The Role Of Business Intelligence In ERP Software

Author: Renuka Belamkar Date: 15 November, 2019

Many organizations accumulate massive data and information every day, through business operations, that is hard to keep track of and analyze. They used, and a lot are still using multiple legacy software and manual spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel to store the data. The problem is it's time-consuming, labour-intensive, and error-prone process, plus the data is available in different software.

To have the information in one place and get more visibility on the data, companies adopt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. An ERP software is a business management system that integrates and streamlines all the aspects of the business, including planning, procurement, sales & marketing, etc. using one centralized system.

But what is the point of having all the data in one software if you are not able to get deeper insights and make business sense out of it?

That's where Business Intelligence (BI) plays a significant role in an ERP. It helps access an immense volume of data and effectively analyze business processes information for better decision making.

Now, let's delve in deeper to understand what is BI, why you need Business Intelligence in ERP, their benefits and much more. In this post, we will cover the following topics:

What is Business Intelligence(BI)?

According to Forrester Research, "Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information. It allows business users to make informed business decisions with real-time data that can put a company ahead of its competitors."

In practice, it gives a complete and comprehensive overview of the company's historical and present data. It helps decrease inefficiencies, make changes in business by spotting market trends and allows the operations to run smoother.

Why Business Intelligence in ERP?

Business Intelligence in ERP systems allows an organization to analyze and leverage massive data that is captured by the ERP software. The BI software uses the data, analyses it, and represents it in an actionable and easy to interpret format.

The critical elements of BI include:

Business Intelligence Features

Today, you will find a wide range of business intelligence software in the market which are quite diverse in scope. All of these software systems offer a huge number of features that enable better, faster, and more informed decision making at all levels of an organization.

According to the surveys from SelectHub, the below graph provides insights into the top Business Intelligence features the buyers want.

Business-Intelligence-tools

Source: SelectHub

Dashboards:

The interactive dashboards are responsible for providing the businesses with the insights that have never been possible before. These dashboards offer a more holistic view of the company by allowing the decision-makers to deeply analyze the data from different perspectives with just a few clicks.

To list a few benefits:

Data Visualizations:

Data visualization is a process of representing the data in graphical form. As visual information is processed 60,000 times faster than text, it is more likely to be absorbed by the people of all levels within the organization.

The common motivating factor for a beginner in Business Intelligence is a tool that can convert data from numbers on a spreadsheet to insightful visualizations.

Benefits of data visualization include:

Reporting:

Reporting is a part of Business Intelligence that provides data in visualized forms such as tables, graphs and charts. BI reporting analyses the data more accurately for easy understanding.

There are a few business reporting techniques which include scorecards, dashboards, KPI metrics, OLAP, ad hoc queries, etc. that provide value to summarize the past.

Benefits of Business Intelligence Reporting:

Predictive Analytics:

Predictive analysis is the combination of data, statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to provide better insights into the future outcome of data based on historical information. More precisely, it's not about what happened, but why it happened and what could happen in the future.

Benefits of predictive analytics:

Business Intelligence Tools and Platforms

Business Intelligence tools are the programs, software and applications that aim to locate, retrieve, and analyze the data. There is a wide range of business intelligence tools aiding you to understand the trends and deriving insights from your data to help you make strategic and tactical decisions.

Gartner Magic Quadrant is a culmination of research in a specific market, giving you a wide-angle view of the relative positions of the market's competitors. Here is a 2020 Magic Quadrant representing the analytics and the Business Intelligence platforms.

Business-Intelligence-tools

Source: Qlik

Here are a few Business Intelligence tools that will enhance your decision-making capabilities and social collaboration:

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is the top leading BI tool that offers data preparation, visual-based data discovery, interactive dashboards and augmented analytics via a single product which is the Microsoft Power BI. This tool unifies data from many sources to create interactive, immersive dashboards and reports that provide complete data and also drive business results.

Microsoft BI is available as a SaaS option running in the Azure cloud or as an on-premise option in Power BI Report Server.

According to the Gartner report, the new features added to the Microsoft BI recently, include decomposition tree visuals, LinkedIn data connectivity and geographic mapping enhancements.

Tableau

Tableau aims to offer an intuitive, interactive, visual-based exploration experience that enables business users to access, prepare, analyze and present findings in their data without any technical skills or coding. Tableau's offering is primarily deployed on-premises. It can be either as a standalone desktop application or integrated with a server for sharing content.

Among which Tableau Online is the cloud-based SaaS offering. According to Tableau's customer report, Tableau grew its total revenue to just over $900 million through the first quarter of 2019 and achieved 14% growth from the first six months of 2018 to the first six months of 2019.

