How important is real-time BI?

By 2016 Gartner the BI and Analytical Software market had already reached $17.1 billion. With every organisation looking to improve performance and maintain their competitive edge, an increasing number have recognised the importance of business intelligence and analytics solutions.

A popular feature of BI software is the ability to present data in real time, but some organisations question its benefit, especially those in industries where up to the minute information is not seen to be of immediate value. Transport companies, equity traders, and those with call centres are examples of businesses which have a clear requirement for accessing data that is minutes, or even seconds, old.

They need instant access to today’s data, presented in a easy to read visual format, so that they can quickly make decisions that will affect the business in the short term. These organisations are more likely than others to see the benefits and embrace the real-time aspect of business intelligence software.

Proactive reporting

Some businesses may not see the need for up to the minute data, but the ability to access the latest information is becoming more important across all organisations. Historically, reporting and analysis was carried out at scheduled intervals, such as every month or every quarter, with key performance indicators checked every few weeks or months, but this reactive approach is no longer sufficient in today’s unpredictable global economy.

Making important decisions based on data that is months old could have a significant negative impact, and managers need access to reliable and relevant information from across the business. Running traditional reports on a more frequent schedule can provide some of this information, but finding the right data amidst a sea of static reports, identifying trends across different periods of time, and spotting opportunities, are extremely laborious and time consuming activities that can take days or even weeks, by which time it may render the data obsolete.

A business intelligence application presents data in a visual format that makes it easy to interpret large amounts of data at a glance. The ability to access near real-time data with only a few clicks, and quickly identify how your business is currently performing against key performance indicators, is an important requirement for every business to help them make decisions about the future.

Businesses need to be confident that the decisions they make today, in response to changes in their industry or input from customers, is based on up to date, reliable information which business intelligence analytics delivers.

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