7 Must-Have Features in Your Business Intelligence Dashboard Tool

By Helene Clary

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If the past three decades tell us anything, it’s that we’re indeed deep into the “Information Age.” Business intelligence and dashboard reporting tools are all the rage. Why? Because data is everywhere, coming from virtually everything. Around the clock connectivity and the Internet of Things (“IoT”) have digitally connected everything from cars and appliances to countries and economies.

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) is now using data to perform and automate tasks that historically required human interaction, like visual perception (e.g. virtual reality), speech recognition, business decision-making and language translation.

Data for Data’s Sake is Useless

All of that data coming from so many sources also means we’re knee-deep in data overload. The truth is, data for data’s sake is useless. More data isn’t necessarily better if you cannot deduce meaningful conclusions from it.

The other truth is that the seamless integration of technologies and systems to make data accessible and useful has been, for many companies, a bag full of broken promises.

By 2014, the world’s capacity to store information reached 5 zettabytes. That’s the equivalent of 4,500 stacks of printed books extending from the earth to the sun… some 92.96 million miles (146 million kilometers).

While storing so much data is a big enough challenge, actually collecting and crunching data to create useful intelligence is an even bigger one.

So are you still chasing data sitting in separate CRM and accounting systems? Are you still manually managing and manipulating data in Excel spreadsheets? Are you still fighting to find trends and weak points in your disconnected eCommerce and inventory systems?

While the world’s largest companies have the resources (budget and people) to collect, analyze and report back on such disparate data — those efforts are often time-consuming and can slow the company’s responsiveness to changing marketing conditions.

Then there’s the rest of us: the small and mid-sized company ‘masses’ who may be able to move faster in response to changing market dynamics, but who often lack the necessary in-house expertise and budget resources to effectively derive intelligence from raw data.

BI is the ‘Holy Grail’ of the Information Age

The point is: the holy grail of having all systems neatly integrated and useful analytics spitting back out has not quite come to fruition. Many organizations still have data siloed across disparate systems — all quite necessary to efficiently run the business, of course — but siloed, nonetheless.
Whatever your business type or industry, no doubt your company needs to find faster, better, smarter ways to create actionable intelligence from primary raw data sources.

According to CIO Magazine, business intelligence is an umbrella term used to describe software applications that help analyze and make sense of an organization’s raw data. When done right, business intelligence can help speed and improve decision-making, discover areas of waste and potential cost reduction, identify new business and revenue opportunities, and more.

Surprisingly, BI is older than you might think. Hans Peter Luhn, a researcher at IBM, coined the term in 1958 after seeing the connections that BI Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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