Published on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 09:53
Organisations have been inputting data into various applications for many years. The question is how to use this data to increase profitability through effective management reporting. The solution is Business Intelligence.
Business Intelligence takes data from various applications and makes sense of it all to provide you with relevant management reports that add substantial value to your decision making process. Whether you are a small, medium or large organisation there is a Business Intelligence solution to suit your needs. Make effective use of your data!
If you experienced any of the following issues, you may need to contact a Business Intelligence Consultant:
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- Your existing Business Intelligence system is aging and will need to be replaced.
- You are not receiving value adding management reports from your existing system.
- You are currently using manually intensive means of reporting, such as Excel spreadsheets where human error and time constraints is affecting the accuracy and regularity of information.
- Your organisation is experiencing change and old reports will no longer be valid.
- You have no existing Business Intelligence solution and require the benefits that accurate reporting can make to your organisation.
We are able to assess a proposed or current Business Intelligence project, so that all your questions are answered. We will highlight the best way to proceed with your BI project, anticipated duration of the BI project, financial outlay required, human capital requirements, software to be utilized, etc. We will analyse the following areas: your business/management needs, internal skills and review proposed architecture. Ultimately, we provide you with a detailed report as to where you are currently and recommendations to take the Business Intelligence project forward successfully and on budget.
Existing Environment Assessment
We will review your existing BI environment to establish the following:
- Is reporting able to meet the needs of your business and management?
- Does the Business Intelligence system cater for expansion?
- What are the existing skills of stakeholders?
- What is the architectural environment?
- Costs involved in operating and maintaining the existing Business Intelligence system?
Data Shadow Assessment
Organisations are empowered by knowledge, which comes from having access to accurate and timely info. It’s generally up to IT to make this happen but sometimes management takes this into their own hands as IT might not react quick enough or there may be difficulty in explaining what the final reporting objectives are. In some small to medium sized companies there may be no IT resource to manage your reporting environment.
This is where the solution to create a departmental data shadow system comes into play. Data shadow systems are a group of spreadsheets and customized databases that are utilised to gather data; normally created by a specific department or manager to access data quickly. In order to ensure the information is valuable data shadow systems need to be used correctly, and should be integrated into the enterprise’s overall Business Intelligence architecture. The reasons for this include, time involved in feeding independent data shadow systems, silo independent knowledge, interpretation of data different from individual-to-individual and slow reaction to overall organsational changes.
Filmer IT will work with you to identify what data shadow systems are operational within the organsation, analyse these applications and provide recommendations on the best way forward in delivering the most efficient data that you can base accurate decisions on.
We are able to offer a complete holistic service or alternatively project based stand-alone services if required.
We assess what existing data you currently have available. What databases you are utilizing. What hardware you have available. How information is currently stored. The ownership of data. How data is entered. When the data is available.
Establish client objectives
We spend time with our clients to understand reporting requirements. We present reporting solutions based on the client’s budget and needs and will guide you through the proposed Business Intelligence solutions to ensure accurate understanding. Our report will provide you with detailed information regarding time-lines, hardware/software requirements, cost-implications, why the solution has been proposed, existing infrastructure positives and negatives, databases that require development, etc. You will be able to make an informed decision based on our consultation and support offered.
Proof of concept
We will demonstrate to you how a proposed system could work, free of charge, so that you are 100% sure that you will achieve your objectives prior to any development work.
Development is completed in line with the reporting requirements of the client.
Once we have completed development, we are ready to move data from various sources into a staging area and then to a data warehouse. Implementation is completed on-site (including ETL – extract, transform, load).
At this stage we are ready to test the complete system. We conduct thorough testing to make 100% sure that all development completed and all applications are working optimally together to produce the reports required.
We establish whether it is user training the client requires and/or product training. User training educates users on how to make use of the BI software to produce reports. Product training educates IT and/or advanced users who need more integral information to tailor/change reporting structures for users. Training is conducted on-site.
Once the project is 100% finalized we discuss maintenance options with the client to ensure that the system remains current and valuable.
FilmerIT has decided not to partner with any reporting vendors. This ensures that we provide our clients with the very best solution for your specific unique needs. We have, however, partnered with an ETL vendor that provides an extremely interesting, and yet affordable ETL tool which is suitable for SME’s. Please note that we are not limited to this one vendor, but will seek out the best solution for the client.
Once we have proposed a vendor to a client, we would facilitate the purchase of the software on your behalf. Licensing would be payable to Filmer IT on an annual basis.
Please note that reporting systems do not always need to be expensive – for smaller organisations there are solutions that are affordable. For larger organisations – software is dependent on your needs and infrastructure.