What are Business Intelligence Tools and the Types of Business Intelligence Software
Business Intelligence Solution transforms the raw data into meaningful and useful information for intuitive presentation of knowledge and for the publication of business intelligence objects.
Business Intelligence solution enables, the collection and ingestion of intelligence data through enrichment and augmentation. Business Intelligence solution can handle large amounts of information through collaboration.
The Business Intelligence solution helps to identify and develop new opportunities through theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies.
Business intelligence deployment can bring additional business value in all of the business verticals. Tangible benefits can be achieved in measurement, analytics, reporting, enterprise reporting, collaboration, collaboration platform, knowledge management.
Business Intelligence tools are used to provide insights from structured data. With the tools companies can track various user defined KPIs. Business Intelligence tools drive data driven decision-making processes.
Availability of the business Intelligence tools on cloud enables fast and real-time access to crucial data in spite of location. Data can be integrated and formatted from different sources and this enables managers to run various ad hoc reports. Improved business processes leads to enhanced efficiency and productivity.
Business intelligence tools enable seamless scalability of users across various business enterprises -from single users to hundreds of users without significant shift in costs.
The tools allow the integration of powerful reporting software like crystal reports. Reports can be customized for usage by customers, board directors, managers and personnel. BI generated charts, graphs and visualization can be integrated with existing customized applications.
Insights are provided for both historical and real-time data. Resulting reports can be exported in various user-defined formats like Excel, PDF or PowerPoint presentations. Users monitor various analytical metrics from a user-friendly dashboard that can be customized to suit user-preferences. This real-time access to crucial data enables decision-makers to take action as it arises. In the end, BI tools are great for mitigating risk and enhancing efficiency.
Centralization of the company’s database promotes collaboration between different departments while eliminating the duplication of resources. Some of the Business Intelligence tools are open source and this allows for customization and integration with other applications. Data is arranged in columns with users having access to various analytical filters. Analysis reports produced can be shared to colleagues through email at scheduled intervals.
What are the Functionalities of Business Intelligence?
- Analysis: Business Intelligence solution analyze the raw data with seasonal, trend analysis , what if scenarios, modeling using different data modeling techniques and similar functionalities.
- Reports: The solution provides very comprehensive functionalities for creating reports for better understanding of the business data. Business users can create, view, modify report and visualizations online and offline and with other office products.
- Real time monitoring: Business Intelligence solution provides tools to analyze the real time up to the second operational data to enable the business to take quick and informed decisions.
- Dashboards: The solution provides dashboards which helps the business to monitor, measure and manage business performance in a very quick manageable way.
- Scorecards: Business Intelligence solutions provides industry standard scorecards to enable the business to measure the key performance indicators.
- Collaborative Business Intelligence: Business Intelligence Solution provides capabilities to collaboratively share the information with different stakeholders with in the organization and outside.
- Mobile Business Intelligence: Business Intelligence solution provides functionalities to make the same information such as reports, dashboards, monitoring available in mobile device.
- Advanced Analytics and visualization: Some of the business intelligence solutions provide advanced analytics and visualisation capabilities enabling real time visualisation in different forms and methods and to augment additional functionalities.
What are the Applications of Business Intelligence solutions?
- Provides business insight, in time to deliver value.
- Integration across the extended enterprise with role based information availability.
- Data delivered to support real-time decision-making.
- Metrics that are aligned with data that can be adapted as the business changes.
- Measurement of metrics and benchmarking with information about progress towards the business goals .
- Provides analytics to arrive at optimal decisions and to perform business knowledge discovery.
- Collaboration platform for the different stakeholders of business to work together.
- Knowledge management for a data driven company.
The Example data flow of a Business Intelligence Solution
Business Intelligence solution uses data gathered from a data warehouse or a data mart. The source data is collected from multiple sources through transformation and stored in an infocube or a data warehouse. A data warehouse is a repository of analytical data that facilitates decision support.
- Source Systems: data is extracted from multiple source systems.
- Extraction Structure: data standardization and referential integrity checks.
- Operational Data Store: data cleansing and data profiling checks.
- Data warehouse: central repository and storage for data. data completeness,referential integrity and consistency between sources are checked.
- Reporting: web based and or graphical user interface reporting.
What is Business Intelligence Framework?
