventory needs. Measure seasonal and sales trends to forecast future demand.
  • Website statistics. Correlate the volume and origin of website visits with marketing and advertising campaigns. Optimize navigation by analyzing traffic patterns.
  • Point-of-Sale data. Analysis of retail sales data may focus on store operation, including measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) to support sales performance, fraud detection, store performance and marketing campaign analysis.

Managed Self-Service Business Intelligence

Deliver Breakthrough Insights to Drive Real-Time Decisions

Managed self-service business intelligence from Microsoft delivers breakthrough insights to organizations by empowering users of all levels to:

  • Access and integrate data from virtually any source.
  • Create compelling reports and analytical applications.
  • Visualize and interact with data in bold news ways.
  • Easily collaborate and share insights using familiar tools in Microsoft® Excel® technologies.

IT organizations can then manage these solutions with complete oversight, driving operational efficiencies and increasing adoption and use of business intelligence throughout the company.

Empower Your Users

Access and combine high volumes of data from virtually any data source directly in Power BI or Excel’s PowerPivot, then build rich graphical and analytical applications using the familiar tools to visually explore data. 

Access and consolidate information from virtually any source.

Use Power BI or PowerPivot to consolidate large volumes of data from a multitude of sources, including relational databases, multidimensional sources, data feeds from Reporting Services reports, Excel files, text files, and data from the web. 

Sort, filter, and scroll through millions of rows of data with about the same performance as if they numbered only a few thousand using the in-memory BI engine provided by PowerPivot.

Transform raw data into sophisticated analyses.

Quickly transform data into sophisticated analyses with features available in the Power BI or PowerPivot, such as KPIs, Top N, Rank, Perspectives, and a new series of financial and statistical calculations.

Quickly transform data into sophisticated analyses.

Use familiar tools of Power BI or PivotTable views, charts, and slicers to analyze data and create interactive applications.

See data in bold new ways with Power BI.

Microsoft makes self-service reporting a reality by providing a highly interactive, web-based data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience to users of all levels—from business executives to information workers. 

Drive faster decisions by enabling users to create attractive, highly interactive reports in just seconds.

Now anyone can create a report in just seconds, transform the “shape” of data with a single click, add powerful timed animation sequences to quickly identify trends or anomalies, and make a more convincing case through the rich presentation of discovered insights. Create Power BI reports directly with a simple the simple development environment. 

Facilitate Sharing and Collaboration

The seamless integration with Power BI and Teams provides the ideal environment for users to share insights and collaborate with ease—

while ensuring that everyone is working on the most up-to-date information and applications. 

Drive real-time, proactive decision-making based on current information.

Keep reports and analytical applications up-to-date by scheduling automatic data refreshes for Power BI reports and dashboards to ensure that data remains current.

Enable users to define their own data-driven alerts to proactively deliver operational reports triggered by changing data conditions. Alert rules can be easily customized and managed by each user.

Maximize business insight.

Users can access and use shared applications as data sources—and take advantage of dataset permissions and workflows to coordinate how users share and collaborate on their own solutions.

Reduce the burden on IT to customize standard operational reports by empowering business users to re-use components from existing reports to create new, personalized reports without assistance.

With a simple drag-and-drop interface in Report Builder, users can easily assemble new reports with prebuilt components from the Report Part Gallery. 

Assemble new reports in minutes from existing report components.

Provision Power BI sites to share datasets, models, analyses, and reports.

Create a Power BI environment for users to share and find reports and analyses.

Users can access standardized operational reports from the Power BI and can render them in the format that makes the most sense for them by “Analyse in Excel”, PDF or PowerPoint.

Increase IT Efficiency

Organizations can extend the impact of BI while increasing IT and developer efficiency by delivering and efficiently managing a highly available, secure, and interoperable BI platform.

Simplify oversight with comprehensive management tools.
Provide Power BI users with trustworthy data in a secure and compliant way and gain more visibility into how data is used throughout the organization. 

Use the Management Tools to track data and workbook usage to understand usage patterns and decide where to invest resources.

Schedule report execution, manage report subscriptions, and control access to reports through seamless integration with SharePoint.

Use the Management Dashboards to track data and report usage.

To learn more about the many uses for Business Intelligence, please contact OLAP Office™.

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