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Business Intelligence: Reports are Just Scratching the Surface

Reporting, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Corporate Performance Management

We often hear, “BI? Yeah, we have that.” But when we ask what it’s being used for, we hear about all the cool reports they can run. If this is all they are doing with the data, are they truly benefitting as much as they could with these powerful tools? You should ask yourself the same question. If all you’re using your BI tool for is reports, you’re missing out—in a big way.

To help you answer the question of where your company is AND where it can go when it comes to Business Intelligence and beyond, let’s start by defining some terms that are used around this topic—often incorrectly. In our “BI” discussions with customers, we notice that they often interchange several words or phrases, lumping everything under one umbrella. Here are some common terms we hear interchanged: reporting, business analytics, business intelligence, and Corporate (or Enterprise or Business) Performance Management. Let’s dig deeper into each of these terms to create a clear understanding, so you can assess where your company is on the path of managing your business more effectively.

Reporting

Reporting is historical, showing you what has already happened. You are looking back in time when reading a report. Reports are crucial for knowing operating and financial data within your business and are fundamental to moving into business analytics.

Business Analytics

Taking reporting a step further is business analytics. Business analytics tools are used to explore and analyze historical and current data to identify past business trends and potentially provide some insight into forecasting the future. This includes data (or reports) from various systems, allowing you to explore data from all aspects of your business to get a more comprehensive view of your business trends.

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence gives you the ability to start looking forward in your business. Using the insight from reports and analytics, you can now apply this insight to strategize and make smarter decisions. Wikipedia states that “BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations.” This is where you gather all the data that will inform strategy and predictive modeling.

Corporate Performance Management

CPM, aka Enterprise Process Management (EPM) or Business Process Management (BPM), takes business intelligence and adds the process, methodologies, metrics, and systems used for managing the performance of your business. CPM consists of measuring your business in key areas, at regular intervals, to identify trends and areas for improvement.

You need to ensure you are capturing and measuring the right data to get started on the path to CPM.

Now is the Time

Business Intelligence tools are very affordable for any size company, and the benefits aren’t limited to large organizations. Take advantage of the information your ERP provides and start gathering the precise data you need to introduce corporate performance management into your business operations.

If you need help getting started with reporting, business analytics, business intelligence, or corporate performance management, contact ArcherPoint to discuss your needs.

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