Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Retrieving Data When and How You Need It

Written by Emily Jones, Senior Manager of Jackson Thornton Technologies

We all know how much we depend upon our business’ data to be able to make accurate decisions.  However, most businesses struggle with retrieving and utilizing their information.  It can prove to be a daunting task to gather information from various electronic applications only to end up manually combining all that information to finally have the data you need.

You may have heard the buzz word - Business Intelligence (BI) – and wondered what it is.  BI is somewhat self-explanatory in that it is a way to make your business more intelligent.  Business Intelligence streamlines the day-to-day processes and procedures of data management.  It is a method of looking at data to make better business decisions both for today and into the future. 

One of the most common uses of BI addresses the issue of retrieving information in an automatic, accurate, and easy to understand format.  This allows you as a business manager to easily spend your time running your business rather than combining your business information.  BI can consolidate, normalize, and analyze the data from various sources that your organization has been collecting.  Business Intelligence is an integral piece that joins business activities and the information technology necessary for those activities. 

Many have thought that BI was only needed by mega corporations and that they were the only ones that could afford to use it.  With today’s technology, this is false.  Over the last several years, BI has moved into mainstream usage for mid-size and small businesses alike.  Companies such as IBM have products like Insight and Cognos Express that fit well in this arena by providing mid and small sized companies with excellent BI tools that are both easy to use and affordable.  Business Intelligence solutions give your company the ability to track, analyze, and manage its internal information more efficiently.  And, we all know that an increase in efficiency has a direct correlation on overall profits.

We’ve all been saving our data in various methods, and for what reason?  If you cannot quickly and easily access the data to make knowledgeable business decisions, you need to check into what a good BI system can do for you.  Implementing a Business Intelligence strategy is a great way to keep your company as efficient as possible to consistently stay competitive in today’s business environment.

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