BI: Simple, Fast and Complicated(?)

BusinessIntelligenceWhile working with a customer on one of our latest BI solutions for the easy delivery of key information, KPIs and reports, someone made a comment that seemed simple…but complicated. To paraphrase – we need complicated information fast, but we don’t want to be educated on how to get it.

That provides an interesting challenge for information delivery! But I think this is a key target for part of any BI solution.  Interestingly enough the complicated information is actually the easy part.  In a BI repository there is lots of complicated information. Once we apply all the required business rules to the information and then add additional business logic to the display of the information, it gets even more complex!

But BI products like Silvon’s help customers thru these complications … and they can do so fast. Given the right architecture and configuration etc., BI solutions can deliver incredibly complex information very quickly. So it turns out the real complicated part is “but we don’t want to be educated on how to get it.”

What’s the solution? In Silvon’s case it was providing a dashboard-style, single-page website that allows business users to easily apply complex (or complicated) filter combinations across different sets and presentations of information. This helps to solve part of the simple delivery of information.

While this dashboard-style website provides a good solution to making it simple to get the information, it does not inherently solve the issue of what the information represents. This required working with our customer’s business and making sure that users have simple and quick access to definitions. In addition, we had to make sure that the terminology used made sense to the business. These tasks may seem like simple things to do, but I think they all too often get lost in the rush to serve up information to large groups of people.

So when putting together your BI strategy remember to keep it fast and simple; but remember, it’s complicated.

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