Business Intelligence Framework deals with the way end users view solutions integrated in the BI tools. End users can be managers, employees, board directors or any other key decision maker. The business architecture framework divides this views into three.
The framework will start with data sourcing from existing internal integrated software like ERP or CRM. The data can also be sourced form external sources. The next stage is the data warehousing phase where data is extracted and uploaded. Analysis of the data takes place thereafter through various analytical techniques like reporting, monitoring, modeling or visualization.
The Analyzed data is then grouped into various departments that will consume it like HR, IT or Finance. The end users like managers, directors or frontline employees are then able to use the data for decision making and implementing crucial policies.
The BI framework always tries to simplify data outsourced and present it to the end-user in a form that is comprehensible. To improve Business intelligence existing processes are embedded into the system. This ensures seamless flow of information.
There are three ways in which business intelligence is delivered – unstructured investigative, structured investigative and embedded. In the first way the end users are business analysts and they are provided with a comprehensive database that enables them answer some of the non-recurring business questions. This is done through visualization, mining and modeling.
In the structured investigative insightful reports are presented to end-consumers and this lets them get answers to recurring business questions.
In the embedded view information is continuously pushed to end-consumers and this enables them to measure set objectives and final results.
The last part to business intelligence architecture is the analysis part. Various applications are used to dig further into the data set by giving answers to vital questions.
Each depart in an organization has a list of queries that they want answered. HR may need to know areas where they need to do streamlining while finance may what to understand how they can boost shareholder value.
What is Web Business Intelligence?
Web business Intelligence is a set of new tools and software for business intelligence that enables the dynamic querying of real time corporate data by employees and business users with a more web and browser based approach to that data. Web business intelligence provides flexible, intuitive, drag-and-drop, instant dashboards, ad hoc reporting tools and interactive analytics on the Web, that is on desktop, laptop or mobile device. Web mining requires techniques from both information retrieval and the artificial intelligence domain.
Web business Intelligence is achieved using the service oriented architectures (SOA), which enables for a flexible, composable and adaptive middleware. Open standards for exchanging data such as XBRL, the Extensible Business Reporting Language, Web Services, various semantic web technologies and benchmarking of technologies enable using data external to an organization.
Today's in memory database, distributed database and other technological advancements have moved the speed of processing of classical data warehousing into near real time. The result is real time business intelligence. Real time business intelligence delivers information about the business operations as they occur. Real time means as to the second when it happens and it provides access to information whenever it is required.
The advantages of Business Intelligence Software includes:
- Deliver personalized business intelligence to clients, colleagues, customers, and partners.
- Productivity improvement by giving users an intuitive tool which clears the backlogs.
- Improve ad hoc reporting and analytics across any data source .
- On the go analytics when you need them, no matter where you are.
- Make real-time data visible to all relevant parties.
- Enable efficient streamlined contribution to planning and execution process.
- Provide simple and timely access to planning and execution data and relevant business information.
- Intuitive user interface for Web business intelligence, providing extensive spreadsheet capabilities like formulae, functions, graphics, etc.
- Enable faster and more accurate plans and execution aligned to customer demand requirement.
What are the advantages of Business Intelligence Tools?
- BI Tools enable users to extract large trunks of unstructured data and process it for insightful reports. Visualization of the data helps managers make fast and real-time decisions.
- Customizable dashboards ensure that the most valuable piece of insight is presented first. The reports can easily be exported to end-users in various formats.
- BI tools allows managers explore various business based scenarios. Scenarios help in the mitigation of risk and enhanced collaboration amongst departments.
- Centralization of data sources removes bureaucracy walls and this leads to improved service delivery as business managers can have a 360-degree view of the company.
- BI tools deploy the latest machine learning algorithms and this helps in predicting future trends. Historical data can easily be cross-referenced with current data and recurring trends discovered.
- Integration with mobile interfaces lets managers view reports remotely from across the globe. This leads to fast and precise decision making processes.
- BI tools give companies a competitive edge because they get a glimpse of emerging consumer trends and identify potential markets before they become saturated.
- BI tools gives companies insight into consumer habits and this helps them cross-sell their products.
- BI tools allows for seamless scalability; the tools can be used by multiple users and can handle large data sets.
- BI tools help managers dig deeper into their manufacturing and inventory systems and this boosts profitability by eliminating excess stock and reducing manufacturing costs.
- BI tools help employees focus on result oriented tasks. Decisions are data driven and this eliminates the duplication of resources while boosting productivity.
