Ad-hoc analysis
[Definition]:

Ad-hoc analysis is reporting users create directly and interactively from an enterprise's data to generate new information for particular business situations or problems. Also known as on-the-fly analysis, ad-hoc reports differ from standard reports because users determine the content and structure of the analyses themselves. To create ad-hoc analyses, users need online access to a multidimensional data source - usually an OLAP database. The main advantage of ad-hoc analysis is the fast provision of information that is not available in existing standard reports. For example, financial analysts can quickly build ad-hoc reports that provide answers to specific questions rapidly and without huge effort.

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Balanced Scorecard (BSC)
[Definition]:

US economists Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton designed the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) in the 1990s as a management concept to measure, document, and control corporate activities based on the vision and strategic goals of the organization. Balanced Scorecards offer a holistic view of performance with key performance indicators (KPIs) from each of the many areas that drive an enterprise’s success. These are known as perspectives and often include Financial, Customers, Processes, and Employees.  The business objectives outlined on the BSC and the degree of goal attainment are reviewed continuously so corporate management can take the appropriate measures to combat underperformance.
Balanced Scorecards go beyond the traditional, finance-driven view of an enterprise and instead measure the business from many perspectives; thus the BSC represents a balanced “big picture” of the company. BSCs can be implemented using business intelligence software with measure values taken directly from underlying data sources.

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Big data
[Definition]:

Big data is an all-inclusive term used to describe vast amounts of information. In contrast to traditional structured data which is typically stored in a relational database, big data varies in terms of volume, velocity, and variety. Big data is characteristically generated in large volumes – on the order of terabytes or exabytes of data (starts with 1 and has 18 zeros after it, or 1 million terabytes) per individual data set. Big data is also generated with high velocity – it is collected at frequent intervals – which makes it difficult to analyze (though analyzing it rapidly makes it more valuable). Additionally, big data is usually not nicely packaged in a spreadsheet or even a multidimensional database and often includes unstructured, qualitative information as well. One of the most important distinctions between big data and large data is the speed at which the data must be captured and available for analysis. Big data has urgency and requires real time or near-real time information delivery.

Big data is often of a few varieties: social media data, machine data, and transactional data. To learn more about these types of data, check out our Big Data FAQs.

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Budgeting
[Definition]:

Budgeting & Planning is a critical component of the financial planning process. It lays out the planned resource allocation for the next period (usually one year). Many organizations use spreadsheets to guide the budgeting & planning process but leading-edge companies are deploying dedicated BP&F software to automate and streamline this labor-intensive process.

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Business Analytics
[Definition]:

Business Analytics comprises the skills, technologies, applications, and practices needed for continuous exploration and analysis of an organization's performance data to get business insight and optimize the planning process. Business analytics utilizes business data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive modeling, and fact-based management to drive decision making. Market analysts often differentiate between Business Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) by relating technologies and activities such as OLAP, querying, reporting, and alert tools to BI. According to the market analysts, BI can answer questions like what happened, how many, how often, where the problem is, and what actions are needed. Business Analytics answers questions like why is this happening, what if certain trends continue, what will happen next (predictive analytics), and how can we optimize the situation.

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Business Intelligence (BI)
[Definition]:

Business Intelligence (BI) is a process that includes the systematic collection, analysis and presentation of corporate data to enable better decision making. Often analyzed are data from one's own company (from ERP systems, transactional databases, etc.), as well as competitor and market data from third parties. BI software enables the creation of analytical applications, dashboards, scorecards and reports that help users transform raw data into meaningful information.

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Cloud BI
[Definition]:

Cloud BI (Cloud Business Intelligence) describes a deployment option where an organization’s BI content (dashboards, scorecards, reports, etc.) is hosted off-premise, reducing the costs and resources required to maintain infrastructure. Many organizations are hesitant to select cloud BI because of concerns over data security and performance, but current solutions provide data encryption methods and even secure private clouds which alleviate those concerns.

arcplan’s BI platform is Cloud Ready and applications can be provided as Cloud BI solutions. Many of our partners worldwide provide cloud services, from pure platform services (PaaS) to full application rental (SaaS).

