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MAY 2014  NEWSLETTER
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Greeting from FACTS Team! Wishing you the best this season.

Business Intelligence basically represents the tools and systems that play a key role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making.

Generally these systems illustrate business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis.

Most companies collect a large amount of data from their business operations. To keep track of that information, a business would need to use a wide range of software programs, such as Excel, Access and different database applications for various departments throughout their organization.

It is a software which is designed for extracting important data from an organization's raw data to reveal insights to help making business faster and more accurate decisions. The software typically integrates data from across the enterprise and provides end-users with self-service reporting and analysis. They basically use a number of analytics features including statistics, data and text mining and predictive analytics to reveal patterns and turn information into insights.


Components


Business intelligence is made up of an increasing number of components including:

Multidimensional aggregation and allocation
Denormalization, tagging and standardization
Realtime reporting with analytical alert
A method of interfacing with unstructured data sources
Group consolidation, budgeting and rolling forecasts
Statistical inference and probabilistic simulation
Key performance indicators optimization
Version control and process management
Open item management

Web Portals
The following is a list of desirable features for web portals in general and BI portals in particular:

Usable - User should easily find what they need in the BI tool.
Content Rich - The portal is not just a report printing tool, it contain more functionality such as advice, help, support information and documentation.
Clean - The portal should be designed in an easy way and not over complex as to confuse the users
Current - The portal should be updated regularly.
Interactive - The portal should be implemented in a way that makes it easy for the user to use its functionality and encourage them to use the portal. Scalability and customization give the user the means to fit the portal to each user.
Value Oriented - It is important that the user has the feeling that the DW/BI application is a valuable resource that is worth working on.

Tools
The general categories of business intelligence tools are:

Spreadsheets
Reporting and querying software: tools that extract, sort, summarize, and present selected data
OLAP: Online analytical processing
Digital dashboards
Data mining
Data warehousing
Local information systems


Features

Intuitive Web-based Interface
In the past, reporting and business intelligence tools were only available as client/server implementations. This put a tremendous strain on IT staff, who had to install and maintain software on end-user desktops. Additionally, this approach made business intelligence available to only a small percentage of the company’s information consumers. The majority of business intelligence vendors provide Web-based access to corporate data to make information readily available to more users and user types, allowing for access anytime, anywhere.

Ad Hoc Reporting
First generation business intelligence offerings were highly complex in nature. As a result, only the most technical business professionals – mostly analysts and power users – could effectively use them. Other workers had to continue to rely on IT staff to collect, aggregate, and format data in order to get the reports they needed. But today’s business intelligence solutions shield the end-users from all the technical complexities associated with reporting and analysis. Powerful yet simple and user-friendly ad hoc reporting capabilities make it easy for workers at all levels, including executives and frontline staff members, to quickly build and run their own reports any time they need them.

Flexible Formatting Options
Different users need their information to be presented in different ways. That’s why most business intelligence tools allow users to output their reports as Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Web pages, Adobe PDF files, and a wide variety of other formats.

Dynamic Information Distribution
many business intelligence systems allow users to schedule reports to automatically run at pre-set days and times. This helps ensure that the information being used to support decision making is refreshed at regular intervals, so it is up-to-date and accurate at all times. Reports can then be automatically sent to the email addresses or mobile devices of specified users.

Financial Reporting and Analysis
Companies are becoming increasingly concerned with their ability to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and other types of financial reporting legislation. That’s why many business intelligence solution providers have incorporated powerful financial reporting capabilities into their offerings. Key features include pre-developed templates for balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other common financial reports; the ability to process and calculate financially-oriented data; dynamic conversion of foreign currencies, complete audit trails and many more.


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