Most business leaders agree that a better understanding of their operations and customers will allow them to make better decisions and ultimately run their business more profitably. If your situation is similar, you need business data because data drive decisions. Often, however, data is either not systematically collected, or available data is of low quality and/or large quantity such that it obscures important trends and insights.

Many processes and even entire businesses are run at least initially with very simplistic methods. As businesses and markets grow, so does the complexity and the amount of business data. Processes often don’t evolve fast enough or somewhat ad-hoc without a good understanding of important drivers based on analysis and business modeling. As a result, many businesses have substantial potential for improvement. As your business grows and becomes more complex, you need to evolve your capacity to gather and analyze more and more business data.

Enter Business Intelligence (BI). The field of BI has matured and now offers many commercial products covering business analysis and modeling. Take spreadsheets as a basic example. Most people will use Microsoft Excel, or perhaps Google Docs or Apple Numbers. The point is: Hardly anyone is going to invent their own spreadsheet program anymore. You are almost always better off investing in and then building on top of existing products as compared to re-inventing the wheel yourself. Many business people still under-estimate the power of modern BI products. The available levels of abstraction coupled with exponentially growing computer power has ushered in an era of enormously powerful platforms with unprecedented functionality and scalability. Yet when it comes to BI, many businesses still operate as if Excel were the only available tool and try to build everything themselves within Excel. Not surprisingly, the spreadsheets become overly numerous and complex, ever harder to understand and maintain. The resulting BI is limited. Like many legacy applications, those Excel-based BI solutions eventually become inflexible or even collapse under their own weight. You need to work with powerful tools to stay ahead of the data flood. You may need to move beyond Excel.

Speaking of BI tools: There is no one-size-fits-all, single best solution for every problem. Most good mechanics will carry many specialized tools. Most expert software engineers will use more than just one programming language. The same applies to every good business analyst. When it comes to picking the right tool(s), most business people have also learned to be skeptical of overly optimistic vendor claims. All too often commercial products look too good to be true and eager sales-reps will oversell its capabilities. When was the last time you heard a vendor say: “Our tool can’t reasonably do that”? Deciding to invest in a particular product carries risk. The list of issues includes cost, compatibility, ease-of-use, training, support, to name just a few. Often the time and money to evaluate candidate products is not spent or decisions are made for reasons other than functional fit. You need an independent, unbiased assessment of what methods and tools are best suited for your particular BI needs.

Our philosophy is to provide you with independent assessments and unbiased recommendations. Then we build or extend your BI capabilities  tailored to your specific needs. The result is improved business performance based on better decisions which come from insight created by better models and analysis of your business data.

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