Business Intelligence Financial Dashboards


Finance departments arguably face a wider set of information management challenges than any other department in an organization. Some of the challenges are common across functions, but several are specific to Finance.

From working with so many Finance teams across dozens of industry segments, including commercial, government, and non-profit ones, we have found many require not just a business intelligence solution, but a data intelligence solution, InetSoft's term for transforming data into actionable information.

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Data Intelligence Challenges for Finance

Finance Departments face many challenges that interfere with gaining Data Intelligence:

1. A Multitude of Disparate Data Sources – Finance owns the accounting and financials data, but also needs to access data from every other function, from the CRM system, to the supply chain system, to the transactional and operational databases, and even marketing and HR systems. Outside of these is staff generated data stored in spreadsheets, whether they are forecasts, performance trackers, or special analyses. Ultimately all of this information needs to be mashed up to get the whole picture.

2. Limitations of Tabular Reports – The first generation of information reporting has been the tabular report, whether structured as in financial statements or essentially print-outs of a database. These are useful for presenting the facts, but not for telling the story. Not until those data dumps are imported into a spreadsheet, massaged into metrics, and turned into charts can analysts begin to tell stories about the data.

3. Too Many Reports – Relying on reports also leads to ever growing libraries of static reports as new ones are requested for each new question that comes up during the course of running the business. The libraries become overrun and disorganized, leading to potential confusion and errors, and certainly inefficiency.

4. Too Much Manual Reporting – Without self-service access to data, staffers make their own reports, importing, or even worse, copying and pasting data into spreadsheets and creating their own reports. This leads to more inefficiency, and worse: errors.

5. Spreadmarts – With operational data stores being so hard to change and not suited to key metric calculations and aggregations, finance staffers often resort to creating their own spreadsheet “databases.” No longer tied to the systems of record that might be updated over time, the result is competing versions of the truth.

6. Dependency on Data Scientists – the era of Big Data means there is an ocean of data that potentially could be analyzed, but most organizations don’t have the expertise to tackle the challenge.

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InetSoft's Data Intelligence Solution for Finance

InetSoft provides a range of solutions, from software-only to turnkey cloud-based ones to customized ones in between that overcome these challenges. Foundational to all of them is InetSoft's core software application, which includes:

1. The Data Mashup Engine – Unlike other business intelligence applications, InetSoft's has a very flexible, very powerful data mashup engine that unites all of the data sources that the Finance team must access, from Big Data ones such as on-premise operational stores to cloud-based applications to transient sources like spreadsheets and vendor reports.

2. Interactive Dashboards and Visual Analyses – Geared towards maximum self-service, these are point-and-click views of the data, combining charts, tables and input elements that visually tell stories, replace the mess of static reports, and reduce the burden of future information requests.

 

 

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Easy Implementation Options

Choose one of three options for deployment, all of which can be supplemented with InetSoft Big Data professional services to accelerate deployment:

1. On-premise Software Installation – for organizations that require the control and have the basic IT support to set up enterprise applications

2. Self-managed Cloud Hosting – InetSoft hosts the installation at Amazon (AWS), and the client’s IT staff administers it

3. Turnkey Cloud Service – InetSoft hosts the installation at AWS and performs all administration, and the client has self-service design capabilities