InetSoft BI Webcast: What are the key features successful users of BI need in their data management solutions?

This is a continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in January 2010 entitled "Best Practices for Deploying and Using Business Intelligence Software." The speaker is Mark Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): Companies need to be able to accommodate the perpetual trend of growth of their data sets. The average growth of corporate databases each year has been running around 25% per year. In most cases, they need to have a data transformation and cleansing process in place, and they need to be able to optimize queries that their BI applications are making on these large data stores.

What are the data management tools that the best companies are using?

Three-quarters of the best users of business intelligence use system integration tools and data warehouse software, but only about a half use data mining tools.

How do you develop a BI deployment strategy?

The goal is to deploy BI beyond just the BI specialists and database analysts and make it available to any knowledge worker, manager, or executive. Further, you are trying to deliver the information that matters to the key decision makers within the enterprise. Speed of access and timeliness of information are key, as well. Lastly, ease of use has to be a high priority.

In terms of features you want to have in the BI solution, automated report generation and delivery is a must. Some kinds of information are best consumed via KPI dashboards, where people will willingly log in and check out each morning. Other types of information need to be pushed out via email. Otherwise people won’t look at it or act on it.

dashboard demo
View a 2-minute demonstration of InetSoft's easy, agile, and robust BI software.

Another key feature that the best BI deployments have in common is a way to monitor usage levels of the BI system, both the physical resources to ensure satisfactory performance and query times, but also the user adoption levels, so you can identify the champion users and those who need pushing or extra training. Remember the point of deploying a BI solution is to get a higher ROI due to faster, better decision-making and that will tend to increase as more people use they system.

InetSoft Viewpoint

"You actually use more business intelligence capabilities. So in between the execution phase and the final evaluation, you’re constantly tracking and monitoring your performance so you can tune your execution. That’s where business intelligence with dashboards for analysis and monitoring come in. And in between the evaluation phase and incorporating your learnings or findings and adapting your strategy, you need to do some in-depth analytics.

That’s the more traditional forecasting or predictive analytics as well as things like data mining. So there is a piece that is more business intelligence as it relates to the management system, and then there is a piece that is more performance management, and you couple them together.

After some months of active use of the platform, go back to the users and find out where they get value out of the system, what they’ve been using it for, and start to use those thought leaders, the folks that have been the most aggressive users getting this value out of it. Use them, perhaps, as a way to add the additional performance management capabilities into the organization." - Mark Flaherty, CMO, InetSoft

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