Sometimes it's hard to extract necessary information from data collected. Because of a lack of process, data collected may sit in IT in an unusable form. Many businesses use on-site BI software licensed to only a few computers, limiting the number of employees with access to the information.
There's a big difference between simply collecting data and actually getting the information needed to run a business. Because access to data can be limited to only a few users, you'll need to wait for reports to be run in order to get the information. Even with those reports, some people aren't sure what to do with the data or it's delivered too late.
When information isn't accessible, the entire company suffers. Information needs to be plentiful and easily accessible to enhance performance. Not just that, but how easy is it for your company to get in-depth and play around with the data that's available? That's why many businesses are choosing cloud-based business intelligence (or Cloud BI) for their operations. The right information can be right at your fingertips with cloud business intelligence.
computing, data is stored on the servers and users can access the data from any device connected to the internet.
Cloud software can offer several advantages to businesses looking to improve their BI:
- Productivity Looks up When There's Little Down Time
Cloud-based software has very little--if any--down time. Cloud BI allows for less down time for processes and applications because of the redundancies built into the cloud system. If one server goes down, another is ready to take its place, allowing for uninterrupted service.
Deployment of updates is another advantage of cloud business intelligence software. Unlike on-site software, which requires individual updates, Cloud BI updates are installed in the servers. When users log on, the updates are already there. Because software updates are handled through the cloud, downtime due to IT updates are avoided.
- Computing Power and Data Storage Abounds in the Cloud
Due to the accessibility of resources on the cloud, you have more computing power. On-site applications may suffer from fixed processing and memory resources, but with the virtual servers in the cloud, the amount of resources aren't fixed and more can be applied. If your application needs additional horsepower, it's faster and easier to apply it with the cloud.
Data storage is another advantage of Cloud BI. Because of the number of servers available, massive amounts of data can be stored. The data storage capacity of cloud-based business intelligence software is a particular advantage for businesses. The hardware resources needed for businesses to access business intelligence data from the cloud are minimal.
- BI in the Cloud Doesn't Mean it's Out of Reach
Cloud BI offers a cost effective way to efficiently get important data. Usually charged monthly per user, Cloud BI software help companies avoiding the up-front licensing costs for out-of-the-box software.
Actual costs in IT staff and hardware may also be lower for companies that choose cloud intelligence. IT costs may be lower because updates to the BI software happen in the cloud. Hardware costs could also be lower because not as much computing power is needed to access BI from the cloud versus running the software on-site.
- Cloud BI Keeps Information Unified and Accessible
A single data source is an invaluable feature for business intelligence. When the entire company is looking at the same data, the company is completely on the same page. The arguments are eliminated about whose numbers are correct and which numbers should be used. One data source is essential to good management.
A unified reporting method across the company is another way to ensure everyone reads the data the same way. Wave Analytics from Salesforce makes data available through customizable reports, easily read with charts, graphs and visuals.
Accessibility is one of the biggest benefits of Cloud BI. The ability of multiple employees to access information is key to being able to make good decisions. When customer service, sales, operations, R&D, and management have the same information, a common view of the company emerges. When information that may have been distributed only daily, weekly or monthly is now available to everyone at any time, the ability to make the best decisions possible emerges.
The on-the-go flexibility of cloud business intelligence allows for reports to be viewed as needed. Rather than having to follow up with a client about product availability or shipping costs, Cloud BI makes it possible to give real-time information when you're in front of your client. Cloud BI also ensures that CRM information can be entered in the field, allowing for information to be real-time across the company.
The real-time information of cloud business intelligence allows course corrections necessary to keep your business on track. Having all the information available makes it possible to
- Pay a little more attention to that sale that hasn't closed yet;
- Identify customers who have called customer service multiple times so you can smooth things over;
- Pinpoint a trend that needs attention from purchasing and production;
- Follow up on campaigns;
- Identify problems for R&D; or
- Proactively offer products and customer support.
After all, BI is about making information useful. Timely access to critical information can be a competitive advantage in the fast-paced world. The faster you have access to the data, the faster you can implement solutions. It's no wonder that BI is heading to the clouds and companies are following along.