Home Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence Tools - Why?

We live in the age of information…and information is power! In the business enterprise, it is imperative that everyone has the information they need in order to accurately and effectively fulfill their business obligations. In the past, only executives were privy to the type of reports and information that could help them understand how the business was performing against plan and objectives. They used this information to plan for the future and to make decisions about products, pricing, competition, markets, financials, budgets and many other business factors.

As the information age progressed, business managers and executives were buried under information. Instead of wishing for more information to run the business, these business managers wished for better, more concise information. Today, the pace of business is even faster! Market changes occur more quickly, and businesses must hire and train resources with the right knowledge to do the job. Managers must organize and execute work using optimised processes and collaborative efforts that keep the divisions, departments and organisation in sync and ensure that everyone is working toward the same objectives and goals.

Adding to the problem of managing business today is the fact that nearly every enterprise now expects its business users and employees to be actively involved in understanding corporate goals and objectives and in managing their own department, division, team or role to achieve the goals set by the executive team. But, there is never enough time in the day to sort through spreadsheets, presentations, reports and enterprise system or data bases information to find the data needed to make the best decision, and not every user has access to the information they need to manage their work or output.

The evolution of Business Intelligence Tools has enabled true business assessment and performance management, by providing clear, concise results using data and information integrated from various sources and presented in a way that clearly illustrates patterns, trends and problem areas that require attention. Using custom designed metrics and measurements, executives and business users can now manage objectively with insight into the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) they establish. The organisation can make faster, more accurate, course corrections and adapt to the changing market and business landscape with ease and proficiency.

That is the value of true Business Intelligence!

Business Intelligence Tool - Dashboards

If your organisation is struggling to manage, find, sort, filter and use information in a meaningful way, we encourage you to learn more about the ElegantJ BI BI and CPM suite of modules. Learn how the features of these Business Intelligence Tools can provide comprehensive, integrated capabilities for query, BI reporting and analysis in a single, user-friendly, browser interface and maximize corporate performance through the use of powerful features like Balanced Scorecards, interactive dashboards, OLAP analysis, graphs, reports, exception alerts and other tools.

ElegantJ BI is simple to implement and requires minimal training. Your business users do not need the assistance of a programmer or expert to design, develop and use their own personalised view of data and stay on track to achieve established goals and objectives. ElegantJ BI is simple, practical and affordable and it is suitable for strategic planning, tactical analysis and operational management. Our licensing and implementation options are flexible, with on premises implementation or hosted, Software as a Service (SaaS) options to ensure a worry–free implementation and care free maintenance and support, allowing your organisation to focus on critical business issues and decisions.

Sample Case study

"We need to develop a comprehensive brand strategy to improve our market penetration and recognition."
Darren Lundgren, Age 48, Sr. VP of Marketing, Salvo Applicances

Darren is the Senior Vice President of marketing for a retail appliance company. This enterprise is launching a national campaign to expand its market into other regions and become a national name, and to build a brand reputation to improve competitive positioning in its existing markets.

In order to achieve his goals, Darren must establish a uniform, dependable data and reporting system that can be implemented company–wide and will provide the flexibility and analytical capability to satisfy complex corporate requirements for every department and team and ensure that the business managers in sales, marketing, finance and operations can accurately view and manage information to adapt to changes in the existing market and to assess and manage results in new markets, quickly adapting strategy and making decisions to support the new market growth and business success. Because his end–users have varied technical skills and daily tasks, he must provide a system that integrates information from various sources within the enterprise.

As a member of the market expansion team, Darren has been asked to answer some difficult and challenging business questions:

  • How do we advance the brand and become one of the top 10 providers in the existing market and in our new markets?
  • How can we reduce overhead so that we do not have to grow our resources exponentially in order to serve the new markets?
  • What percentage of turnover is generated through new clients gained in the same financial year over the last three years?
  • How can we reduce churn in our client base?
  • How can we reduce delays in the supply chain?
  • How effective is our TV advertising campaign?
  • What is the prospective sales of the product in new customer market
  • How well are our customer services teams handling the periodic increases in support requests?
  • How can I monitor progress of the market expansion to make appropriate corrections as our plan progresses?

