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Finding the Data You Need to Get the Whole Story

This is the second in a series of articles based on a collaborative program between Qlik and Forbes Insights designed to help organizations better use their data to become more successful.

Nearly every organization employs some kind of business intelligence to help it glean insights from its data. But is that enough?

Ensuring that decision makers have all the data they need to make the right choices is more important than ever. Changing competitive landscapes, new customer demands, heightened regulatory requirements and exponential growth in potential data sources have made business intelligence more complex than ever.

But enterprises that have the ability to use data strategically and creatively are likely to have a leg up on their competition. For this to happen, though, it’s not only important to integrate more data from more sources, but that data must be put directly in the hands of key decision makers through a more distributed, self-service model of analytics.

For example, a recent white paper from Forbes Insights1 on data-driven companies highlighted several real-world examples where distributed data makes all the difference:

  • After business units at a major insurance company were provided with a self-service data analytics solution, users were able to overlay dates of claims with traditional data fields. The result: They pinpointed the identities of two agents who were falsifying claims.
  • A leading bank reduced annual printing costs by more than $5 million by analyzing device usage data.

In short, allowing organizations to get the whole story from their data—giving them the ability to make smarter, faster and more far-reaching decisions—can transform their business and improve their long-term competitive position.

But do organizations have the right business intelligence platform to integrate all the necessary data and distribute it to decision makers, enabling them to uncover hidden connections and see the whole story? Traditional BI tools are quickly proving to be insufficient for companies aspiring to become truly data-driven.

Distributed BI Drives Results

Forbes Insights explores the compelling benefits of self-service BI and the steps industry leaders are taking to distribute data to front-line teams.

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In the Forbes Insights white paper, the head of business intelligence at National Express, a U.K.-based transportation company, was asked about the state of its analytics system. “We actually had a very rich set of data—many sources of great information,” the executive said. “It’s just that we weren’t using it to its full advantage.”

According to a banking executive also interviewed for the white paper, what tends to happen is that “companies spend months going back and forth between developers and end users, each speaking a different language, so neither ever really understands the other.” Consequently, the output becomes “just another static end-of-month PDF or spreadsheet” that, while likely an improvement on prior reporting, “still isn’t timely, meaningful, flexible, interactive or on point.”

Like his colleague at National Express, the bank executive searched for a better BI solution, “something simple, powerful and intuitive” that end users—those actually closest to the business—could use to “explore their own data” and build their own analytics and dashboards.

Both companies adopted solutions from Qlik, a business intelligence platform that allows them to capture data from multiple sources across their business ecosystems and enables stakeholders throughout the organization to translate that data into actionable insights.

As a result of switching to Qlik, both executives saw significant improvements in the use—and value—of their companies’ data. For instance, the banking executive recalled installing Qlik on a senior manager’s computer, with plans to check back a few days later. He was expecting to hear, “’I haven’t been able to get to this yet” but instead discovered that the manager was already beginning to model basic data. He remarked that results to date “are nothing short of amazing.”

Check out all the Forbes Insights research>>

Sponsor Spotlight
Qlik wants people and organizations around the world to gain more from their collective human intelligence by leveraging the power of analytics. As a leader in visual analytics, Qlik provides a fully integrated and simple platform that delivers insight at the point of decision. Whether it’s a personal visualization from Excel data, a mission-critical analytics application for group collaboration, or an industrial-strength enterprise deployment with complex requirements, people use Qlik to better access, present, explore and capitalize on the whole story that lives within their data.

For more information on what it means to become a data-driven enterprise, visit qlik.com/whole-story