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Today and even more tomorrow, organizations should be using a secret weapon called "information”. Highly integrated company information which empowers users with new insights about business drivers and how to better meet the strategic objectives of their organization. This information is brought to their fingertips through the means of Business Intelligence solutions.
While mostly the data warehouse is in support of an organization information needs, living just beneath sea level, Business Intelligence is situated at the "tip of the iceberg", presenting the ultimate visualization of all data within an organization. Obviously it is also the first place where end-users will base their (dis-)contentment of the entire solution upon. Therefore it is vital to have a user-friendly Business Intelligence environment and to provide the right information, at the right level, at the right time to the right audience via the right means.
For all different solutions, a number of important topics return: infrastructure, administration, metadata layer (presentation layers) definitions, security, report design & content, performance, transition to production, migration, and finally the integration of all different modules with each other (to eg. allow for seemless drillthrough, drill-down or drill across).
Questions which can influence final choices made are:
- Is the BI solution primarily informational or operational oriented ?
- What types of information is required for the analysis ?
- How dynamic is your business situation ?
- How complex are your business needs ?
- How much data will be analyzed (in terms of volumes) ?
- Does the BI-solution need to be integrated with existing or future systems ?
- Are different tools standards coexisting ?
- Will the BI-solution be accessed by external business partners like vendors / suppliers and / or customers (Business Intelligence extranet) ?
- Business Intelligence implementation: Setting up your BI environment in the most effective way, ranging from the initial architectural setup, through a state-of-the-art business metadata layer definition, a flexible security setup, and finally the right reports, analyses, dashboards and scorecards.
- Business Intelligence assessment: When your BI investment isn't paying off, many potential causes can be at the heart of the problem: inappropriate tooling for a certain public, security issues, performance drains, incorrect setup of the metadata layers, inefficient created reports … By executing a BI assessment on your environment, based on an exhaustive checklist, all relevant causes can be detected. Additionally a number of actions can be identified for improving your BI ROI.
- Business Intelligence tool selection: element61 provides "elementary™ for BI software selection”. This is a unique approach towards choosing the appropriate BI tools for your organization. It starts off by interviewing the key users and understanding their requirements and their corresponding priorities - not from an information point of view but moreover from a BI capabilities perspective. Previous experiences with these kinds of tools are also taken into account here. Based on these requirements combined with research from leading third party industry analysts, a list of BI vendors and their tools can be established, taking into account or not longlist selection criteria like a Gartner Magic Quadrant or also including smaller players like Qlikview, Pentaho, Infor etc ... Hereafter, each vendor will be invited to give a detailed demonstration about their products. A proof of concept might complete the evaluation. Throughout the entire process, a detailed evaluation matrix is used for scoring the different tools, from different angles. Finally a well-structured deliverable is established presenting all vendors, a description of their products, major strengths & weaknesses, their future strategy and a final recommendation.
- Business Intelligence training: At element61, we master a wide range of different BI technologies, for which we can provide on-site trainings and workshops, ranging from overview sessions providing a helicopter view on the full scale of BI related tools offered by one particular vendor, to in-depth training on certain specific BI-modules.