Business Intelligence: A Guide for Midsize Companies

This SAP whitepaper on business intelligence is highly recommended for Dashboard Spy readers. Request a copy at this link: Business Intelligence: A Guide for Midsize Companies

Business Intelligence - A Guide for Midsize Companies

Business Intelligence - A Guide for Midsize Companies

Here is the Table of Contents:

  • Executive Summary
  • Signs Your Company Needs a Business Intelligence Solution
  • What Is Business Intelligence?
  • How Business Intelligence Is Helping Midsize Organizations
  • BI Components Explained
  • Much More Than Just a Simple Query
  • The Benefits of BI
  • Approaches to Implementing BI
  • Make Business Users Self-Sufficient BI Consumers
  • Facilitate Analysis with a Data Warehouse
  • What to Look for in a BI Product
  • What to Look for in a BI Vendor
  • Conclusion

Business intelligence (BI) allows business users to analyze and better understand their organization’s plans and results. It provides insight into what’s working correctly while identifying potential
problem areas in time for corrective actions to be taken. Find out how BI can help keep your midsize company ahead of the competition and how to choose the right BI product from the right vendor.

Your company’s focus has been on streamlining operations, acquiring customers, increasing revenues and profitability, and outpacing the competition. And while your company has continued to improve its operating efficiencies (sometimes by quickly learning from past mistakes), you believe you should
be spending more time analyzing what’s going on and predicting and planning for the future – rather than having your employees constantly running around putting out fires and trying to solve operational
problems based on gut feel.

Furthermore, you need the ability to determine where to concentrate your efforts. You can’t check every detail, yet you would like to be able to monitor your operations and be alerted to potential issues when they occur, no matter where you happen to be. You need to be able to focus on quickly finding and resolving potential problems while identifying and leveraging new opportunities despite the current uncertainty of the world economy.

You want to ensure that employee and departmental metrics are aligned with your company’s strategic goals.
You realize that your company does not have the resources of a Fortune 500 enterprise, but you believe that – person for person – your company’s employees are more passionate about their jobs and more committed to the customers. Your company may be relatively small right now, but it’s on a planned growth path. You’ve heard the term “business intelligence” and know that large companies – and maybe even
your direct competitors – are using it to obtain a competitive advantage. But right now, your company’s primary analysis tool is a spreadsheet.

You were there when your company’s first location was its founder’s garage. Now that your operations have graduated from the garage to real offices, isn’t it time your analysis capabilities graduated from spreadsheets to more powerful tools as well?

This paper from SAP offers guidance on how business intelligence can give your company a competitive edge.