Business intelligence
The DefiniTive GuiDe
for MiDsize orGanizaTions

                  SAP White Paper
4   New Tools for a Promising              9   The Benefits of BI
 4   how to recognize the need             1...
new tools for a Promising future
ToWarD More soPhisTiCaTeD analYsis

if your organization is like                  furt...
Defining Business intelligence
hoW Bi is helPinG MiDsize orGanizaTions

a major part of any manager’s job is         • ...
and salesperson). They can slice and            interactive analysis                          Core Bi technology – such as...
issue, and trying to determine whose
  The enduring value anna’s linens          sole Technology inc. is a globally      s...
using Bi in Different environments            The importance of Data Quality
Bi can be used in data warehouse envi-       ...
the Benefits of Bi
heaDinG off issues – iDenTifYinG

Bi allows business users to analyze and     While ma...
aPProaches to imPlementing Bi
seTTinG The sTaGe for GroWTh

Beginning a Bi initiative is not neces-        as an organi...
what to look for in Bi ProDucts
ToP CriTeria: inTeGraTion anD ease of use

When selecting business intelligence        ...
what to look for in a Bi VenDor
There’s More Than MeeTs The eYe

When selecting a business intelligence         Thinkin...
iMProveD analYsis for More
effeCTive Business DeCisions

Managers have the responsibility to             For...
50 088 770 (08/03)
©2008 by saP aG.
all rights reserved. saP, r/3, xapps, xapp, saP netWeaver,
Duet, Partneredge, ByDesign...
Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide
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Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide


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As information flows more freely in the business world, decisions need to be made quicker and based on sturdier data. The analytical capability that was once reserved for large enterprises has now permeated the world of Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) and provided a solid foundation of visibility into what really matters to these companies.

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Business Intelligence: The Definitive Guide