- User defined dashboards enable company changes from the bottom to the top. Managers can use the dashboards to get a general view of the company by running various KPI metrics.
- Parameters can be set by managers and this eliminated micromanaging as everyone in the organization knows what their tasks entail.
What are the Top Business Intelligence Tools Types-Top BI Tools Types
Business intelligence tools are application software that are used to retrieve, analyze, sort, filter, process and report data from business intelligence solution. These tools read raw data that is stored, in a data warehouse or data mart or info cube or tables in a database.
Some of the top business intelligence tools are spreadsheets, software for reporting and query display, Online Analytical Processing, digital dashboards, data mining, data warehousing, decision engineering, process mining, business performance management and geographical information systems.
- Spreadsheets: Generally used is Microsoft Excel, open source spreadsheets software, web based spreadsheets. There is also business intelligence software with spreadsheet as front end user interface.
- Digital dashboard: Dashboards are easy too read real-time user interface, which shows a graphical presentation of the current status.
- Reporting and querying software: Reporting and querying software are either open source or proprietary software which are used to report, query, sort, filter and display data.
- Data Visualization Software: Data Visualization Software helps you with visual analysis of datasets to create visualization of your data in minutes for meaningful insights. These visualization makes it easy to discern and share insights with in your departments.
- Corporate Performance Management Software: Corporate Performance Management tools enable the middle and senior management of an organization to review the performance of enterprise in achieving the pre-selected goals.
- OLAP Tools: OLAP is online analytical processing. OLAP tools helps users to interactively analyze the data from multiple sources in a multidimensional view based on the users business perspective. The functions in OLAP are drill down, drill up which is the consolidation, swap, aggregation, disaggregation, slicing and dicing.
- Self Service Business Intelligence: Self Service BI is an approach which enables business users to access and analyze data without the help of IT.
- Mobile Business Intelligence: Mobile Business Intelligence is about bringing Business Intelligence to mobile workforce on the go by providing them the ability to read historical data and analyze the real time information on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Embedded Business Intelligence Software: Embedded Business Intelligence Software is the integration of business intelligence capabilities within business process applications, portals and other systems.
- Extract, Transform, and Load Software: ETL Software are software tools that are used to combine, blend, clean, profile and audit data from different sources.
- Self Service Data Preparation Software: Self Service Data Preparation Software enables the data analysts to prepare and clean data to perform analyses without the help of IT team.
- Data mining Tools: Data mining tools are discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods using artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics, and database systems.
- Data warehousing Tools: Data warehousing is a central repository of data. This is created by integrated data retrieval from different sources. This acts as a consolidated repository for storing the data for future retrieval for analysis.
- Decision intelligence: Decision engineering is a framework for decision making. This bring together many techniques such analytics, reasoning and machine learning techniques to overcome the issues in decision making.
- Process mining: Process mining is analysis based on event logs stored in an information system which is aimed at providing information for process analysis and governance.
- Business Performance Management: Business performance management is a set of processes for managing the performance of an organization using the selection of the goal, consolidation and review.
- Unified Modeling Language: Unified Modeling Language is a modeling language to help system and software developers for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the software systems.
- Local Information Systems: Local information systems are designed primarily to support geographic reporting.
Free Business Intelligence Solutions
Free Cloud Business Intelligence Software: Google Data Studio, Tableau Public, IBM Watson Analytics Free Edition, Zoho Reports Free Edition, Microsoft Power BI Free Edition are some of the Top Free Cloud Business Intelligence Software.
Free Proprietary Business Intelligence Software: QlikView Personal Edition, Qlik Sense Desktop Personal Edition, InetSoft Style Scope Agile Edition, Visualize Free, Prognoz Platform Personal Edition, Actian Vector Analytic Database Community Edition, EspressReport Lite are some of the Top Free Proprietary Business Intelligence Software.
Free Open Source Business Intelligence Software: Knowage, Pentaho Community Edition, Seal Report, Jedox Base Business Intelligence, A Reporting Tool, BIRT, Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite, Pentaho Reporting, Metabase, SQL Power Wabit, Widestage, HelicalInsight, ReportServer Community Edition, NextReports, Jmagallanes, Mondrian, RapidMiner Starter Edition, KNIME Analytics Platform Community are some of the Top Open Source Business Intelligence Software.
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