In today’s business environment, data is everywhere. But what value is the vast amount of data a business collects if it is not correlated and transformed and integrated into daily business decisions? Leveraging your Business Intelligence empowers your decision makers to achieve the goal of continuous business improvement.
What is Business Intelligence and why is it important for your business?
Business intelligence (BI) is the technology-driven process for analyzing data and presenting actionable information which helps executives and managers make informed decisions. Data Driven decisions are the goal of a Business Intelligence process.
Organizations that effectively develop and deploy BI processes translate business data into effective business decisions that can significantly improve productivity, increase revenues, and accelerate growth. The overall benefit of a successful Business Intelligence program is it provides the ability for business users to ask open-ended questions and get answers without IT. It removes the significant delays inherent in the IT centric traditional static reporting process. BI makes an organization more agile, more proactive and promotes rapid evolution.
46% of manufacturers agree that implementing business analytics is no longer optional; it is necessary. This manufacturing group included representation from engineering, construction, energy, paper & pulp and transport industries. They all agree the success of modern-day organizations relies on continuous efficiency improvements. The manufacturing industry is one of the most data-intensive industries, and the need for Business Intelligence, business analysis, and the tools that support these processes has never been greater.
Business Analysts and The Role they Play
A key part of Business Intelligence is the business analyst. Providing the analyst with the data they need allows them to assess an organization’s structure, processes, and performance. Business Intelligence provides the data and tools to the business analysts to allow them to correlate, transform, and summarize large amounts of data.
A business analyst is an agent of change. They follow a disciplined approach to introduce and coordinate organizational change. With data driven insights, they identify areas where business operations can be made more efficient. Business analysts work across all levels of the organization, supporting continuous improvement in technology and processes.
Cummins Diesel Empowers its Business Users with Self-Service Business Intelligence Tools
An example of a manufacturing company who has effectively developed a Business Intelligence process is Cummins Diesel. Cummins is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of diesel engines and related products, selling to over 190 countries and regions throughout the world. Having been a data collecting organization for decades, it was not until a few years ago that Cummins shifted its focus from data collection and reporting to Business Intelligence and analytics.
With the IT-Centric model for data and reporting that Cummins had in place prior to their shift, Cummins struggled to get the right data to the right people in timely manner. Whenever a new report was needed or a report needed to be modified, the business users would have to contact IT and place a request. This could take weeks and even months before the reports were available. As could be expected, the decision process was delayed, business movement was slow, and opportunities were missed.
Cummins evaluated the process and wanted to cut out the IT bottleneck and put the power in the hands of their decision makers. Cummins focused their process on self-service BI tools to enable business users to create their own reports without waiting for IT. Choosing the right tools was only part of the solution, the company also needed resources and processes to train the users to properly use the tools. Cummins put the power in the hands of the business user making them real-time business analysts.
A Business Intelligence and Production Planning Success Story
SKF is a global manufacturer and supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, and lubrication systems. They have locations in more than 130 countries worldwide and have approximately 17,000 distributors. With such a broad geographic footprint and a diverse product line, SKF needed to continually forecast market size and product demand to adjust their manufacturing schedules. In the old process, SKF analysts created and maintained forecasts in complex Excel sheets. With this approach, SKF often needed days to produce a simple demand forecast revision.
As part of their Business Intelligence program, SKF centralized their data into a single system. This allowed the immediate sharing of central, accurate data between several different departments within the organization. This included sales, manufacturing planning, application engineering, business development, and management. Even with their diverse product line and large number of product variations, SKF is now able to quickly aggregate demand forecasts which allows them to quickly make and adjust production plans. The manufacturing decision process is streamlined by the effective use of Business Intelligence tools.
A good Business Intelligence system allows managers and analysts to quickly answer comprehensive strategic and operational questions. It provides accurate, centralized data in a timely manner. This empowers the business user and transforms them into a business analyst. The BI process and tools eliminate guess work and provide the environment for data-driven decisions. The BI tools available today put the power in the hands of non-technical professionals. The business manager can now sort and analyze data and share the information as needed without the help of IT. The flexibility of a well-designed BI solution allows the organization to quickly adapt to a changing business environment. Since BI allows business users to ask open-ended questions and get answers without IT, it makes the organization more agile and able to evolve.
Next Month – More to learn about Business Intelligence
Do you have concerns about the challenges implementing an effective Business Intelligence process in your organization? Check back next month as we explore the Best Practices and Key Learnings to successfully integrate effective Business Intelligence processes.
MAJIQ Elixir BI Enablement
MAJIQ, has over 30 years of industry experience in optimizing paper, pulp and nonwovens business processes by reducing waste, streamlining operations, and dramatically improving order fulfillment. MAJIQ delivers software for life.
MAJIQ has partnered with Microsoft’s Senior Data Modeling Experts to design the Elixir Business Intelligence module. This module correlates and transforms Elixir data into an efficient tabular data model for plug and play use by Business Intelligence tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI. This gives the Elixir business analysts the ability to handle large amounts of data with high performance results. They can take their Enterprise Decision making into the future with Elixir - Software for life.