  1. 1. Business intelligence The DefiniTive GuiDe for MiDsize orGanizaTions SAP White Paper Business intelligence
  2. 2. 4 New Tools for a Promising 9 The Benefits of BI Future 4 how to recognize the need 10 Approaches to Implementing BI for Business intelligence 10 Getting started 10 setting Policies to assist users 5 Defining Business Intelligence 5 The Bi spectrum 11 What to Look for in BI Products 5 Queries 11 Key factors in Product Choice 5 reporting 11 Keeping options open 5 advanced analysis 11 supporting users 6 interactive analysis 6 Graphical Techniques 12 What to Look for in a BI Vendor 7 Distribution and Control 12 Key factors in vendor Choice 7 function- and industry-specific 12 Thinking ahead Bi applications 12 Preparing for Growth 8 using Bi in Different environments 13 Conclusion 8 The importance of Data Quality 13 for More information About the Author Michael a. schiff is the founder and principal analyst of Mas strategies. Mas strategies specializes in helping vendors market and position their Bi and data warehousing products in today’s highly competitive market. he has over 30 years of experience in the iT industry. schiff was the vice president of the data warehousing and business intelligence service at Current analysis inc., an industry analyst firm where he provided tactical market intelligence and analysis while managing the company’s e-business analyst team. he was the executive director of data warehousing and advanced decision support for oracle Corporation’s Public sector Group and director of software aG’s data management program. in 1984, while at Digital equipment Corporation, he formulated the architecture for one of the first successful data warehouse implementations. he earned his bachelor and master of science degrees from MiT’s sloan school of Management where he specialized in operations research as an undergraduate, and in information systems as a graduate. Overview Business intelligence is not a new concept; it’s been used for years by iT staffers in large enterprises with the budgets to support it. What’s new is the fact that business intelligence tools are now affordable and accessible even for midsize companies – and even for the nontechnical business user. now managers can use these products for sophisticated analysis of complex information to support their decision-making processes. They can combine data from a wide variety of sources and see an integrated, up-to-date, 360-degree view. for midsize companies the key is to select the right product, the right vendor, and the right approach.
  3. 3. new tools for a Promising future ToWarD More soPhisTiCaTeD analYsis if your organization is like furthermore, you need to determine but your employees are passionate where to concentrate your efforts. about their jobs and committed to your most, your primary focus You can’t check every detail, yet there customers. Maybe your company is is acquiring customers, must be a way to monitor operations relatively small right now, but it’s on a to find and resolve potential problems high-growth path. You’re aware of the increasing revenues and while identifying and leveraging new power of business intelligence and profitability, and outpacing oppor tunities. and you need to ensure know that larger companies – and that employee and departmental met- maybe even your direct competitors – the competition. and while rics are aligned with overall strategic are using it to their advantage. at this your organization continues goals. stage of your company’s evolution, isn’t it time your analysis capabilities to improve its operating effi- Your organization may not have the graduated from spreadsheets to more ciencies, you recognize the resources of a forTune 500 company, powerful tools as well? need to spend more time analyzing what’s going on How to Recognize the Need for Business Intelligence and planning for the future The following represents typical • Need for simple-to-use production than solving operational situations that could benefit from reporting technology – Your improved business intelligence: accounting department uses word problems and putting out • Competing versions of the truth – processing to generate customer fires. interdepartmental meetings fre- invoices, resulting in errors and quently turn contentious as partic- customer complaints. ipants debate whose spreadsheet • Inability to comply with govern- has the correct figures. ment reporting requirements – • Inability to perform in-depth Your company plans to go public analysis – Your company knows at some point, and you need proper which of its retail outlets have the audit trails and data lineage to greatest sales volume but can’t ensure financial accuracy. identify which products have the • Lack of timely reports – iT is highest sales. unable to fulfill managers’ requests • Difficulty locating important for reports when they want them. information – You recently heard • Difficulty consolidating data for that a report showing year-over- integrated information access – year growth for each customer has reports that require data from been posted to the intranet – but multiple operational systems involve have no idea how to find it. generating separate reports from each and then combining the results in a spreadsheet. 4 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  4. 4. Defining Business intelligence hoW Bi is helPinG MiDsize orGanizaTions a major part of any manager’s job is • implement dashboards and score- include customer satisfaction, profit- to make decisions. if you can improve cards to help executives and super- ability, and sales per employee and the overall quality of your organization’s visors quickly recognize operational be monitored to support alignment of decision-making process, you’ll improve exceptions or potential budget individual and departmental metrics the overall effectiveness of your organi- overruns and the organization’s strategic goals. zation. in short, business intelligence • Compare departmental turnover to helps your organization make smarter identify potential morale problems Queries decisions – hence its original description • Track customer orders and desired a simple query might access your as “decision support.” ship dates against finished goods company’s data to ask, for example, inventory, and adjust the manufacturing what were total sales to Plushrock Business intelligence (Bi) allows orga- production cycle and supply chain logis- Corporation last December? or what’s nizations to better understand, analyze, tics to reduce inventory carrying costs the current salary of employee Dan and even predict what’s occurring in • integrate operational, spreadsheet, evans? or even how many aa batteries their company. Bi helps your organiza- and historic data for analysis purposes, do we have in inventory? Most query tion turn data into useful and meaning- while providing consistency and tools also provide