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The full promise of BI

The confluence of recessionary forces, stalled innovation and increased maintenance charges from many on-premise software vendors has invigorated the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketplace. Over the last two to three years, on-demand reporting and analysis solutions have experienced increased adoption for several reasons.

Mid-sized companies can't justify the cost of a full-blown business intelligence (BI) solution, and even the largest organizations have been disillusioned by the time it takes to deliver results to end users. Organizations across the board are being challenged to do more with less and are looking for greater simplicity, flexibility and agility in their BI solutions.

A new option available to line of business managers and IT professionals is on-demand business analytics (BA). By removing the expensive, complex, and time-consuming aspects of BI and providing secure access over the Internet, on-demand BA eliminates the need to make significant upfront data center investments in additional hardware, and reduces the backlog for new reports and analysis that would previously consume IT resources.

Because on-demand BA is "in the cloud," it represents a radical new value proposition by making business intelligence affordable, secure, and scalable to more people than ever before. On-demand BA has the potential to deliver the value of business intelligence to everyone and fulfill the long held promise of "pervasive" BI.

Delivering actionable business intelligence with on-demand BA

On-demand BA provides a flexible business intelligence platform that can help organizations realize their BI objectives and eliminate reporting bottlenecks. Unlike traditional approaches designed to be used by analysts who run data analysis on behalf of decision-makers, on-demand BA puts analytic tools in the hands of a wide range of users, providing visibility into relevant, up-to-date information that supports decision-making for the situation at hand.

For example, if a report shows sales are trending lower than expected, business users need to be able to uncover the underlying issues easily, by getting answers to questions such as:

  • Is the problem with one product line, or certain regions?
  • What is different between underperforming products or regions versus other combinations that are performing well?
  • Is there a related problem with sales headcount, marketing campaigns, inventory or something else?


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