Business data and BI software are currently beginning a new phase of evolution. In this new phase, users of business data will be able to collaborate and connect with other colleagues and team members without multiple spreadsheets and laborious processes.
The BI user experiences of past decades are being re-thought and fast collaboration and crossover functionality are the way of the future. Southard Jones, in the May 9th Venture Beat article Blurred lines: Reimagining the user experience for business intelligence, details how companies are developing new ways of delivering business data and what companies will be looking for in the future.
The article is of interest because it discusses that the business intelligence space needs to evolve to meet the needs of modern businesses. Currently, there is little crossover functionality between products, and products are rigidly aligned to arbitrary user “roles” like information consumers vs. producers. But, people are not rigidly defined in their roles; they need to be able to answer questions quickly, using their business data. “Blurring” the line between consumers and producers of information is one example of how business intelligence products need to evolve, because blurring that line will make everyone more productive.
Crossover functionality is another topic this article broaches. To quote Jones, “Ensuring success with BI and analytics also means recognizing that different people prefer different tools.” We whole heartedly agree! People in business should be able to access relevant, informative data quickly, and from whichever tool seems appropriate to them.
His article feels very validating because at least someone in the BI industry sees the status quo is no way to continue. Jones also writes, “The modern business landscape demands a new approach to the user experience. […] And one that allows interoperability between different products. Our work styles have evolved. BI and analytics should do the same.”
One such software, developed by PARIS Technologies, is taking on this new, modern business crossover and collaboration and use of multiple products with their newest product Olation®. With this kind of technology, companies can eliminate inaccurate data and time-consuming processes that stem from data located in various applications, spreadsheets and databases. With Olation, data is centralized in a non-proprietary database and access to that information is permitted simultaneously by multiple users in their different applications. It’s is a game-changer, especially if you’ve been struggling with a typical or limited BI tool. With everyone in the business working from the same source data set, and Olation’s calculation engine doing the formula and calculation work, there is little manual spreadsheet work to be done. Which means analysts can actually answer questions quickly and spend time getting to the meat of data discovery.
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