simple reporting ful information and then distribute this “a single version of the truth” functionality and could also be used, information to those who need it, when • Better understand and analyze for example, to generate a simple they need it – thereby enabling them to operations and customer interactions report listing the accrued vacation make timely and better-informed deci- to gain a competitive edge of all employees, sorted and totaled sions. it allows organizations to com- • align daily operations with strategic by department. bine data from a wide variety of sources objectives and quickly recognize and see an integrated, up-to-date, when they are not in agreement reporting 360-degree view. enterprise or production reporting The BI Spectrum typically involves high-volume, high- This is especially important for midsize resolution reports that are run on a companies that are typically able to The Bi spectrum is very broad in terms regular basis. an example might be a implement business decisions relatively of its tools and functionality. at its core sales manager report showing monthly quickly. Bi provides a win-win solution is the traditional functionality of query, sales and associated commissions for iT and business users by allowing reporting, and analysis. This is comple- sorted by salesperson and then by cus- the iT department to be more produc- mented by data quality and data inte- tomer. The report distribution would tive in working with its business users gration to accurately and consistently likely be controlled so that each sales to service special requests, while consolidate data from multiple sources. manager could see entries only for his permitting these business users to Dashboards and other visualization or her salespeople. The report might become more self-sufficient. opera- techniques can help users quickly be e-mailed to them or viewed through tions and analysis are two sides of understand analysis results and are a Web browser. enterprise reports can the business, and Bi allows iT to be often considered part of the Bi spec- also be used to generate customer a valued partner in both. trum. Bi can also encompass search statements or invoices or individualized functionality for locating information benefit summaries for each employee. for example, a midsize organization and reports, predictive analysis to dis- can use Bi to do the following: cover hidden patterns and enable what-if advanced analysis • identify customers that are cutting analysis, and scorecards and perfor- With advanced analysis functionality, back on their purchases so that spe- mance management to help monitor users can view data across multiple cial inducements can be offered to business metrics and key performance classifications or dimensions (for example, retain them indicators (KPis). These KPis might product, customer, location, time period, SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 5
  5. 5. and salesperson). They can slice and interactive analysis Core Bi technology – such as query, dice the data to look at various combi- simple reports were initially designed reporting, and interactive analysis – is nations, such as the sales in each for passive viewing, while advanced used to view or analyze what is or has region for December or which products products perform interactive analyses. already occurred, while data mining each customer purchased last year. Many of these advanced functionalities and predictive analysis allow users to advanced analysis functionality also were once available only in specialized predict what may occur. Bi technology permits organizations to define hierar- online analytical processing (olaP) uses sophisticated statistical techniques chies so that, for example, a user could products that involved the use of pro- to find relationships that are hidden or first view sales for each region and prietary databases and highly skilled not obvious. it can be used to identify then drill down to view the sales in technical specialists. now olaP func- which factors closely relate to custom- each country, of each product in each tionality is often incorporated into query er churn and attrition or which factors store, or for each salesperson. These and analysis tools. Thus, business (a prospect’s income, education, age, advanced analytics make it easy to users can perform interactive analysis last purchase amount, and so forth) compare the results from one time period and, for example, click on a number in were most closely related to a suc- with another – this July’s product sales a report to drill down to and analyze the cessful response in a marketing with last July’s, for example – while underlying details. effective Bi should campaign. performing year-over-year comparisons be an interactive process, and query by store, customer, or salesperson. and analysis tools – with embedded Graphical Techniques olaP functionality – permit business a picture is worth a thousand numbers, other advanced functionality, such users to perform dynamic analyses on and graphical techniques – including as filtering, can be used to include or their data. as most iT practitioners will dashboards – strongly complement the exclude specific stores, regions, prod- attest, users requesting a static report other members of the Bi spectrum. ucts, salespeople, or time periods – and will typically ask for additional modifica- With graphical gauges analogous to look at the top or bottom best- or worst- tions and details. Query and analysis an automobile dashboard and symbols performing products, stores, or sales- tools allow business users to formulate such as traffic lights, where red repre- people. Combined with drill-down, slice- a high-level query and then immediately sents an alert condition and yellow a and-dice, and filtering functionality, this explore the underlying details on their warning, users can quickly identify is a powerful multidimensional analysis. own. exception conditions. it has often been said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” scorecards and other star Trac, of irvine, California, is dashboards, and visual analytics. performance management tools enable a midsize manufacturer of quality “fast, easy business intelligence will you to establish business metrics, update physical fitness equipment serving save us time, boost productivity, and and monitor the results, and communi- a global market. like many rapidly deliver the data to help us grow the cate them as appropriate so that minor growing companies, its data was business,” says Jeff Kuckenbaker, problems can be identified early on and spread across multiple silos, making senior director of information sys- corrective action quickly taken. Dash- it difficult to aggregate and reconcile tems. “We’ll use Businessobjects boards are frequently used to display to facilitate decision making and align edge to deliver information across performance metrics and can allow key objectives and business processes. the company so everyone can better users to drill down from the visual star Trac needed a product suite understand how to execute our image to view the underlying detail. that offered flexible reporting, ad strategies for growth.” other visualization techniques include hoc query and analysis, interactive “slider bars” that allow a user to perform what-if analyses and, for 6 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  6. 