Tag Archives: business intelligence companies

BI Success Checklist

It goes without saying that there are many reasons why BI implementations fail or succeed.  However, my experience over the years has taught me that some are more important than others.  My top ten are….

  1. Choose the right tools
  2. Obtain buy-in from stakeholders (business support is paramount)
  3. Agile implementations win
  4. Bring the right competence on-board (the right skill sets make a world of difference)
  5. Set goals, make plans and follow through
  6. Set up routines for data quality (your data is likely worse than you think)
  7. Set up and maintain meta-data (think re-usability)
  8. Do not forget about scale and performance
  9. Ensure organization is mature
  10. Make it last  –> BI is a journey

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

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Formulating and Executing a BI Strategy

A good BI Strategy has been and continues to be a hot topic.  How to start?  Where to start? Who and what do we focus on?  These are all valid questions and can go in many directions.  Having worked with many organizations, I’ve found that a good BI Strategy focuses on three primary aspects.

Faster

Today, companies get their financial and performance metrics in a number of ways. More than likely, it involves analysts in the organization combing existing excel spreadsheets and/or reports to aggregate the data to build a performance dashboard which is then circulated and elevated to the executive team. A good BI strategy starts with understanding these existing processes, and works to build solutions that expedite this process and enables ad hoc reporting.

A CFO should be able to open a BI tool, and ask whatever question they might have around their financial performance and get an accurate response within a certain level of detail (state vs city, product vs SKU, etc). If they have to wait a week and worry about accuracy, then it’s a key pain point to focus on during the faster aspect of the strategy.

Smarter

Beyond simply providing faster analysis within an organization, a good BI solution should make people smarter about their company by providing analysis and insights they couldn’t otherwise get on their own. As I mentioned in the previous section, organizations are getting reports today and know roughly how they’re doing (especially if they’re public) but having correlations between different silo’s of data can reveal things that executives may have not noticed before. This is a big reason for big data, but you can have very little data from different groups tied together in a single data warehouse and then leverage BI tools to help pull it together in a report, and get a great deal of value. A good BI strategy will focus not just on existing data, but new insights gained as well, from the BI activity.

Clearer

Getting good analysis, and smarter insights doesn’t guarantee that everyone has a single version of the truth and that they all understand what they’re seeing. Having a plan for how the data will be visualized, and ensuring the right controls are in place to validate the output is essential. Putting checks and balances in, so you can leverage tools like Oracle Business Intelligence to build new types of visualizations can make all the difference on transformation useful data to actionable data.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in Oracle Business Intelligence. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

About the author: Garrett is Director of EPM Solutions who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

 

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Oracle Exalytics and 120 Million Records: Airline Traffic Delays Analysis on Exalytics

In this video, an analyst for an airline consumer group is portrayed studying airline traffic delays.  Oracle’s Exalytics performance against massive amounts of enterprise data permits a speed-of-thought style of analysis to make sense of complex business information. As in your industry, airline schedules have many dimensions… routes, flights, airlines, airports, delays, dates, etc. Oracle Exalytics provides many ways to visualize the multi-dimensional relationships (via numerous styles of charts and geo-maps as well as visually-coded data) rather than crunching numbers. For more information and how eVerge can help implement for your organization, please contact us at 888-548-1973.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NMqPjdeCVU

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Exalytics – Speed of Thought Analysis

The question today is no longer whether companies are going to deploy business intelligence analytics and perform ongoing modeling and planning of their businesses but, rather, will the results be timely, accurate and comprehensive to support critical decisions and offer insight needed for strategic, financial and operational excellence.  Oracle addresses this with Exalytics.  The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine is the industry’s first engineered system specifically designed to deliver high performance “speed of thought” analysis. At eVerge Group, we’ve crafted several services to help organizations take advantage of its capabilities quickly (and seen performance improvements up to 50X times faster).