The Problem

Existing enterprise systems, data bases and other sources of information are disparate and use various types of fields, sorting, ranking and data manipulation techniques. It is nearly impossible for Darren and his team to integrate and benefit from existing information under these circumstances and they do not have the time or money to purchase or customise a large, complex system in hopes of compiling information for reporting and planning purposes. If they are to answer the questions put to them by the executive team, they will need to act quickly, so that this information can be used to create the brand strategy and market expansion plan, to hire appropriate resources and take other appropriate action to execute the strategy.

ElegantJ BI Business Intelligence – Answering the Tough Questions

Darren selected the ElegantJ BI Business Intelligence Tools to satisfy the defined requirements. This solution provided his team with an integrated, enterprise–wide view of data and the ability to effectively manage expansion and finances with a current view of data and results.

How do we advance the brand into the top 10 ?
ElegantJ BI provided the historical and trending analysis to help Darren and the team identify which market sectors would be the most difficult and where they might need to establish a new marketing approach. Demographics and buying behaviour, combined with existing client data, led the team to select certain products and pricing strategies to use as ideal entrants into the new market and to change some strategies to improve sales in existing markets. Darren and his team decided they had to increase the number of clients across all market sectors by 10%, year over year for a five year period. They established specific initiatives to offer products on a loss basis to the first 5 new clients in each new market sector.

How can we reduce overhead?
Business Intelligence Tools assisted the team in identifying trends and in establishing alerts and exception reports to monitor minimum standards and look for quality issues so that the enterprise can ‘do it right the first time’ by enforcing better quality standards and decrease overhead, resources and other factors to save money. The team established a new quality threshold of 80% and they can now monitor that threshold to ensure success and address problems as they occur. This will also improve the number of warranty issues that arise and decrease the number of returns and the client turnover.

What percentage of turnover is generated through new clients gained in the same financial year over the last three years?
Darren and the team now have a combined view of information from disparate systems, including budgets, financials, sales, contacts, marketing, HR and other systems. They can utilize this information in personalised dashboards and reports to graphically depict customer turnover and new client acquisition and determine whether a particular client demographic, region, product, price range or other factor might be affecting customer retention and the acquisition of new customers from prospects.

How can we reduce churn in our client base?
ElegantJ BI reporting, dashboards and analysis revealed that the enterprise had an unacceptable customer turnover and Darren and the team knew that this would not be acceptable in existing markets or as they expanded the brand into other markets. They discovered that while the sales team worked hard to acquire new clients, many were canceling orders or discontinuing orders for store or floor inventory after 12 months as a client. By offering discounts for volume purchases and improving quality standards, the enterprise can improve the number of sales and retailer and end–user satisfaction. Darren and the team will also add sales incentives for the retailer to encourage them to sell units from the floor and inventory in order to receive retailer rewards. With Business Intelligence Tools Darren and his team can monitor the results of these new programs as they progress and make appropriate adjustments to ensure success in new and existing markets.

How can we reduce delays in the supply chain?
ElegantJ BI analytics functionality can provide updated monthly results, showing the number of delayed deliveries with attribution to third party suppliers, so Darren and the team can monitor which suppliers are dependable and where they might need to change suppliers in order to ensure on–time delivery and dependability. The team sets a target to reduce supplier delivery delays by 25% over the next 12 months, and to find two additional component suppliers for key products. They will use ElegantJ BI to analyse required parameters, monitor results and ensure that they are not caught unaware when a problem occurs. The team can slice and dice data, drill down and retrieve and report on data from various systems and spreadsheets to create supplier rankings and track the parameters and metrics they establish. This will help them determine the root cause of poor supplier performance.

