Has your business intelligence software under-delivered on value? I don’t only mean the ROI of your BI – I also mean simply how valuable BI is to your organization. Is its use engrained in your company culture? If it’s not, you’re in the majority. By some estimates, 80% of corporate data isn’t accessed by BI users. How important to your culture can BI be if it’s only touching 20% of your data? But this isn’t an article about big data or social data – this is an article about changes you can make this year to improve how valuable BI is to your company, to increase the number of users who rely on it, and to make it essential to your everyday operations. You’ve likely paid between $100,000 and $1,000,000 for your BI system – why not squeeze every last drop of value out of it?
1) Pump customer data into your analysis
Is there a company in the world who can say “We have access to all the data we need about our customers”? A 360 degree view of customers is something every company seems to be chasing. Though it might seem like an elusive goal, you can take the first steps by integrating data from your CRM, accounting and customer support systems into your BI dashboards and reports to enable analysis of customer growth, profitability, and lifetime value. Understanding these KPIs can help you spot trends, identify opportunities to cross-sell, up-sell or simply target them more effectively. Your BI platform likely connects data from multiple sources, so why not take advantage of this inherent value by getting your platform to assemble the necessary data for you so you don’t waste time manually integrating data from all these different systems. It might not be quick to incorporate customer analytics into your BI initiative, but more companies are finding it essential to the continued value of their business intelligence and the success of their company.
Learn more about customer analytics in our blog series, which starts here.
2) Set up alerts and delivery
We hope our readers are enjoying the holidays!
We’ll publish more business intelligence, analytics and planning content in 2014, including articles on the business benefits of Responsive Design, mobile BI, cloud BI and data visualization. Don’t forget to sign up for our RSS feed to get articles delivered to your preferred reader or directly to your inbox.
Happy New Year from all the authors of arcplan’s BI Blog!
Things are starting to get back to normal after last week’s landmark arc|twenty conference in Düsseldorf, Germany. I can finally catch my breath and think back on the awesome event we just held and all the customers and partners we learned from.
We normally call our annual conference arc|planet, but with it being arcplan’s 20th anniversary we decided to mix it up a bit and call it arc|twenty. On October 1st and 2nd, we hosted 250 international participants at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf, where everyone gathered for “Information & Celebration” – an apt theme this year as we soaked up information from BI industry experts as much as we celebrated our birthday and the launch of our newest platform release, arcplan 8.
Keynotes and Customer Presentations
Paul Warren from Mars kicked things off on Day 1. He covered the challenges Mars faced when trying to provide centralized, flexible reporting on their complex infrastructure, and how arcplan helped solve the problem.
Our CEO Roland Hölscher then gave a keynote called “Driving Business Analytics – Past, Present, Future,” a look back at BI 20 years ago when arcplan was founded as a bridge between IT and business leaders. From my perspective, seeing arcplan’s original product “inSight” on a floppy disk was pretty mind-blowing. He covered our history of innovation and really surprised some of the attendees who didn’t know that way back in 1994, arcplan was the first vendor to offer real-time access to many data sources and the first vendor with a visual designer for creating reports and other BI content.
Our CTO Hans Peter Wolff gave everyone an exclusive look at the new features of arcplan 8, particularly Responsive Design with HTML5, or what we call DORA (Design Once, Run Anywhere). He was followed over the next 2 days by more than 30 top-notch presentations by business intelligence experts, arcplan customers and partners, and the arcplan development team. A few highlights included…
An In-Depth Look at arcplan 8: Focus on Mobile BI
Recorded Date: October 3, 2013
Duration: 60 min.
Speakers: Dwight deVera, arcplan Senior VP; Wayne Chambliss, Senior Pre-Sales Engineer
The next release of arcplan’s business intelligence platform officially launched on September 26th. It focuses on efficient mobile BI, making it easier than ever for users and developers to mobile-enable their BI and planning apps for any device.
Watch this webinar on-demand to see:
- A primer on Responsive Design, a concept built into arcplan 8 that enables apps to dynamically adjust their layout to the end user’s screen size, resolution and orientation
- An exploration of arcplan 8’s new features, as well as a few updates from past releases that you may not be aware of (advanced analytics, commentary, etc.)
- A look at “Views,” a new concept in the arcplan Application Designer that enables developers to build responsive applications and print layouts with very little effort
- An in-depth demo of arcplan 8: responsive dashboards, self-service reporting (ad-hoc using Teradata as a data source) and more
This is a must-see not only for our customers and partners, but also for anyone interested in Responsive Design and how it applies to business intelligence.
ROI, Customization, and Mobility
In my series so far, I’ve tackled questions about buying criteria, cloud BI vs. SaaS BI, and data management. Today is the last installment and tackles the remaining most common questions we hear from SMBs about business intelligence. This series is all about expediting and simplifying BI by dispelling myths and providing practical advice for moving beyond manual processes to automated reporting, dashboards and advanced analysis.
8) What’s the ROI for business intelligence?
This is a question we’re asked more often all the time, as SMBs know they need BI but struggle to justify the investment. BI vendors need to understand that SMBs can’t invest in solutions that don’t quickly generate returns.
Unfortunately, a large percentage of BI projects fail to meet the businesses’ objectives. I don’t bring that up to scare you away from BI, but instead to encourage you to ask the vendors on your shortlist for proof of their ROI. It’s part of your due diligence when it comes to selecting the right vendor. First, ask them about their success rate. Do they have happy and long-term customers? As an example, the average tenure of arcplan’s customers is more than 7 years, the longest of any vendor included in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence – an indicator of long-term customer satisfaction. How do the vendors on your short-list stack up?
The next step is to ask your vendor to estimate the ROI you should expect…