Sunday, August 9, 2009

Do small businesses need BI?

From: Do small businesses need BI?

Is business intelligence too much bother for smaller organisations? Danny Bradbury looks at how analytics can work for all sizes.

When your business costs nine pounds per minute to run, it is imperative that you maximize your revenues. Luckily, David Wilkinson, the IT director at York Minster, is also the assistant to the chief accountant, so he understands how technology can help managers to find potential improvement in the business.

This is one example of a small business that is using business intelligence software - a technology that has historically been viewed as a tool for larger enterprises.

When many people think of business intelligence, they think of multidimensional data cubes, complex analytics and extensive data warehouses. But the product category spans different levels of sophistication, argues Andreas Bitterer, research vice president at Gartner.

"These are not global companies, so there's a skills difference, there are fewer users, generally, and less sophistication," he says of small businesses. "The main difference I see is that the tool set that a mid-market company would use is more reporting focused, and less involved in high-level analytics with global data warehouses."

Boris Evelson, a principal analyst at Forrester research, says that for many smaller organisations, these reporting tools can often be built directly into the line of business software that they are already using, such as an ERP or CRM package.

"If your entire business is run on a single package, then you don't really need a separate business intelligence application," he says.

For many small businesses, working with one application may even be preferable, because trying to generate a single view of data across multiple sources may be too ambitious.

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Business Mashups LLC is a software development company headquartered in the beautiful city of Chandigarh, India.

We work primarily with offshore customers. We have a global client foot print with customers in India, UK, U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, Dubai, South Africa etc. and our forte is developing software solutions for SMEs.

Business Mashups provides bespoke software development services using web technologies. We work in areas such as E-commerce, website development, web enablement, product development, web applications etc. Our solutions enable businesses to leverage leading-edge technology to gain sustainable competitive advantage in today's marketplace.

We build core business applications, like enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resource management (HRM), supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM).

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