This post is guest authored by Peter Krensky, Research Analyst, Analytics & Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group.
Recent Aberdeen research shows that the demand for analytical tools and functionality, particularly at the line of business, has never been higher. Analytical minds clamor for tools to perform all manner of tasks, from traditional reporting to visual data discovery and advanced analytics. Often, organizations implement multiple tools to answer this demand and empower dynamic engagement with enterprise data. But what about a comprehensive solution that can do it all? What does the performance of organizations with a comprehensive BI platform look like compared to all other approaches? Aberdeen divided responding organizations to its 2014 Business Analytics survey into two groups: those using multiple tools to perform the above functions, and those with a single comprehensive solution that can do it all. Organizations with a comprehensive analytical solution demonstrate advantages in the speed of information delivery and the empowerment of employees with analytical functionality (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Deliver Information on time to more Employees
The brass ring of analytics is getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Every other measure of analytical success is secondary. Users at organizations with a comprehensive BI solutions obtain information within the decision window 83% of the time (Aberdeen defines the decision window as the period of when information is valuable for a choice at hand). All other organizations get their hands on key data within the decision window 64% of the time. To put it another way, when organizations use multiple solutions, 36% of decisions have to be based on incomplete information or gut instinct. It’s very possible the desired information resides within one of the tools, but the user (who as we mentioned is pressed for time) has to handle multiple interfaces, each one only offering a portion of the desired data. Often it is simply too difficult to track down the critical information in time. A single solution simplifies and streamlines the process, helping users get to information (and insight) in a timely fashion. Using many different tools, with all their quirks and particularities, can add counterproductive complexity that ultimately leads to poor choices and lost opportunities.
In addition to more timely information delivery, organizations embracing a comprehensive BI platform were able to get analytics into the hands of 53% more users per capita than their peers (66% of analytical employees compared to 43%). Organizations with single comprehensive deployment can more effectively and efficiently leverage their IT resources. It is far simpler and less draining for IT staff to support and onboard users with a single solution, rather than trying to scale multiple solutions.
Organizations considering the adoption of one or multiple analytical solutions should consider the advantages of a single comprehensive platform.
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