In my last entry I highlighted information from the February 2013 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms that defined the elements of business intelligence (BI) software platforms. The three main categories were Integration, Information Delivery, and Analysis.
By understanding these elements, Credit union decision makers better compare vendor offerings.
This entry focuses on Information Delivery.
Reporting – The BI system can create traditional formatted reports as well as interactive reports with parameters that can be selected prior to running the report. Reports typically have distribution and scheduling capabilities to customize dissemination in the organization.
Dashboards – Interactive web-based or mobile reports that usually display a metric compared with a goal or target value. Dashboards can be used to for real-time data from operational applications. A typical dashboard feature is “drilling” in which clicking on a higher level metric will then show the more granular underlying data.
Ad hoc query – This capability allows users to create their own reports thereby reducing dependence on IT. A key feature needed for such systems is a “semantic layer” in which the underlying data is portrayed using common business terms.
Microsoft Office integration – It is a fact of life that Excel is used extensively in most organizations along with other components of Microsoft Office. A BI system must integrate smoothly with Microsoft Office especially in terms of exporting data to these common formats.
Search-based BI – This capability allows for easy search of data sources by classifying underlying data to allow users to navigate through large volumes of data.
Mobile BI – Decision makers are no longer tethered to their desks as data services are published to mobile devices.