Related Content: On Wikipedia (Cloud Computing) On our BI Blog 

Collaborative BI
[Definition]:

Collaborative BI is a growing trend that merges business intelligence and social media tools and amounts to business users determining what the most valuable and relevant data in their organization is and sharing it to improve decision-making across the board. Collaborative BI solutions offer an easy entry-point into BI for the casual user/knowledge worker since they make it easy for users to search for relevant information.

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Collaborative Decision Making (CDM)
[Definition]:

Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) platforms, by contrast, combine business intelligence, social networking and other technologies to connect the right people to the information and analysis tools they need for effective decision making.

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Corporate Performance Management (CPM)
[Definition]:

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) includes methods, processes and tools to optimize the performance and profitability of companies. CPM is considered by many market analysts and users as a further development of business intelligence because CPM includes not only past- and present-oriented task analysis and reporting (as does business intelligence), but it also includes forward-looking planning and forecasting. With CPM, the focus is not on the arbitrary interaction between selected tools, applications and technologies; it's more about the complex but essential combination of processes, data and information in a single system that can be applied consistently and used to optimize business performance. Often called Business Performance Management (BPM) or Enterprise Performance Management (EPM).

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Dashboard
[Definition]:

A dashboard can be thought of as an executive information system designed so users can easily comprehend and interpret the impact of business data on an organization. Dashboards provide quick insight into an organization's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that represent defined company objectives or business processes such as sales, marketing, human resources, and production. They help users rapidly understand whether their company is performing well or not. Nevertheless there are limitations since dashboards usually show summaries, key trends, and exceptions but do not present the details.

Though they are both data visualization tools that display the status of metrics and KPIs, the terms "scorecard" and "dashboard" are not interchangable. Scorecards are more qualitative in nature and rely on internal and external benchmarks to help achieve individual and corporate goals and objectives. Dashboards are more quantitative - they're all about numbers, charts and graphs that are easy to understand at a glance.

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Data mining
[Definition]:

Data mining usually refers to the automated or semi-automated systematic use of statistical and mathematical methods on a data file, with the aim of identifying new patterns within the information. Data mining is now synonymous with the entire process of so-called "knowledge discovery in databases." This process includes steps such as data pre- and post-processing, modeling, and visualization. Properly used, data mining can extract statistical patterns and can help uncover rules, laws, and not yet discovered correlations.

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Data warehouse
[Definition]:

A data warehouse is a database designed for reporting and analysis. It is a centralized repository of an organization's data - essentially a copy of data from source transaction systems that is structured specifically for analysis and is also able to maintain data history even if source systems cannot.

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Database
[Definition]:

A database is a collection of data organized to provide efficient retrieval. There are many types of databases in the BI world including relational/RDBMS (where data and the relationships among the data are stored in tables), multidimensional/OLAP (where measures and dimensions comprise a cube structure), ROLAP (Relational OLAP), MOLAP (Multidimensional OLAP), XML and more.

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DORA
[Definition]:

DORA, which stands for “Design Once, Run Anywhere,” is a design philosophy pioneered by arcplan. It is the most efficient way to solve today’s “screen size dilemma” – something all organizations are facing as they struggle to develop applications that are easily portable from desktops to smartphones and tablets. DORA uses HTML5 and Responsive Design principles to take BI and planning applications beyond the desktop, enabling developers to specify how tables, graphics, filters and other elements are displayed on various screen sizes and resolutions. DORA is built into arcplan 8, arcplan’s business intelligence suite which focuses on efficient mobile BI deployments.

Related Content: Responsive Design | Design Once Run Anywhere BI | arcplanResponsive Design

dynaSight
[Definition]:

From 1996 to 2006, dynaSight® was the name of arcplan‘s Web-based software for the creation of customized Business Intelligence solutions. Customers often employed dynaSight® to analyze enterprise data and to create comprehensive reporting solutions. The software made use of the proven and tested programming-free concept of inSight® to create customized information systems. dynaSight® provided access to the same data sources as inSight® but later on provided connectors to other data sources as well. In 2006 dynaSight® evolved into arcplan Enterprise.