How effective is our TV advertising campaign?
ElegantJ BI will provide critical insight into the regions where customers are buying appliances after seeing the special discounts advertised on their local TV station. It will enable Darren and his team to monitor sales results, identify successful marketing campaigns and slice and dice information by region, sales team and by a specific advertising campaign. They can sort, filter, rank and present information in concise, clear graphical and cross–tab displays to make presentations and to clearly identify and drill down into data to determine the root cause of sales decline or unsuccessful advertising campaigns. By monitoring the results of the various ad campaigns targeted to each customer profile and type, they can determine the success or failure of the campaigns and make adjustments within markets, regions, by product type or message or even the time of day or season when the campaign is run.

What is the prospective sales of the product in the new markets?
Darren and his team can establish custom, personalised views to satisfy requirements by role, department, division and team. They can view clear, concise information at a strategic, operational and tactical level for effectively manage performance and support effective decisions, sharing information with other users and using the data to make periodic presentations to discuss market progress. ElegantJ BI enables the team to view information by product, SKU, pricing, region, customer category, sales team, and individual sales professional. The predictive analysis and forecasting features within ElegantJ BI use historical results and complex algorithms – all in an intuitive, non–technical environment – to accurately build models and predict sales in new markets and in existing markets. Darren and his team can analyse past sales by product, demographic, time period and other factors, and use this information to create a reliable sales forecast and revenue plan.

How well are our customer services teams handling the periodic increases in support requests?
Business Intelligence Tools enable the team to integrate information from technical and service call systems and to monitor and report on the nature of the calls, the average time taken to complete the call, the issues and problems the representative found and whether additional parts or service calls were required. This information can be combined with the quality monitoring initiatives to resolve quality issues where they occur and to improve repair techniques and the knowledge of each technical representative so that calls can be completed more efficiently and more quickly.

How can I monitor progress of the market expansion to make appropriate corrections as our plan progresses?
Using the ElegantJ BI Balanced Scorecard (BSC) features, Darren and the team can create and track key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor targets for various objectives. By cascading these scorecards to the regions and business units, the team can provide custom perspectives, and individualized goals and metrics for the sales team and monitor the metrics to follow the results. Because every team member has a different role, and the business landscape changes every day, this Balanced Scorecard approach ensures that each team member has the ability to view information in a way that is meaningful to them. They can capture and report on progress, establish their own key performance indicators (KPIs), scorecards and performance metrics, track actual expenses against plan numbers, monitor sales by product line, by region and any other factor. When an issue arises, Darren and the individual team member will receive an automated alert via email to notify them that an established threshold has been crossed. This ensures that the team can take immediate action to resolve the issues and drill down capability ensures that the team can accurately identify the root cause of the problem and take correction action

As you can see, ElegantJ BI dashboards, alerts, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) keep the organisation and every individual on track, and clearly illustrate accountability and where changes must be made. ElegantJ BI training is minimal so every end–user can become a power user quickly and leverage the full value of the solution. The organisation selected a hosted, Software as a Service (SaaS) implementation so there is no maintenance or technical upgrade required. Users have full access to the solution on the road and in the office, via a browser–based, intuitive user interface.

The entire Salvo organisation now has access to true BI. This data provides the information they need to monitor and improve sales and marketing in existing regions and to successful plan to expand into other markets and to lay the foundation for a successful brand strategy and business success and growth in the years to come!

If you have the vision and the desire to improve your business intelligence capabilities and, if you want go beyond enterprise reporting, to realize the true benefit of corporate performance management, we encourage you to contact us today. We are ready to speak with you about your unique requirements and to tell you how ElegantJ BI can help you achieve your goals and engender business success!

If you need a rich, intuitive data environment, coupled with robust BI and CPM features, contact us today to discuss your unique requirements and get started with the ElegantJ BI solution suite. Email us at sales@ElegantJBI.com

The Power of ElegantJ BI is at Your Fingertips with BI for Mobile Devices

Mobile Business Intelligence Tool

The ElegantJ BI Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management suite is compatible with all popular Smart Phones and tablets including iPad and iPhone as well as Android Smart Phones and tablets. Your team members can use a Smart Phone or tablet to access the complete suite of BI and CPM modules and leverage our powerful features, including personalized, intuitive dashboards, exception alerts, KPI Monitoring, Analytics, graphical mining and reporting.

Read the Story of Mr Smith on Business Intelligence Tool