6. issue, and trying to determine whose The enduring value anna’s linens sole Technology inc. is a globally spreadsheet is “more correct” is no gets from its Business objects™ recognized leader in action sports longer part of every company meeting. business intelligence solution lies footwear and apparel. in the last The ability to locate and search out in the ability for managers to com- three years, sole Technology relevant reports is also part of the Bi municate what is expected of their doubled in size, rendering the com- landscape, as a report is of little value employees and to provide the tools pany’s small-business approach if no one knows it exists or how to for them to measure their perfor- to reporting insufficient. George find it. mance as they execute on those Bock, senior director of iT at sole goals. “if we can measure perfor- Technology, says, “We struggled function- and industry-specific mance, we can reward perfor- at getting data into the hands of Bi applications mance,” says Coo scott Glad- people that needed it, when they in addition to Bi tools, some vendors stone. “This allows us to develop needed it, so we could make better offer Bi-based analytic applications an incentive program that is per- business decisions.” covering a wide range of business formance based and is aligned functions and industries. areas of with the strategic initiatives of the sole Technology needed to track focus include long-range planning, bud- company. once we have the entire the life cycle of products, from geting and planning, financial reporting company executing against our development through production, and consolidation, incentive compen- strategic growth plans, we are sure shipping, warehousing, sales, and sation management, activity-based of success. With Business objects inventory. it also needed to ensure costing, metrics, and scorecards. other business intelligence tools at our that everyone speaks the same functional areas might include applica- fingertips, anna’s linens is in a business language, so employees tions for sales analysis and campaign great position to grow.” in various locations agree on a management, contact center analysis, standard definition of terms when product and service analysis, work- discussing concepts such as reve- force analysis, supply chain intelli- example, show how profit margins nue, inventories, and discounts. gence, and compliance. would increase if maintenance reve- nues were increased or distribution “Business objects brought tool examples of industry applications expense reduced. sets and technologies that were include those oriented toward tele- out of our range down to our market communications, healthcare, public Distribution and Control level – debunking the myth that services, retail, and consumer prod- Business intelligence is not just about Business objects isn’t affordable,” ucts. These applications are often tools and their applications; it’s also says Bock. “They’ve allowed our available both from the Bi vendor and concerned with distribution and control. use of enterprise technology to be its software development partners Companies should be able to publish a reality.” that utilize the vendor’s Bi technology reports to the Web and deliver them to as the development platform for spe- a user’s preferred mobile device. how- cialized industry and functional analytic ever, not every employee should have necessarily mean the elimination of applications. While midsize organiza- access to every report or analysis, and spreadsheets. rather, Bi can provide tions moving from a spreadsheet envi- administration, monitoring, security, controlled linkage of spreadsheets to ronment to formal Bi tools may not and control are also part of the Bi up-to-date data while enforcing proper initially invest in the full range of tools, environment. furthermore, the use distribution and control. This way, these analytic applications will be of commercial Bi products does not “spreadsheet chaos” is no longer an there when needed. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 7
  7. 7. using Bi in Different environments The importance of Data Quality Bi can be used in data warehouse envi- Data quality is of paramount impor- ronments, in which snapshots of data tance in both operational systems and from multiple systems are consolidated data warehouses. in an operational for analysis, and with operational sys- environment, no one wants to ship the tems. When deployed against opera- wrong order to the wrong address, tional systems (that is, those that help provide a patient with the wrong medi- run or operate the business), Bi might cation, or transfer funds to the wrong be used to show current values such bank account. in a data warehouse as inventory levels, outstanding cus- environment, no one wants to make tomer balances, salaries, or student decisions based on incomplete, incor- attendance. rect, or inconsistent data. The deploy- ment of data quality tools can help When deployed against a data ware- ensure that this does not happen. By house, Bi often involves comparing using Bi against both operational sys- the results of one period with another. tems and data warehouses, a company (a data warehouse contains data values can improve its daily operations and taken at different points in time, fre- compare current results with historic quently sourced from several opera- values to identify trends and head off tional systems through the use of data problems before they become more integration and data quality technology.) serious. a typical use would be to compare this quarter’s sales against the same quarter in each of the preceding three years. some data integration vendors offer connectors or integration kits to facilitate access to commercial enter- prise application software products, such as those of saP and oracle Corporation’s J.D. edwards, Peoplesoft, and siebel applications. 8 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  8. 