Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan
4Oct/120

The Evolution of UI Design Standards Toward Metro/Windows 8

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One of the hottest topics in software and user experience design right now is a concept formerly called Metro, now known as Windows 8 design. It’s a design language popularized by Windows Phone 7 and further developed in, you guessed it, Windows 8. And it’s the latest paradigm shift in technology design, which is now all about users being a click away from their most needed information and interacting with content in unique ways.

Windows 8 design differs from traditional user interface (UI) standards, whereby access to content was controlled by keyboard and mouse actions and files could only be organized in folders or subfolders.  The Windows 8 interface is a typography-based design created to speed up usage by eliminating extraneous graphics in favor of large tiles with clean typeface. It’s “content as UI.” The goal is to allow users to navigate smoothly and intuitively, even on mobile devices.

Since Microsoft came out with this design standard, arcplan has moved in its direction, favoring tiles, saturated colors without shadows or reflections, and easy-to-use navigation. We’ve incorporated “Metro” design concepts into our product demos, free trial, and arcplan Mobile BI apps. As we’ve been influenced by this new UI, many others have as well. It’s offering a fresh approach to software development that is transforming business intelligence dashboard designs, especially those for mobile devices.

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26Sep/120

Careers in Business Intelligence: What Makes BI an Attractive Field

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Along with the demand for big data, better data, and the need for greater insight into company operations comes the need for analytic professionals who can effectively leverage this data to maximize business benefits. But it’s not always easy to find and hire these types of people. Within the past few years, we’ve seen titles such as BI Analyst, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, and Big Data Engineer emerge in job listings as companies seek out much-needed expertise to wrangle their growing amounts of information. As a matter of fact, McKinsey and Company’s often-quoted 2011 report on big data predicted that  by 2018, the US alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings. The bright side of this situation is that job seekers with analytic talent and business acumen have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact for business teams. BI is a growing field that shows no signs of slowing down, so let’s take a closer look at what makes it attractive to job seekers as well as students deciding what course of study to pursue.

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21Sep/120

Meet Us At An Exclusive Oracle OpenWorld Reception!

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arcplan is holding a special reception for current and prospective Oracle OLAP users during Oracle OpenWorld. The event takes place on Tuesday, October 2nd near the Moscone Center in San Francisco. If you’d like to join us, RSVP and we’ll let you know where to meet up with us from 5-7pm for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and networking with other Oracle users.

The reception is sponsored by arcplan and our partners Simba Technologies and Vlamis Software Solutions.

Why is arcplan sponsoring this event? As the leading BI front-end for Oracle, we’re always interested in meeting Oracle users to discuss their unique needs. arcplan connects natively to Oracle data sources (as well as more than 20 others), and together with Vlamis Software and Simba Technologies, we’re also Oracle OLAP experts.

Hope to see you on October 2nd!

19Sep/120

2nd Annual arc|ademy BI Challenge – Submit Your Application, Students!

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It’s that time of year again – when we invite students in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) to create innovative BI applications for a chance at our 15,000€ prize fund! We’re looking for university-level computing and economics students to create outstanding analytics and planning solutions on the arcplan 7 platform that solve real business pains. Students can apply individually or in groups in three categories:

  1. Innovation: applications that are novel in their visualization, methodology, or technical approach
  2. Fast Mover: solutions that have been developed in a short time span or can be deployed quickly
  3. Business Excellence: applications that aim to improve the quality of business decisions

Each winner, selected by a jury of industry and media experts, will receive 5,000€. Last year’s winners will be presenting their solutions at our arc|planet user conference in October. Winners of the 2013 competition will also get this invaluable exposure to DACH companies at next year’s arc|planet.

Entrants should be as creative as possible, developing solutions such as management cockpits, web-based analysis and reporting applications, balanced scorecards, or anything in between. There’s just one condition: projects must be developed during the period from September 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013 as part of an ongoing study program or college-related internship.

Learn more about the competition >>

14Sep/120

10 Keys to BI Dashboard Success: Part II

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In my last post, I gave you 5 tips for taking your dashboards from “standard” to “world-class.” Today, I present 5 more tips that will help your dashboards become truly useful, essential daily viewing material.

Your BI dashboards should be:

6) Diverse. Incorporating data from your various in-house sources and from the cloud enhances your dashboard. Combining data to produce mashups – like retail locations with financials over Google Maps – can make your dashboard indispensable.

7) Dynamic. Static dashboards rely on historical data, neglect your organization’s present performance and set you up for failure, warns Forrester Research. Successful dashboards are dynamic and reflect the real-time changes of your business’ performance. They also offer ad-hoc capability so users can manipulate variables for further analysis and drill-down functionality so users can find root causes. See what I mean by downloading arcplan’s free trial. It features an ad-hoc tab integrated into the dashboard application.

8) Attractive. Users appreciate and are more likely to adopt a dashboard that has style and substance. What makes a dashboard attractive?

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