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Benefits of a BI solution

We are interested in exploring various BI solutions, but are not able to easily calculate the real benefits that such as solution would deliver. Can you help provide guidance as to benefits we can expect?

We are interested in exploring various BI solutions, but are not able to easily calculate the real benefits that such as solution would deliver. Can you help provide guidance as to benefits we can expect?
As a result of implementing business intelligence applications, organizations are gaining key business value advantages, ranging from simple cost avoidance -- such as saving on the labor, printing and distributing reports -- to competitive advantage -- such as recognizing hot selling items quickly enough to respond to customer demands and avoid "out-of-stock" conditions. Several of the possible benefits include the following:
  1. Consolidate query, reporting, analysis and analytic applications, such as eliminating custom development and manual maintenance of Excel spreadsheets and reducing data consolidation efforts.

  2. Leverage important and valuable data currently being captured by ERP, CRM, SCM and other systems, but locked in these systems due to inadequate and difficult mining and reporting tools.

  3. Improve the integrity of analytics by assuring source data validity and calculation integrity, reducing or eliminating the cost of business decisions based on incorrect data.

  4. Eliminate stove-piped analysis across departments and divisions, reducing the time people have to argue about numbers or make conflicting decisions.

  5. Create powerful dashboard applications for various user groups to help gain visibility into performance and key performance indicators. These tools help correlate the cause and effect relationship between metrics so you can take action to quickly resolve a business process issue, reduce costs or increase revenue. Dashboards can help the business act quicker on important information such as better recognizing a hot product in order to meet growing demand and eliminating "out of stock" conditions or better recognizing competitive pricing issues in order to reset prices.

  6. Empower users to create, manage and distribute their own standard, ad-hoc and multi-dimensional reports and content, saving time on current report development and maintenance labor.

  7. Reduce report printing and distribution costs including saving on printers, toner and mailing costs.

  8. Improve velocity of reporting and visibility, reducing report time from weeks to minutes, such as real-time visibility into the impact of pricing and promotional strategies on corporate profitability or creating compliance reports quickly in order to meet audit demands.

  9. Uncover business issues, mistakes or fraud more easily, such as recognizing unusual business purchases or unusual sales bookings.
  10. Reduce the impact of employee turnover and need for training by unlocking islands of information and analytics in proprietary Excel spreadsheets by standardizing on a BI platform.
  11. Better meet financial reporting and regulatory compliance by assuring consistency of information and automating analysis, validation and distribution of reports by policy.
This was last published in December 2005

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