Choosing the best Business Intelligence (BI) solution for your organization is a lot like choosing what you need to eat for a healthier lifestyle. BI gives knowledge into consumer behavior, it improves efficiency, it increases productivity, and it turns data into actionable information. Gartner defines BI as “an umbrella term that include the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.” The objective is to provide organizations the right knowledge in the hands of the right people at the right time to make informed decisions. BI increases the ability to identify trends and challenges, as well as fine-tune operations to meet business goals.
Let’s explore Sage Business Intelligence (BI) offerings and then, cover third party solutions. According to Top Sage Resellers, Sage Intelligence takes real-time financial and operational data from Sage ERP and transfers into templates in Microsoft Excel, which users can easily view and customize. The Excel-based interface enables users to analyze and utilize your enterprise resource planning (ERP) data in graphs however they would like. This gives users a much more hands-on and visual experience than standard reports can give. If you do some research, you will see the most recent option, Sage “Enterprise” Intelligence. Similar to Sage Intelligence, Sage Enterprise Intelligence also provides a visual experience to reporting that allows users to perform advanced “slice-and-dice” analysis on Sage ERP data. Sage Intelligence is solely based on Microsoft Excel and is primarily for financial reporting and budgeting, whereas Sage Enterprise Intelligence does offer an Excel add-on, but its focus goes to a web-based user interface for data visualization. Also, Sage Enterprise Intelligence provides more advanced features for businesses that really want to use a broad range of analytics tools for BI analysis and data mining.
You might be wondering why Sage offers two separate BI solutions. It is to provide a range of analytics and reporting options to customers depending on their industries and needs. The two BI solutions offer a different set of interfaces to help better business insight through flexible reporting and analysis. Clearly, depending on your needs, if you’re looking for an all-in-one BI solution, Sage Intelligence or Sage Enterprise Intelligence may not be the right solutions for you. Furthermore, Sage Intelligence has been quoted by users to have a quite old and clunky Excel add-in.
If your current system is limiting your company from making smart choices for your business, you should consider investing in a new BI system. Third party BI software, such as BI360, BizNet, Host Analytics, and more, are expanding their ERP functionality by offering best-of-breed financial reporting and planning, as well as data visualization and data storage. BI tools are providing business end user choices so that users can access the exact information they need when they need it without having to wait for assistance.
If your company is growing rapidly and is still relying on spreadsheets, modern, best-of-breed BI solutions can be a great option for you. Some of today’s BI solutions deliver real-time accurate data when you need it. Take a look at a key component of BI analytics: the tools. Depending on what your company needs, basic tools, like planning, reporting dashboards, and data warehousing, can make an immense difference. Reporting tools are essential to remaining competitive in your industry, making smart decisions while building the company and the brand. Financial reporting is an important, must-have process and you should see what the best option is for your organization as well as what fits into your BI strategy.
To continue learning more about Sage BI and third party reporting and budgeting solutions, read the rest of the article here.