Tag Archives: decision-making

Why Mobile BI becoming the first choice for BI users?

9 Jul

Mobile business intelligence is becoming a leading trend within the BI market. According to Gartner, one-third of all Business Intelligence access will be through mobile devices in the next few years. Over the past several years solution providers have placed a lot of effort into developing interactive mobile applications that can be used by decision makers on the road. Although it has been a slow road to broad adoption, mobile BI is eventually fathering to make encroachments into the general business intelligence market.

It’s tough to refuse the fact that most of us love our mobile phones, tablets and ipads and with technology advancements and widespread adoption of Androids, iPhones, tablets and iPads it is becoming a big tug-of-war within the office to bring business applications like business intelligence, CRM into these mobile devices. Adding to this many organizations are even adopting a ‘BYOD’ (Bring your Own Device) policy to get started as quickly as possible and vendors are able to provide BI offerings that allow companies to provide enhanced analytics and information access.

Expanding Mobile BI market

Speed, power, money, followed by interactive dashboards and parametric reports are the reasons for businesses to deploy mobile BI as a key element of their BI environment. The adoption of iPad and tablets eventually becomes the first choice for BI users. Predicting the potential user centric market many vendors have started their development efforts in expanding the mobile BI by bringing in attractive dashboards, user friendly navigation etc, while organizations too are slowly switching their adoption towards the mobile BI than implementing an in-house solution.

Vendor’s delivery model

Companies like ZSL, expands their mobile BI offerings to meet business needs and offer high level of interactive dashboards and ease of use full spectrum BI applications that provide end users liberty to do proper decision making. Eventually these features and functionality within the mobile environment as similar as web-based or desktop application leverage an alternative solution to the BI users. Consequently organizations will no longer required the option of selecting on-premise BI; they would rather prefer a single solution choice of Mobile BI with more real-time, in-memory and advanced analytical access.

Although it is just the outset of the mobile development, more advanced solutions will be developed constantly to fulfill the growing requirement of the users on the roads. With continued growth in mobile application development and analytics integration, companies can get a complete insight of what is happening within their organization.

Rage on iPads and tablets devices

The increasing rage on iPads and tablets is yet another reason for the users to prefer mobile BI. Users have widened their adoption to iPads and Tablets PCs and vendors to support the increasing demand are developing application that can be easily be integrated with any platform. As the use of tablets and iPads are invariably increasing, BI adoption is more likely to expand exponentially within organizations as usage patterns expand to more employees

Sales Analysis and Visibility for the users

Aside from overall use, sales analysis has always been at the forefront of mobile BI adoption. This provides the basis for more in-depth analysis in relation to customers, suppliers, product movement, and industry. Therefore, sales managers and other users involved in partnering or supply chain management (SCM) will no longer need to download or refer outdated reports henceforth more opportunities in hand and more business relationships providing visibility to their business.

Mobile BI is here to stay, and will continue to grow rapidly, as employers increasingly look to keep managers and decision-makers “on the hook” on a 24×7 basis. In other words, certainly there’s hope — but there’s also hype.

About the Author

Shaughn is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over ten years, he has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Shaughn is the channel expert for BI for the small and Mid-Market segments at ZSL and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. He can be reached at shaughnk@zslinc.com. And please visit Shaughn’s blog at zslbiservices.wordpress.com



3 Jul

The essence of management is making decisions. Managers are perpetually involved to measure alternatives and make decisions for a wide range of problems. Just like we have different managerial styles, there are different decision-making styles. Decision-making is the heart of strategy deployment. Making decisions involves uncertainty and risk, and decision makers have varying degrees of risk aversion. It must be coherent, relevant and rapidly taken. Decision making also involves qualitative and quantitative analysis and some decision makers prefer one form of analysis over the other. Decision making can be affected not only by rational judgment, but also by non-rational factors such as the personality of the decision maker, peer pressure, the organizational situation, and others.

The most essential raw material when making a decision is your Information. Organizations today have access to almost unlimited amounts of data – sales, demographics, economic trends, competitive data, consumer behavior, efficiency measures, financial calculations, etc. However, many decision makers in organizations feel mazed and bewildered. They have islands of data and still are not capable of making the correct decisions, or understanding where they really are. They fall under the hallucination that mere data is enough. If we have the data and facts, then what more do we need? In today’s connected digital economy, it is very easy to get data yet it is difficult to convert this data into meaningful information for a perfect decision making.