8. the Benefits of Bi heaDinG off issues – iDenTifYinG oPPorTuniTies Bi allows business users to analyze and While many managers and supervisors better understand their organization’s pride themselves on their intuition, Bi plans and results. it provides insight provides tools to help verify their insights into what’s working correctly – and and even discover new ones. it permits highlights potential opportunities – business users to explore results at a while identifying problem areas in time high level and then drill down to analyze to take corrective actions. for example, the underlying details. Business intelli- it can alert you when certain exception gence is one of the primary keys to conditions occur, such as sales drop- effective decision making. ping 20% below forecast or inventory falling below a threshold value. since Bi product suites include a variety of components, organizations can pick those that are most appropriate for the task at hand and for the experience level of their individual employees. While in the past only technical special- ists used Bi tools, most businesspeo- ple can now use them successfully as well. This has served to democratize Bi usage throughout organizations. The role of iT has positively evolved from one of digging out from its historic report request backlog to one of moni- toring and administrating Bi usage, and setting the appropriate controls relative to who can access what data. This self- sufficiency has thus enabled iT staff to free up time to serve the organization more effectively and efficiently. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 9
  9. 9. aPProaches to imPlementing Bi seTTinG The sTaGe for GroWTh Beginning a Bi initiative is not neces- as an organization discovers the benefits some companies have even allowed sarily expensive. This is true especially of Bi, usage is likely to spread quickly business users to submit their own if you choose a vendor with a suite throughout the organization. using structured Query language (sQl) of products that allows you to easily commercial Bi tools does not mean queries; this usually is nipped in the expand your Bi usage and implement that your organization has to abandon bud after an incorrectly formulated sQl the tools you need as your business spreadsheets. instead, iT needs to query results in an answer that’s tech- continues to expand. establish procedures for proper distri- nically correct but irrelevant to the user. bution and control and acquire Bi tools for example, someone requesting a list Getting Started that can interface with them. of employees with salaries greater than $200,000 and less than $20,000 is likely as your company transitions to a Bi Setting Policies to Assist Users looking for both higher-paid and lower- environment, it often makes sense to paid employees. however, this list start small – perhaps deploying Bi at any point in time, your users will would come up empty since a salary against one system with a query and range from experts to novices. The iT cannot be both over $200,000 and reporting tool. Your company can department can set up and enforce under $20,000. expand its deployments to additional policies as to who can access what systems and use more functionality as reports and who can create their own the organization masters the technology. reports. if your organization is using a one place to start is with the system commercial software package, popular that has the greatest reports backlog. Bi tools such as Crystal reports may While the iT department can certainly have been bundled with it, and your use Bi tools to reduce this backlog, organization may already have the ultimate goal should be to make experience using it. your business users self-sufficient and less dependent on iT for their although some companies have been analyses. tempted to avoid commercial Bi prod- ucts by having their iT employees iT can assist business users by using create custom programs for each user the “guided analysis” functionality request, this approach can quickly of some Bi tools to create parameter- overload the iT department with an driven reports with user-selected filter- ever-increasing backlog. often, com- ing criteria for performing customized panies hire additional iT workers just analyses. as users gain experience, to keep up with user requests. Most some of them may even generate their companies that start off writing custom own reports and contribute them to a code eventually acquire commercial corporate report library. it’s up to each Bi products, if only to enable their iT individual company to determine the workers to be more productive and approach that works best. in general, more responsive. 10 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  10. 10. what to look for in Bi ProDucts ToP CriTeria: inTeGraTion anD ease of use When selecting business intelligence their analyses against individual sys- supporting users products, it’s important to consider fac- tems, the time will come when data robust report cataloging and distribution tors besides specific product features. from several sources will be needed functionality will enable authorized busi- ease of use, ease of implementation to see the total picture. This requires ness users to receive their analyses and administration, scalability, user a product suite that includes data inte- on both an upon-request and periodic interface options, and how well it inte- gration technology and presents data subscription basis. The ability to alert grates into your company’s existing as if it were located in a single source. users when certain events or value and future platform environment – thresholds occur is also important. all of these are key considerations. Keeping options open This will involve delivering reports to integration with your desktop software, desktop and mobile devices, and con- Key Factors in Product Choice in particular Microsoft office, will allow tent must be formatted accordingly. users to complement their Bi with famil- look for an integrated product suite, iar desktop tools and reduce your orga- finding needed information and locating including business management sys- nization’s training requirements. in addi- relevant analyses and reports quickly tem integration, with a range of func- tion, be sure the product can support and easily requires strong search fea- tions that your company can deploy multiple operating systems, not just tures – a key criterion. finally, Bi tools as needed. as your company grows, Microsoft Windows. This will allow should allow users to speak in business it should not outgrow the capabilities your iT department to keep your future terms. a product suite with a semantic of its Bi vendor. in addition, individual options open and not constrain your layer transparently isolates users from users may require different features, and organization to a single operating sys- underlying technical complexities and an integrated product suite provides the tem. linux is rapidly growing in impor- allows them to focus on their business greatest deployment flexibility. Be sure tance, and your Bi products should issues, not technical software details. the product suite offers the scalability support it. for users that need to know the source to handle an increased user base as your of data and the underlying formulas (for organization grows. as your organiza- ease