BI in Small and Mid-size Companies

Regardless of size, 80,000 or 80 employees, 2 million dollars or 2,000 million in revenue; almost every company suffers the pain on multiple versions of truth, inability to perform in-depth analysis, inability to locate important information, inability to differentiate and prioritize problems, nonalignment of operations with strategic goals and data governance issues.

Belief that mid-size companies cannot afford and handle Business Intelligence. Small and mid-size companies which do not have vast resources are inclined more towards a complete, less expensive easier, fast-to-deploy-and-administer applications. They need to be agile and quickly respond to changing market conditions

Most of Business intelligence applications targeting this sector of market offers integrated planning, reporting and analysis solution e.g. IBM Cognos Express, it targets specifically mid-size companies and provides them an integrated package consisting of Reporter(Reporting), Advisor(Visualization), Xcelerator(Excel based analysis) and Planner(Planning), Cognos express provides capabilities of both Cognos analytics and Cognos TM1. Others in the same category are SAP Business Object,  SAS etc. Some of other smaller BI vendors that target small and mid-size business market include Bitam, LogiXML, Targit and Dimensional Insight. Qlikview that held strong in mid-market until recently and now can also been seen getting adapted in much bigger enterprise environment.

Quick deployment, low-cost and ability to use  external business knowledge and technology makes SAAS also as a good option for small and midsize companies. Microstrategy, one of the largest pure BI vendor, is soon coming up with Microstrategy Cloud Intelligence offering, which is in Beta testing right now enabling its BI software platform available as a service in the cloud. Good thing about SAAS is that the vendor hosts and maintains the entire BI environment including servers, operating system, BI application and network and small and mid-size companies can enjoy the elasticity and scale their implantation if needed.

Another considerations while picking up the vendor/tool is the license cost; is it server-based or on the number of users. Which model will give you that magic number that can you afford. Low cost vendor, Logixml gives you server license independent of number of users. If your company has lot more information consumers that generators that going for vendors that does not require a client license to be able to view the reports will prove a god option for you. Many vendors have now option where reports can be published over the web, these reports can be refreshed after every certain hour and can be viewed in a web browser.

Depending on the size and type of organization they could leverage using one or more following applications:

  1. Planning Budgeting & Forecasting
    1. Planning
    2. Workforce Planning
    3. Capital Asset Planning
    4. Operational Planning
    5. Margin Planning
    6. Budgeting
    7. Services Planning
  2. Business Intelligence and Performance Management
    1. Reporting
    2. Dashboarding
    3. OLAP
    4. Data Mining
    5. Real-time Decisions
    6. Predictive Analytics
  3. Customer Relationship Management
    1. Channel Revenue Management
    2. Order Management
    3. Service
    4. Marketing
    5. Sales
    6. Partner Relationship Management
    7. Social CRM
  4. Financial Management
    1. Accounts Payable
    2. Accounts Receivable
    3. Fixed Assets
    4. Asset Lifecycle Management
    5. Cash & Treasury Management
    6. Financial Control and Reporting
    7. Financial Analytics
    8. Governance, Risk & Compliance
    9. Travel & Expense Management
    10. Treasury Management
    11. Disclosure Management
    12. Financial Close Management
    13. Financial Data Quality Management
  5. Governance, Risk and Compliance Management
    1. Financial Governor
    2. Risk Management
    3. Environmental Governance
    4. Fraud and Error Reduction
  6. Supply Chain Management
    1. Procurement Management
    2. Asset Lifecycle Management
    3. Global Trade Management
    4. Manufacturing
    5. Order Fulfillment
    6. Product Lifecycle Management
    7. Logistics
  7. Human Capital Management
    1. Human Resource
    2. Talent Management
    3. Workforce Management
    4. Workforce Service Delivery
  8. Project Portfolio Management
    1. Project Contracts
    2. Project Grants
    3. Project Billing
    4. Project Costing
    5. Project Resource Management
Please vote on the below and comment on this blog on what you think about the challenges faces by SMBs worldwide.

About Abi Gupta

Business Intelligence enthusiast with background in predictive analytics and six sigma and interests in best practices, visualizations and capturing trends in BI.
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