QlikView

Qlik is the leader in the Magic Quadrant 2020. This tool aims to create visualizations, dashboards and apps. QlikView also offers quite exciting features like:

As per the Gartner report, the customers used primarily for decentralized analytics (70%) and agile centralized BI provisioning (66%) use cases. Also, during July 2018, Qlik acquired Podium Data to broaden its data management capabilities. Later, in January 2019, Qlik acquired Crunch Data to provide conversational analytics.

SAS

SAS is a visionary in the Magic Quadrant 2020. It is one of the self-service tools which influences the data and metrics to make informed decisions about their business. One of the most popular offerings of SAS is its advanced predictive analysis. SAS also offers Visual Analytics on SAS Viya. The SAS Visual Analytics is primarily deployed on-premises, while it is also available through various cloud and hosting options.

As per the Gartner reports 2020, during 2019, SAS enhanced its augmented analytics capabilities. Now, it includes automated predictions with "what if?" and AI-driven data preparation suggestions. Also, SAS has enhanced Visual Analytics' location intelligence capabilities and introduced a new SDK.

Integration Of QlikView In In4Suite®

In4Suite® is the leading ERP software in the real estate and construction industry. It aims to help the real estate developers to ease their day-to-day activities efficiently. To manage your real estate business and have your data come to life, In4Suite® is integrated with Qlikview to discover the hidden insights.

QlikView provides your real estate business with fast integration of data coming from various resources, into a single powerful application. The In4Suite® BI tool allows the users to create their interactive dashboards for their core business processes. This tool also helps to transfer and connect the data to external applications.

Benefits Of Business Intelligence In ERP Systems

The ultimate goal of Business Intelligence is to analyze, understand, and make critical decisions on the data. With the BI integrated ERP software, the end-users can keenly observe the data and convert them to some actionable information.

Let's consider the BI integrated ERP software, In4Suite®, to understand the benefits more effectively.

(a) Customizable Report Generation

Report generation is an initial step in data processing. It represents data in various levels of interactivity options like the ability to drill down, sort, and filter. Also, there are some additional capabilities wherein the end-user can customize the information for more insights.

(b) Interactive Dashboard Creation

How have your leads come this month? Have your sales dropped? If so, why did it fall? You should have an answer to all these questions.

In4Suite® can create interactive dashboards that are customizable as per the user needs. The software has a drag and drop option, which improves the operational and cost efficiencies of your business.

(c) Real-Time Look At The Data

Real time look at the data

The best part of the BI software integrated with the ERP system is that the managers will have a real-time look at the data, that eases their decision-making process.

For example, let's take a scenario of software like In4Suite®. If the CEO requires to see the leads generated this month, he can have a direct look at the dashboard which shows the customer count by month, the reason wise points, the lead ageing, the lead interested in project-wise analysis and the total lead conversion. This data will help in a long-term study to identify trends and opportunities for process improvement.

(d) Moving Beyond Elementary Reporting

Elementary Reporting

Reporting functions are another area where the BI software can have a transformational effect on the business. In4Suite® aims to create a more dynamic environment for users to manipulate data when necessary.

The BI software also allows users to export data behind the charts in real-time to Microsoft Excel. In4Suite® is also helpful to copy the graphs and charts live to a Powerpoint presentation and keep it refreshed in real-time.

(e) Cost Reduction

There are costs associated with the operation and implementation of BI, and the ROI is significant enough to cope up with the expense. Reduction in costs of data collection, report generation and programming, and IT training.

(f) Minimizes The Risk

Naturally, there are certain risks involved in any business, but the BI reporting tools will help reduce them. The BI tools do so by providing real-time, hyper-accurate reports, and assist the organizations in understanding the information in detail. Eventually, it helps in eliminating the need for guesswork.

Future Of Business Intelligence

While we wonder what will be the future of BI, it is quite important to understand that the Business Intelligence software is widening rapidly. Shortly, the BI tools will become more collaborative, facilitating teamwork.

The third-party systems will also be increasingly integrated with BI, simplifying data processing and reacting to actionable insights. The technology infrastructure will expand to a large amount of data and will provide better support for business intelligence systems.

Final Thoughts

Eventually, an ERP System with an integrated BI software will render all the information under a single platform. In4Suite® is one such real estate ERP software which comes up with a robust Business Intelligence platform. The software is being used by 400+ clients across ten countries worldwide. If you're someone who is looking for such a well versed real estate software, then In4Suite® is the best choice.

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