Analytics and business intelligence platforms empower organizations to gain the most advanced and up to date intelligence from the data they gather across their network. This allows them to best use the data at their disposal to drive decision making and improve outcomes. These solutions allow users to leverage the improved understanding they gain from these data-driven insights and use them to take more decisive action, boost operational efficiency, improve customers experiences, and support better business growth.
Analytics and BI platforms are designed to ingest data from various sources, process it, and present it in a user-friendly manner. The overarching goal is to facilitate informed decision-making. These platforms often include features like data warehousing, drag-and-drop dashboard creation, advanced analytical processing, and machine learning capabilities for predictive and prescriptive analytics.
It is important for businesses to ensure they fully understand the ins and outs of their daily operations and to have a clear view of their important information and data to stay competitive. This is where an effective analytics and business intelligence platform comes into its own.
In this article, we will explore the top analytics and business intelligence platforms. We’ll delve into features such as data visualization, data analysis, dashboards, and reporting, as well as provide background information on each vendor and offer our recommendations for who each solution would be best suited to.
Analytics And Business Intelligence Platforms: Everything You Need To Know (FAQs)
What Is An Analytics And Business Intelligence Platform?
Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions support users in modeling, analyzing, exploring, and managing their data, as well as collaborating and sharing findings. These solutions also make it possible to properly process and visualize data in order to benefit from the information on offer. This accurate analysis results in well-rounded data-driven decisions for the business.
Business Intelligence solutions offer tools and functionalities that allow users to take their raw data – from databases, emails, videos, survey responses – and transform that data into valuable insights that are easily digestible and can be easily understood by more than just the IT teams. Users of these platforms can create customized dashboards, build data visualizations, display scoreboards, and make comparisons with key performance indicators (KPIs).
With an analytics and business intelligence platform organizations can more easily facilitate strong strategic planning, enact operational improvements, and gain a competitive advantage.
How Does An Analytics And Business Intelligence Platform Work And What Are The Key Features?
These solutions work to take some of the tedious guesswork out of the decision-making process by providing a solid foundation of knowledge on which to plan strategically. This approach gives business leaders a way to make the most intelligent and well-informed decisioned for the business. This is achieved through following these steps:
- Gather data from a variety of sources, both in and outside of the organizations. Companies often have a large volume of data, from hundreds or even thousands of sources, so the platform should provide the necessary tools to connect to sources like databases, cloud storage, spreadsheets, APIs, external data providers, etc. to collect and integrate that collection of data.
- Carry out data cleaning, filtering, merging, and transformation, to ensure that messy raw data ends up in a usable format. Analytics and business intelligence platforms will clean data and check its quality to ensure it can be added into a functional data set. It will also ensure that the data is complaint and formatted correctly.
- Data that has been properly processed and transformed then needs to be stored in a structured format. This data is stored within the platforms database or data warehouse. This centralized repository makes querying and retrieving data for analysis far more efficient.
- Create relationships between various data points using data modeling, which allows for better querying and analysis. To facilitate the most effective data analysis, the analytics and business intelligence platform may employ techniques such as data cubes, star schemas, and other models to get the most information from your data.
- Use the platform’s analytics tools to delve into descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analysis. Leveraging the platforms analytics capabilities allows users to write queries, apply statistical analysis, and – with the help of machine learning algorithms – reveal valuable insights from the data.
- Use data visualizations to understand insights and actionable intelligence. By offering multiple ways of displaying data (through graphs, charts, dashboards, and reports), a wider range of users can understand the analysis. These visualizations not only make the information more widely digestible, they also allow users to identify and then visually represent trends, patterns, and key metrics which can be used to inform decision making later on.
- Set up automated reports and alerts. Doing this automatically removes a tedious task, while ensuring that users are notified automatically when certain conditions and thresholds are met. This ensures that stakeholders remain updated on important developments without delay.
- Performance monitoring and predictive analytics provide users with both real–time monitoring capabilities that enable the tracking of the business’ performance against established KPIs, and allow for the leveraging or historical data to forecast future trends and outcomes. These can help organizations keep on top of making necessary adjustments for the sake of performance and can aid in proactive decision making.
What Are The Benefits Of Using An Analytics and Business Intelligence Platform?
The insights derived from business intelligence and analytics solutions gives organizations the ability to articulate and ask the questions, in simple terms, that they need to be asking of themselves. This means that any decisions they make (and subsequent actions taken) are not just best guesses, but instead are well informed and data driven.
In addition to the informed and strategic decision making that these solutions facilitate, there are further benefits including:
- Gaining a competitive advantage
- Boosting overall efficiency
- Uncovering hidden patterns, correlations, and trends
- Using insights to analyze spending patterns and find cost cutting opportunities
- Gaining better insights into customer behaviors and preferences
- Using historical data to identify potential risks and make adjustments to mitigate them
- Supporting more effective collaboration and data sharing
- Empowering non-technical users to perform data analysis without needing technical support
- Aligning the organizations action with their business goals
- Enhance transparency and meet compliance requirements
- Make more detailed long term plans
- Reduce data complexity by making data more digestible