Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan

5 Ways to Improve Business Intelligence Value


valueHas 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

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3rd Annual arc|ademy Student BI Challenge Goes Global


bi-challenge-2014The arc|ademy BI Challenge will be held for the third time in 2014, but this is the first time the contest is open to university students around the world!

We invite college-level computer sciences and economics students to submit innovative business intelligence, analytics and planning applications that solve real business problems for a chance at our $20,000 (15.000€) prize fund! Building prototypes with arcplan 8, students can apply individually or in groups to come out on top in one of our 3 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 renowned market analysts, media representatives and BI experts, will receive $6,600 (5.000€). Previous years’ winners have presented their solutions at arcplan’s arc|planet user conferences and have gotten invaluable exposure…

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The 4 Drivers of Cloud BI


drivers-cloud-BIThese days, everyone’s talking about business agility. Wikipedia defines it as the ability of a business to adapt rapidly and cost-efficiently in response to changes in the business environment. Leading organizations realize that in a volatile business environment, the capacity to be agile determines whether the company will be able to survive and thrive in the market. Cloud computing has become a major driver of business agility, enabling IT resources to be scaled up or down in an automated way at a moment’s notice in response to internal or external requirements and to save money when resources aren’t in demand. Business intelligence is also a driver of business agility, giving decision-makers massive insight into company data and the ability to quickly make predictions and decisions that influence performance.

The combination of these technologies in the form of cloud BI is becoming quite popular. A survey from TechTarget in 2013 revealed that one-third of companies have cloud components in their BI program. The companies adopting cloud BI are driven by 4 things: reduced cost, flexibility, speed of implementation, and reduced maintenance of hardware/software. Let’s examine these drivers in more detail:

1. Reduced Cost

While many hosted BI solutions offer cloud BI licensing as an option, many cloud BI solutions are SaaS (software as a service) solutions – applications that are hosted outside of your company and accessed by users via the internet…

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Signs That Your BI Dashboard Needs a Comeback


dashboard-comebackEveryone loves a good comeback. Stories about celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Britney Spears climbing back to the top after falling so far capture our collective imagination. Movies like Rocky and Cinderella Man – about underdogs making a comeback – inspire us to think we ourselves can rebound from any setback.

Is your business intelligence dashboard the underdog at your organization? Dashboards have been around for decades, with some companies not putting the time and effort into updating them regularly to keep pace with the innovations in BI and the growing expectations of users.

Done correctly, BI dashboards are indispensable resources for decision makers, capable of bringing the most pertinent information to the forefront so leaders can take action. Conversely, BI dashboards that fall short of meeting the needs of business leaders will take a back seat in the BI toolbox or be forgotten about entirely. In order to keep decision makers coming back for more, BI dashboards must serve up relevant information, keep pace with new trends in technology, and at the same time maintain visual appeal. Read on for the 3 reasons why your BI dashboard may need a comeback.

Your KPIs aren’t KPIs…

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The Business Benefits of Responsive Design


business-benefits-responsive-designModern websites and applications must work well for both end users and developers; they need to keep users happily engaged on their preferred device while maintaining the sanity of developers working behind the scenes. Responsive Design is an approach to web development that caters to both groups. The idea is to present the same content regardless of the device type, but the layout “responds” to the device “asking” for the content. In the business intelligence world, it means a master app can be designed one time, then slightly reconfigured for each device with very little effort – no copy and no separate app. Users get an optimized experience that keeps them coming back.*

Responsive Design is gaining traction with many organizations today due to the rapidly growing number of people who depend on mobile devices for access to business information. Mobile users cite benefits like increased efficiency and productivity, improved communication, and streamlined business processes, and 85% of IT managers agree that mobile devices make their company more efficient. Getting on the Responsive Design bandwagon is the way to ensure that your business apps meet your employees’ needs while maximizing the use of your IT team’s time.

Whether you decide to responsively design your website or your business applications – and in many cases, internal business applications are websites, including web-based mobile BI apps for business intelligence dashboards and reports – here are some of the benefits of a Responsive Design approach for users and developers…

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