Here are few approaches you can adapt to make better decisions.

  1. Work on the right decision problem. Be careful in stating the problem, and avoid unwarranted assumptions and option-limiting prejudices.
  2. Specify your objectives. Determine what you want to accomplish, and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are the most relevant.
  3. Create imaginative alternatives. Alternatives represent different courses of action, and your decision can be no better than your best alternative.
  4. Understand the consequences. Determine how well different alternatives satisfy all of your objectives.
  5. Grapple with your tradeoffs. Since objectives frequently conflict with each other, it becomes necessary to choose among less-than-perfect possibilities.
  6. Clarify your uncertainties. Confront uncertainty by judging the likelihood of different outcomes and assessing their possible impacts.
  7. Think hard about your risk tolerance. In order to choose an alternative with an acceptable level of risk, become conscious of how much risk you can tolerate.
  8. Consider linked decisions. Many important decisions are linked over time. The key to making a series of decisions is to isolate and resolve near-term issues while gathering information relevant to issues that will arise later.

To know more on how we have created better decision systems, please talk to Shaughn Knight.

BI/DW Services for Retail Industry

11 Nov

Retail is one of the most diversified Industries standing at its point of inflexion, waiting for the boom to take place in the vertical industry arena. It is observed that the retail enterprises face numerous challenges and competition due to the fact that the players in the retail markets have not adopted the ability to react quickly and decisively to the market trends and the ability to facilitates their individual clients with tailored products and services; adding to the challenge is the sustained profit that are moderately small. Apart from these challenges, if you are a retailer you also need to focus on few challenges such as choosing the right product to sell, selecting the right supplier for the product and appropriate shipping options, well understanding of the customer expectations and pricing, Anticipating and forecast stock and inventory and so on.

To overcome such challenges you need a framework that should be very effective in means of organizing and analyzing the vast amount of information generated in the retail business, align your business with client needs, differentiate your product than that of your competitors, should optimize product mix and space utilization, and finally should help you to generate a more effective business mode to keep you always ahead of the profit margin. This can be done only if you have a Business Intelligence (BI) system in place. Retail is all about getting the right product at the right time at the right price. However, the right location and mix of web and brick and mortar facilities also plays an important factor in the industry. If the customer is unable to find your business obviously they are not going to reach you.

You may think, gathering and analysis of business intelligence is an easy task. Trust me; it is not. The retail industry by itself is awash in best of breed, enterprise and legacy systems to manage everything from

  • Traditional retail information, including point of sale data, gross margins, turns, and gross margin return on inventory investment (GMROI);
  • Market data, including market share and competitor pricing;
  • Promotional data, including special pricing offers and vendor contributions, such as promotional allowances and coop advertising fees; and
  • Client data, including demographics and various loyalty and client value metrics

If the retailer is to remain competitive, executives, managers and business users must have access to the most complete information with full insight into results and critical issues and the ability to quickly analyze, present and report these results to support decisions and adapt to the changing market.

Advantages of using a BI framework:

  • Provide you simple dashboards that enable swift reporting and analysis of information integrated from numerous sources. These tools digest large volumes of information and convey it in an intuitive format, making it easy to classify and respond to critical, time-sensitive events. They also help in exploring issues and trends without getting completely lost in a big pool of information.
  • Deliver information through personalized BI dashboards and charts, graphs, gauges, automated alerts and other views designed to meet the needs of the individual user and to support their role and function
  • Contour and optimize resource capacity and merchandise management
  • Determine and manage supplier performance to ensure appropriate inventory and stock management
  • Provides you the ability to analyze and adapt new and advanced marketing and ecommerce strategies and customer buying capabilities
  • Perform market share analysis and market research to support marketing, sales and targets
  • Enhance your category management
  • Compile and analyze brand and marketing research
  • Perform Integration and analyze information from key performance metrics such as financial data, inventory, etc., and CRM systems with unlined integration of various formats and stunning reports and graphics providing accessibility across the enterprise in every location with integration and information sharing, collaboration and consistency irrespective of the location of the users
  • Design effective marketing campaigns for specific products by identifying opportunities
  • Gather and analyze data to determine appropriate stock and inventory levels to meet demand and avoid overstock or shortages
  • Enhance you financial performance and enables the user to monitor the financial health of the organization and create and share reports to comply with government and industry regulations

For more information on Business Intelligence for retail industry or any other industry queries please click here