of initial installation and deploy- example, how “gross profit” and “net tion gains experience with Bi and its ment is a key consideration, along with profit” are computed), data lineage usefulness becomes evident, it’s quite the ability to add users quickly; this details should also be readily available. likely that its usage will quickly spread. will increase the productivity of your iT department. Be sure to find out about Data quality functionality is critical to administration tools, which should be ensure a trustworthy data foundation. powerful but user friendly. This will high-quality data is a requirement for allow your iT department to control high-quality decisions, and avoids access and provide a level of security the problems associated with having and privacy that’s simply not possible “multiple versions of the truth.” at the in a “spreadsheet only” environment. same time, your Bi product must be Your data is an organizational asset able to access and integrate a wide that your Bi products should protect, variety of disparate data sources. while allowing access to those who although many companies initially run need it. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 11
  11. 11. what to look for in a Bi VenDor There’s More Than MeeTs The eYe When selecting a business intelligence Thinking ahead that works in both operational systems vendor, many factors figure in. These as Bi usage increases, it’s likely that and data warehousing environments include the company’s experience, your organization will deploy it against will provide your organization with maxi- reputation, and stability, as well as additional systems and databases. mum deployment flexibility and support its professional services capabilities While a database vendor may offer a strong growth path. and the quality and strength of its its own proprietary Bi technology, partnerships. what happens when your organization finally, keep in mind that your organiza- decides to use another database? tion will likely grow and expand. it may Key Factors in Vendor Choice a major advantage of choosing a Bi not be a giant today, but it could be one specialist is its ability to work with a tomorrow. Choose a vendor that has one element you might not think of wide variety of data sources. successful and extensive experience immediately is the vendor’s education with organizations of all sizes. and if and training capabilities, but these may Consider the vendor’s product delivery you expect to operate on an interna- be crucial to your ability to introduce options. While many vendors will only tional scale someday, a vendor with the new technology smoothly. While allow you to license their products to a multinational presence is highly many vendors offer on-site and in-house run on your company’s servers, others desirable. training, a few have developed self- also provide “on-demand” or software paced, computer-based training that as a service (saas) options. here, the can assist new users in getting started vendor hosts the software on its own or help experienced users master servers and enables customers to use advanced product features quickly. it through their Web browsers. The saas model can be especially appealing select a vendor with a proven record to small companies that wish to mini- of accomplishment and a history of mize up-front startup costs, with the successful growth – both in revenues option to bring the software in-house and capabilities. solid growth and prof- when it makes economic sense. itability indicate both astute manage- ment and product acceptance, as well Preparing for Growth as the ability to serve customers well a vendor with a large cadre of partners and invest in the future. Choose a vendor – both software vendors and consul- that’s large enough to retain its inde- tants – will prove invaluable. one pendence. a history of acquiring and measure of “openness” is the number successfully integrating complementary of other software products that a Bi technology is another good sign. This tool works with. a vendor that actively company is more likely to be able to encourages partnerships is likely to react quickly to new market demands have little problem integrating its tech- and to supply the technology your com- nology with your current and future pany needs. and a vendor that can software environments. vendors with demonstrate vision, innovation, and a strong base of consulting partners industry leadership is one that may make it easier to find outside expertise well be able to anticipate its customers’ should your organization have special future requirements. requirements. further, a product set 12 SAP White Paper – Business intelligence
  12. 12. conclusion iMProveD analYsis for More effeCTive Business DeCisions Managers have the responsibility to For More Information make the best decisions possible, based upon the data available to them To learn more about how products from at the time. if their ability to analyze this saP and Business objects, an saP data and transform it into useful infor- company, can support your business mation is improved, the overall quality intelligence initiatives, please call of their decisions will improve as well. your saP representative, or visit Business intelligence provides a spec- /platforms/midmarket.asp. trum of tools and solutions to support this aim. it’s the underlying technology behind more effective decision making. By helping align individual and depart- mental efforts with overall corporate strategies, it should lead to improved organizational results. While many small and midsize com- panies have relied on spreadsheets as their primary Bi tool, most of them have come to realize that this is a stopgap solution. This is not to say that spread- sheets should be abandoned; rather, they should be a part of an organiza- tion’s Bi tool set. The key is to choose the right commercial Bi product suite that integrates with spreadsheet environments while supporting your long-term growth. SAP White Paper – Business intelligence 13
  13. 13. 50 088 770 (08/03) ©2008 by saP aG. all rights reserved. saP, r/3, xapps, xapp, saP netWeaver, Duet, Partneredge, ByDesign, saP Business ByDesign, and other saP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of saP aG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. Business objects and the Business objects logo, Businessobjects, and Crystal reports are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business objects s.a. or its affiliated companies in the united states and other countries. all other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. national product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by saP aG and its affiliated companies (“saP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and saP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for saP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. /contactsap