BI Tools to Increase Organizational Knowledge
Business intelligence (BI) is a very important part of any company's operations. Successful Canadian organizations invest heavily in resources that help them remain on the cutting edge of new developments within their industry. BI and competitive intelligence resources are relied upon to stay one step ahead of competitors and make effective decisions consistently.
To effectively collect, organize, and analyze important data, organization use BI tools. These tools are software applications that aid with data collection and information management. They are programmed to collect, retrieve, and read data from internal data warehouses and databases.
Types of BI Tools
BI tools come in many different shapes and sizes. There are a number of options available for organizations seeking to add business intelligence tools:
Spreadsheets: Perhaps the most basic form of business intelligence tools, spreadsheets are a great tool for companies that have straight forward data analysis needs.
- Data mining software: Ideal for companies that are concerned with identifying patterns in data. This is accomplished through the combination of statistical analysis and database management functionality.
- Querying software: This software is comprised of tools that have the ability to extract, organize and present summaries of the data and information collected.
- Performance management: Top organizations not only collect external information, but also information about their own performance. These tools analyze the goals and objective of organizations compare this to the systems being used, and determine if performance levels are being met.
- Process management tools: This tool analyzes process and event logs in order to improve an organization's data collection and management.
- Dashboards: Dashboards are used to provide a high level overview of information collection processes in order to refine and focus protocol.
- Information systems: Use computer science technology and apply it to business practices to gather and analyze digital information.
Business intelligence Tool Considerations
The biggest factor in having the best business intelligence capabilities is selecting the right tools and technologies for your organization's specific purpose. Organizations must take their time in analyzing their specific needs and combining this with cost-effective solutions.
Organizations have three main options when it comes to business intelligence tools:
- Stand alone technologies
BI tool selection criteria
There are a number of key criteria that companies need to consider when selecting an appropriate set of business intelligence tools:
- Security: Does to tool provide the necessary security measures so confidential data and information is not compromised?
- Performance management: Does the tool provide effective performance analysis indicators, dashboards and management capabilities?
- Functionality: Is the tool easy to use? Does it have all processes necessary for building competitive intelligence?
- Usability: Is the tool easy to implement into current business processes and protocol? Is there minimal training requirements and ramp-up time?
- Analysis capabilities: Does the tool provide effective forecasting and predictive action measures?
- Search: Does the system allow users to perform queries and audit the system?
- Support: Is there adequate support available for the tool? Can problems and operational issues with the tool be resolved quickly?
BI Tools to consider
There are many different business intelligence tools on the market. The following is a list of some of the most popular BI tools for organizations to consider based on their specific function:
- Benchmarking tools:
- Reporting and analytics tools
- Database management tools
o My SQL
- Data warehousing and ETL tools
o IBM DataStage
o Oracle Warehouse Builder
While this is not an exhaustive list of tools, it provides organizations with a great start to identify the tools that are best suited to help them improve business intelligence efforts.
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