Essay on Business analysis technology

Often, companies select BI systems according to the following criteria: the company uses other software of the same vendor, the system is successfully compatible with the already installed products, the management is familiar with the software from the previous work, the supplier is a strategic vendor for the company. But are these criteria sufficient (Figure 1)?


Figure 1. System Selection Criteria

Source: BARC (Business Application Research Center), 2012.

Researches by BARC (Business Application Research Center) indicate that those systems which have been selected during the competitive comparison with other products bring positive effects, and the capabilities of such system are now becoming a deciding factor of choice for the majority of companies.

Regarding the key features of the solutions available in the market, they surely attract users by various unique advantages. For example, more than 50% of companies interviewed by BARC noted that they chose the solution Infor PM OLAP and Oracle Hyperion because of its wide functionality. More than 50% of respondents also noted that the chose Infor and QlikTech for simplicity of use for end users, whereas, for example, for SAP BW, this factor was named by only 3.6% of respondents, and for the solutions of Microsoft – 13%. At the same time, for 47% of SAP BW users an important criterion was integration with other systems of the company. The low price was an important factor for the users of Microsoft, but was not significant for the buyers of IBM Cognos, Oracle Hyperion, MicroStrategy, and SAP.

Having analyzed the criteria for selecting solutions for more than two thousand projects, BARC reduces the obtained data to the tabular form, reflecting technical and commercial attractiveness of the various systems (Table 1 and Table 2).

Table 1. Rating of BI-solutions based on technical features


Table 2. Rating of BI-solutions on the basis of commercial features

Source: BARC (Business Application Research Center), 2012.


BARC analysts have managed to develop a scale of factors, which reflects how organizations should rank the selection criteria for the BI-system, as well as the way it factually happens. Thus, the performance criterion should be placed first (left column), but in fact it occurs on the fourth place (right column) (Table 3). Another example is that a criterion of system’s support for a variety of server platforms is underestimated in organizations by 13 points and must be put on the 5th place.


Table 3. The main criteria for selecting BI-systems

Source: BARC (Business Application Research Center), 2012.

In general, the implementation of Business Intelligence technology provides such benefits as: ability to analyze data on long periods of time, obtain detailization per “year-quarter-month-day”¯ or “year- week-day”¯, build reports in the dynamics for several months/years; ability to handle really large amounts of data, while the speed of forming reports exceeds the speed of their formation of the accounting system by tens times; ability to collect data from multiple accounting systems and company databases and form consolidated reporting based on it; unique flexibility of the reporting system where an analyst may consider any angle, set any filters and groups, receive transcript of specific indicators, dropping down even to primary entries, immediately change the structure of the reports and create new reports without participation of IT-specialists.

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