5 Signs Your Application Needs Better Reporting and Analytics 5 Signs Your Application Needs Better Reporting and Analytics
Every business needs business intelligence – and to acquire the information that drives decision making on all levels in small and large companies, every... 5 Signs Your Application Needs Better Reporting and Analytics

Every business needs business intelligence – and to acquire the information that drives decision making on all levels in small and large companies, every business needs an efficient reporting and analytics platform that is capable of keeping up with the changing goals and needs of the company landscape.

Business intelligence relies on actionable information derived from the collection and manipulation of data from a variety of sources, either via stand-alone analytics applications or embedded analytics in a host application. When “crunched” by an application (sorted and assembled into meaningful formats), that data provides insights into the company’s history and current condition as well as a basis for planning short- and long-term goals for the future.

Outdated, or poorly functioning, reporting and analytics can have a powerfully negative impact on a company’s day-to-day functioning, overall growth, and bottom line. Here are five signs that your company’s business intelligence apparatus needs better analytics for gleaning the insights you need for effective decision-making on every level.

The Metrics Are Out of Sync

Analytics applications use a long list of metrics for sorting and assigning meaning to the raw data collected by a company. But if those applications haven’t been updated in a while, the metrics used to process company data may not reflect current conditions, so that analysis returns results that are either incomplete and don’t offer the additional insights needed to make accurate decisions or are completely inaccurate based on present parameters.

Making company decisions on the basis of inaccurate or incomplete business intelligence can have a negative impact, both on managing day-to-day operations and on developing global strategies aimed at guiding the company’s future. Better analytics involve a comprehensive range of up-to-date metrics and other tools relevant to the company’s niche, target demographics, and other factors – and those things can change rapidly. An analytics framework operating on the wrong set of parameters is likely to deliver subpar information that leads to ineffective decision making and poor planning at every level.

Data “Crunching” Takes Too Long

Another indicator that your BI applications need better analytics might be the time required to process and present data and get actionable information from it. If your analytics process requires a long wait to get data into usable and actionable form or requires the effort of multiple people across many parts of the company, it may not be providing relevant information quickly enough to be useful. An inefficient or outdated analytics platform is likely to require input from multiple applications or data sources spread throughout the company or the efforts of multiple employees doing tasks such as gathering data or running applications independently and then coordinating the results.

That can mean that data may not appear in a usable form for days or weeks, causing its impact and relevance to become negligible – or that it arrives too late to avert a major problem. Efficient BI applications should be able to process data quickly and easily to provide real-time results that respond to current conditions, which supports rapid and effective decision making on every level. An enterprise-capable embedded analytics solution should provide high performance and high scalability for quick response times.

Managing Analytics Affects Productivity

When business analytics require multiple operations across many different sectors of the company using input from a variety of different applications and platforms, large amounts of training and operational time is needed by employees.

A streamlined, user-friendly analytics application that uses state-of-the-art tools to process data as quickly and efficiently as possible not only saves on worker productivity, but also increases workers’ willingness to engage with the tool and use it on a regular basis. Better analytics applications have the capacity to process large amounts of data easily and quickly so that employees don’t need to spend unnecessary time on tasks such as gathering or preparing data or assembling the output into a final finished form such as graphs or charts.

You Need Multiple Applications to Get Results

Complex and expensive BI applications may not have all the embedded tools and functions needed to thoroughly process company data from within a host application. Other applications, capable of doing specific data operations or applying specific metrics, might be needed to complete the analysis – and those applications have their own learning curve and limitations as well as demanding more time and attention from employees who must learn to operate new tools and coordinate functions among multiple applications in order to create a complete set of actionable information.

You’re Losing a Competitive Edge

Among the many applications of business intelligence is competitive intelligence – the gathering of information on the behavior of a company’s competitors and tactics and strategies they use to become, and remain, successful. If a company’s BI analytics are lacking the newest metrics and functions needed to deliver insights about the competition or if the platform doesn’t have the capacity to capture data and deliver usable outcomes quickly for purposes of rapid decision making, the business faces a risk of losing competitiveness and, ultimately, revenue as others in the company niche take the lead based on insights provided by state-of-the-art analytics.

For businesses ranging from small startups to large enterprises, business analytics lie at the core of a comprehensive business intelligence strategy. Information gained from effective analytics can be used to evaluate the performance of various divisions within the company – or the company itself. It can drive decision making at all levels of the company’s structure, from helping individual employees and their supervisors to make minor – or major –course corrections in the daily workflow to providing the essential insights needed for a CEO and senior management to chart the company’s direction for years to come.

Quality analytics provide actionable insights that can have effects beyond corporate walls, too. The actions taken in response to information extracted from a company’s raw data also impact customers and clients, as well as a range of other entities operating within a given industry or niche. Those decisions can also ripple out into the environment at large. Business analytics drive business intelligence and the decisions that help companies of all sizes to thrive in a rapidly changing global landscape.

One example of embedded analytics is JReport, which empowers companies to embed the most precise, high performance reports and dashboards into web applications. The embedded analytics platform provides developers and users with a scalable, fault tolerant solution that’s easy to customize and works seamlessly as part of their applications on any platform and with any data source. JReport is committed to helping enterprises make better use of business data.

Sources:

Dean Yao

Dean Yao

Dean brings over 10 years of experience in software marketing and product management. Previously, Dean was a senior product manager at cloud computing startup Nimbula (acquired by Oracle), where he focused on technical best practices, competitive marketing, and product strategy. Dean was also in technical marketing at VMware, specializing in virtualization clustering and resource management products. He started his career in hardware virtualization research at Intel Research Labs. Dean earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and a B.S. in EECS from UC Berkeley.