Today's feature explores the different styles of analysis within a business analytics deployment: their specific advantages, purposes and typical users.
In the past, organizations have typically implemented analysis capabilities as a one-size-fits-all solution that fails to understand the unique needs of each audience within the organization. The net impact of this imprecise deployment strategy can include:
- Casual users may be overwhelmed with irrelevant, overly detailed information.
- Power users cannot dig as deep as they would like.
- Executives may lack clear and flexible visibility into real-time organizational performance.
Today, people in organizations want information in different ways. By tailoring these analytical tools and processes toward each audience, companies of all sizes and in all sectors can leverage business intelligence (BI) in a way that facilitates optimal performance within that given role.
Different styles of analysis
- Executives can see at a glance how the organization is performing, and then quickly drill down to an appropriate level of detail, allowing them to make fast, effective decisions.
- Business and financial analysts can dig deeper and turn analyses around with greater speed and precision to improve the quality of data they’re producing for themselves and for others.
- Business users, who have relied on specialists for analytical expertise, can increasingly take control of the tools and pursue business-specific analysis on their own.
By understanding the major types of analysis and relating them to specific roles within the organization, companies can avoid the common pitfalls that derail more traditional approaches to BI implementation. IBM Cognos 8 BI is based on an architecture that internalizes these styles of analysis and ensures appropriate tools are available to fit the workflows of each target role. IBM Cognos solutions support all different styles
of analysis to fit the needs of all users.Analytical reporting for all users
IBM Cognos 8 BI takes tools previously reserved for power users and makes them accessible in the organization’s mainstream. Putting greater analytical capability into the hands of all users empowers them to deliver more effectively within the context of their respective roles and frees up specialists for more value-added contributions.
Simple analysis performed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout the organization, many of whom would not typically view themselves as fully trained users of traditional BI solutions.
- Provide a basic level of additional insight to a particular performance metric, to answer a straightforward question that doesn’t necessarily require invasive analysis.
- By leveraging guided analysis that allows straightforward drill-through, the user can understand what’s driving these results – and can more effectively explain this to leaders and other stakeholders.
- Additional analysis can be managed without significant additional overhead, and questions can be answered more quickly and precisely.
Related IBM Cognos Software: IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
, IBM Cognos Express for midsize businessesTrending for managers and analysts
IBM Cognos 8 BI gives business and financial analysts the ability to bridge the needs of business and technical teams and provide an optimal level of business-driven analysis.
- Streamlined report generation capabilities allow and financial analysts to spend less time building different reports for different audiences – which frees them to allocate more time to communicating the results to their various stakeholders.
- Analysis performed by a broad range of business managers and business and financial analysts that is somewhat more advanced than the simple answers sought by regular users across the organization.
- Allows business managers to better understand how they are performing relative to baseline, where variances may be occurring, and why they may be occurring.
- Trending examines the underlying factors that drive organizational performance, and requires improved access to a wider range of data resources.
- By comparing the results against other product lines from elsewhere in the organization – as well as against industry figures from external data sources – the manager can place the performance in context and better understand what the figures mean, and what that meaning implies for a potential organizational response.
- Greater capability to examine a wider range of data drivers to better explain organizational performance can significantly enhance the average business manager’s ability to manage resources to a given plan.
- Enhanced ability to independently analyze why certain results are being realized allows more precise management over time and reduces the risk that sub-par performance will be missed until it is too late to resolve.
Related IBM Cognos Software: IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence
, IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence Analysis for Microsoft ExcelScenario modeling for business and financial analysts
IBM Cognos BI streamlines the analytical process and empowers the analyst to conduct more iterations more quickly – which increases analytical precision – and allows more relevant comparison with similar scenarios thanks to greater access to data stores wherever they may live and whatever form they’re in.
Predictive modeling for business and financial analysts
- A more specialized level of analysis performed by business and financial analysts.
- Incorporates analysis of a broader range of alternative scenarios to help analysts begin building what-if-type projections.
- Allows “what-if” analysis, side-by-side comparisons of a variety of tactics that could include modifying the existing product mix, pursuing new geographic markets, introducing a new marketing campaign or even tweaking the supply chain to better match supply to demand
- Increases the depth of analysis, reduces turnaround time by improving access to existing and new sources of internal and external data will drive their effectiveness in these pivotal roles.
- Related IBM Cognos Software: IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Cognos Express for midsize businesses
Deeper analysis of past performance is emerging as a key means of understanding future performance – and of organizational planning. The level of analysis required to tighten this planning process is rapidly deepening and broadening. Analysts must assess larger pools of historical data and they must do so across silos that formerly limited the breadth and depth of analysis.
- Analyze past performance at a detail level to more effectively plan future strategies and tactics.
- Moves what-if analysis of scenario modeling into broader what-might-be-type analyses as well.
- Identifies organizational resource availability, impacts and constraints associated with each identified scenario.
- Projects the organization forward and benchmarks it based on anticipated performance under each scenario.
- Helps guide and inform strategic decision making at the highest levels of the organization.
- Evolved forecasting is more critical than ever before as business cycles accelerate and influencing factors on organizational performance become less predictable.
Related IBM Software: SPSS