Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan
31Dec/130

Happy New Year!

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happy-new-year-2014

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!

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18Dec/130

8 Responsive Design Rules for Mobile BI

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Responsive_dashboards_arcplan_zalesia_tilesResponsive Design is the backbone of next-generation mobile BI. Responsively designed BI apps enable you to deploy one application to all devices – one design that adjusts to any screen size, keeping development simple and maintenance efforts low. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when designing responsive content for a mobile interface.

1. Use tiles or panels
Design content in a series of modular tiles or panels. The tiles can then form a grid layout, which makes it easy for users to scan the app for relevant content.

2. Think symmetry
When designing tiles, make them symmetrical in terms of height and width. In so doing, you’ll be able to rearrange content easily and even re-use it between multiple BI apps.

3. Shrink your work
Not every piece of content visible on a large screen needs to be present on a smaller tablet or smartphone screen. Pick out the most relevant content for a mobile audience and hide unnecessary features that only make sense on a desktop app.

4. Shrink images
Remember that smaller devices such as smartphones have limited bandwidth, so stick to images that can be resized proportionately and downsized to a lower resolution to save space.

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12Dec/130

Business Intelligence Trends 2014: Why Apple, Amazon and Google are the Real BI Trend-Setters

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bi-trends-2014-apple-amazon_smThe end of each year warrants a look at the key trends that may take hold in the coming months. Mobility, cloud computing, bring-your-own-device (BYOD), and big data topics are clearly influencing the business intelligence industry. However, major market players such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Samsung and others are producing the technology to make these developments possible. The question becomes: are the trends paving the way for these companies to produce the technology, or is the existence of the technology influencing the trends? I believe the latter – that Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung are the true pioneers of the BI industry.

In 2014, we’re not going to see much in the way of wholly new trends, even though some experts are already forecasting more innovations. Gartner, for example, has singled out voice-controlled BI as a hot topic. However, the idea of being able to control BI processes by voice instead of through user interfaces is more of a fantasy than a realistic business requirement. Instead, the focus for 2014 will be on developments that are already possible and how to integrate these into the corporate IT environment. Big data for one has been a subject of discussion for years. In 2014, there will be more talk about the benefits and value provided by the increasingly larger amounts of data. Primarily though, it is the underlying technical innovations created by industry giants such as Amazon and Apple that are driving the development of BI and the requirements of the market.

Mobile BI Thanks to Tablets and Smartphones

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4Dec/130

On-Demand Webinar: Financial Transparency – Architecting Success

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View-WebinarView this 45-minute webinar on how to deliver a transparent, integrated view of company performance that serves both finance and operations.

Financial Transparency – Architecting Success
Recorded Date: December 10, 2013
Duration: 45 min.
Presenters: Dwight deVera, arcplan Senior VP of Solutions Delivery;  Jeff Lovett, Teradata VP, Finance & Performance Management

About this webinar:

Too many finance organizations manage their data using people, processes, and systems that are separated from the rest of the organization. This walled-off ecosystem requests data from other areas of the company and produces its own analytics often with different definitions of the same metric e.g. (Revenue, Margin) that conflict with those of line managers. With the ever increasing pace of change in the business this siloed, duplicative approach to financial analytics cannot deliver a transparent, integrated view that serves both finance and operations. Defining a simple architecture optimizes data management and makes it easy to visualize joint opportunities across both organizations.

View this arcplan and Teradata webinar to learn how to use a financial data warehouse as a foundational component of a finance architecture. Content includes techniques for:

  • Leveraging insight into financial results, drivers and KPIs to provide visualized, actionable views of financial performance
  • Telling the integrated contextual story of a company’s operations through common views and analysis
  • Ending reliance on averages for more accurate, behavioral measures of customer or product profitability
  • Utilizing the next generation of analytical techniques to unearth trends and predict organizational performance

View now >>

26Nov/130

3 Ways Analytics Help Retailers See Black Friday More Than Once a Year

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retailers-black-friday-arcplanPeople do crazy things, especially during the holiday season. On Black Friday – and even on Thanksgiving evening – customers will wait in line for hours to grab the best deals and knock items off their wish list. Retailers offer ridiculous discounts on high-priced items and keep doors open 3 days straight to cater to buyers around the clock, then web retailers kick in their own Cyber Monday promotions. Black Friday has remained the number one shopping day for the past decade, accounting for most of the sales that businesses reign in during the holiday season. But smart retailers don’t have to wait until Black Friday to ramp up their bottom line. Your analytical or business intelligence platform can keep a pulse on operations year round and help increase sales before the 11th hour. Here’s how:

1) Use analytics for in-store promotions
Analytics can help guide store layouts by tracking which products perform best on an aisle shelf vs. an endcap in various cities, and what products should go on sale in a given month and region based on sales history and inventory levels. Using business intelligence, you can run scenarios based on historical data and make predictions about programs designed to drive in-store business. For example, if you increase the circulation of your direct-mail flyer, how much additional business can you expect it to drive? Similarly, if you offer in-store coupons for a certain timeframe, what kind of sales uptick can you expect? Essentially, you can analyze past customer purchasing behavior to determine how to best influence future purchasing behavior.

arcplan’s retail customers use our platform to track KPIs and run what-if scenarios to ensure that products are priced appropriately. For retailers, one important KPI is the cost of goods sold (COGS) – the price paid for the product, plus shipping, handling and other expenses to get it ready for sale. By keeping track of COGS…

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