 In spite of all the material covering Oracle Exalytics, many people still wonder about the how, where, when and why companies would be interested in such a server. From a business perspective, there are several valid reasons.  We’ll address those in a future post, but first let’s talk about the speed of change, data volumes, and managing data. 

 Some might see Exalytics as overkill for their needs. When thinking about computing horse-power, think back over the last 10 years. With your desktop PC, a 200MB hard-drive was more than adequate  for storing files. No video capability was required except for graphic intensive PC games. In 2007, Apple introduced iPhones. All of the sudden, you were storing pictures, videos, songs, TV shows, and even movies. Now, we have tablets holding 64GB of data, doing multi-media presentations, and doing everything fast (as we’ve come to expect from technology).

 When viewing things from that perspective, it is easy to see the point that data volumes, data types, and data processing needs are growing at an extreme rate.  If you rely heavily on increasingly complex and data-intensive BI applications, and are not satisfied with the way your current system supports your business intelligence needs, deploying Oracle Exalytics may be an option to explore.

eVerge Group continues to host Exalytics events and workshops throughout the US.  For information about future events, please contact Steve Chamberlin (Steven.Chamberlin@evergegroup.com)

 

 

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Business Intelligence: Companies Can Buy or Build

Written by Garrett Carey

When it comes to business intelligence strategy, companies can choose to either buy or build a software solution, and the decision is a complex one. There are numerous build or buy criteria that an organization must consider: ROI, total cost of ownership, time to deploy, resources available, skill sets, and most importantly, how do the tools chosen integrate into the current technology environment.

There are industry estimates that a custom BI solution can extend the time-to-value by as much as 60% to 80%. There are many reasons why this is the case but the main reason for that extension is the basic fact that when implementing a prebuilt application, 60%-80% of the work has been completed before the project even begins.

The primary criteria that an organization usually considers when opting for a prebuilt versus a custom BI solution is implementation time and quicker return on investment. Some of the other reasons are to leverage the expertise of the vendor used for other applications within the organization, integration with other systems, application scalability, and higher adoption rates by the users.

Another equally compelling reason to buy is the availability of upgrade paths, especially when purchasing from one of the BI vendors. For example, when a CRM system is upgraded, the BI vendor will provide clients with the new adaptors as part of the support agreement.

All BI solutions, whether custom or prebuilt, will all contain some of the same moving parts; however, prebuilt applications usually go beyond that standard data model and will include delivered ETL code and BI tool metadata, along with prebuilt reporting content.

Business Intelligence Companies

The above figure shows an overview of the major pieces of a BI solution. Looking at the individual sections, in particular the ETL section, one can quickly begin to see some of the complexities involved in developing a data warehouse and BI solution.

In addition to rapid deployment and the lower cost of implementation, there are other supporting arguments to buying a pre-built BI application, including:

  • Enterprise Data Model using best practices and industry standards.
  • Views for the Business Model metadata.
  • Pre-built ETL framework containing mappings/routines to load and refresh the application.
  • ETL routines have built-in Change Data Capture logic.
  • Open Interfaces to other data sources.
  • Industry standard Metadata for Common Business Functions (i.e. AP, AR, GL, Sales Forecasting, Pipeline, etc.).
  • Faster time to value.
  • Smaller deployment team.
  • New features available via upgrades.
  • Savings on requirements gathering and analysis.
  • BI Tool configuration.
  • Pre-built dashboard and report content.
  • Pre-built alerting capability.

Conversely, there are also substantial risks to building a complete custom solution, such as:

  • Increased time to value.
  • Requirements change and are not easily implemented.
  • Developmental efforts may lack reusability and not meet changing requirements.
  • Lack of native integration with CRM and ERP systems
  • 100 % custom ETL’s.
  • 100% development of reports and dashboards.
  • 100% development of metadata.
  • 100% configuration of the BI tool.
  • Increased cost and overall time related to custom build.
  • Smaller ROI

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive business intelligence strategy experience. Contact us to let eVerge be your Oracle implementation guide.

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

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