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About arcplan Enterprise

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
[Definition]:

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP software is a management tool comprised of many modules that help organizations (particularly manufacturers) operate smoothly by integrating data from various departments.

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ETL (extract, transform, and load)
[Definition]:

ETL (extract, transform, and load) is a process used to collect data from various sources, transform it according to business needs, and load it into the destination database or data warehouse. ETL plays an important role for organizations running many incompatible systems or with data in various sources.

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Executive Information System (EIS)/Management Information System (MIS)
[Definition]:

An Executive Information System (EIS)/Management Information System (MIS) is an IT-based system that provides the information a company needs to manage itself effectively and efficiently. An EIS/MIS provides users with relevant business information that supports decision making and corporate management. This is actual data about the company tailored for specific user groups and may include advanced reports, charts and figures coupled with historical data and planning figures. The information provided may also serve as a basis for further analyses and forecasts. The EIS/MIS often offers the ability to drill down to detailed information which can be used for further analysis.

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Financial Planning
[Definition]:

Financial Planning (budgeting & planning) is also known as the business planning process in which a budget is created for the company on a usually annual basis. The result is a corporate plan that maps out the future of the organization. This usually includes financial planning for the entire company, a number of sub-plans for investments, sales, human resources, liquidity and maketing planning. Depending on the time horizon, a distinction is made between strategic planning, tactical planning and operational planning. Strategic planning is usually designed for a period of 5-10 years and is designed with corporate guidelines, objectives and highly aggregated values for the key metrics framework of the tactical and operational plans. The latter are medium (3-5 years) and short (<1-3 years) respectively and are designed as detailed plans that focus on the requirements of strategic planning.  The plans will be completed before the beginning of the period to be planned.

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HTML5
[Definition]:

HTML5 is the next major revision of the HTML standard, the markup language for presenting content on the Web. It is the backbone of arcplan’s Responsive Design philosophy to seamlessly deploy state-of-the-art BI solutions to any device. At this point, all major browsers – Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer – as well as modern smartphones support HTML5 enhancements. What is important to note is that HTML5 makes multimedia and graphics content easier to handle on any device. The user’s experience with BI apps is better and faster with HTML5 because of its reduced reliance on plugins, which are handled differently in each browser. HTML5 ensures that all content is served up the same way, regardless of browser or device.

Related Content: On Wikipedia


inSight
[Definition]:

inSight® was a predecessor of today's arcplan Enterprise software and was launched by arcplan in 1993. It was a client-server solution and development tool for the creation of customized management information systems without programming. It enabled access to multiple data sources, such as SAP, Hyperion, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, MIK and MIS. The unique editor concept enabled optimum flexibility with regard to application design. In 1996 dynaSight® succeeded inSight®. In 2006 dynaSight® was replaced by arcplan Enterprise.

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Management Cockpit
[Definition]:

A Management Cockpit is a form of a management information system through which the business data of a company is delivered quickly and concisely, using visualization for better understanding. A number of different graph types can be used, ranging from simple bar charts and pie chsrts to sophisticated pareto charts and candle charts. A management cockpit gives users a  comprehensive overview of the economic standing of the company and supports the management of a goal-oriented organization. Like EIS/MIS, management cockpits often offer the ability to drill down to retrieve detailed information and analysis.

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Mobile BI
[Definition]:

Mobile BI is business intelligence on the go. It is a solution for the distribution of data on mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs and is especially useful for remote and traveling workers who need access to business information and mobile analysis 24/7 regardless of their location.

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OLAP (Online Analytical Processing)
[Definition]:

OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) makes it easy for business users to report on and manipulate data from different points of view (bike sales in January vs. bike sales in June compared with bike accessories sold in the Northeast across the same time period). OLAP data is stored in multidimensional databases where each attribute is a separate dimension (product, region, time period, etc.).

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Responsive Design
[Definition]:

Responsive Design is a design approach that provides optimal viewing experiences for websites and business applications on any device. It enables applications to dynamically adjust their layout to the end user’s screen size, resolution and orientation. Responsive Design is the ultimate solution for cross-device optimization. The concept of DOR takes Responsive Design to BI dashboards, scorecards and reports.