How proactive business intelligence is revolutionizing reporting

Dashboards can be a lifesaver. When you’re driving your car, for example, the dashboard can tell you at a glance how far you’ve gone. It lets you know when you’re going too fast. It warns you when there’s an engine problem or when you’re running out of gas.

But when it comes to reporting on business intelligence, dashboards just aren’t effective at delivering a personalized view of what is most important (or relevant) for an employee—and neither are other common reporting methods, such as:

  • Month-end reports
  • Batch reporting
  • Manually digging into data silos to extract KPIs

“Executives can glance at dashboards all day long and still not know which important changes are taking place now,” says Marius Moscovici, founder of Metric Insights. Yet companies continue to invest in newer, bigger, and more sophisticated reporting systems, wasting hard-earned revenue in hopes of achieving better results. Although business intelligence has become the most highly sought-after enterprise technology—with a global market expected to grow to over $22 billion by the end of 2020—researchers say it still suffers from a “relative inability to prove its value”.  When implemented correctly, business intelligence systems can return more than $10 for every dollar spent. Yet seven in 10 BI implementations fall short of business goals, and more than half end up failing entirely, says Gartner.

Why? Because many of the reporting systems used today are cumbersome, unwieldy, and as a result, fail to deliver the promised value of BI.

Simply gathering and presenting data isn’t enough. To deliver real value, it needs to be analyzed, placed in context, and converted into actionable insights—something 57 percent of business leaders struggle with.

Based on current reporting systems, three in five companies believe their employees would need to learn a whole host of data-related skills just to make effective use of business intelligence. They identify their top reporting challenges as:

Delivering self-service reporting. More than 35 percent of business leaders say traditional business intelligence tools are so complicated that only a handful of experts within the company know how to use them. As bottlenecks form around these overworked individuals, the reporting process grinds to a crawl. Enterprises are hungry for solutions that democratize information for all who need it—whether they’re IT specialists or not.

Reporting across multiple systems. Within most enterprises, the necessary data is spread across several systems and platforms, from ERP systems to CRMs to spreadsheets. More than 27 percent of business leaders say pulling it all together is a herculean task, while achieving a “single version of the truth” proves nearly impossible.

Generating timely reports. In many companies, reports take far too long to run. When employees must spend hours waiting for a response to each ad-hoc query, they’re unlikely to keep using the software. Today’s workers need reports that arrive within seconds rather than hours after they need the information.

Proactive business intelligence is next-generation reporting

It’s time companies stop reacting to slow-moving data processes and start getting proactive with their business intelligence.

Proactive business intelligence means detecting the most relevant, personalized information and delivering before it is even needed. It means applying analytical insights at every level so employees across the organization can use data to make better decisions and improve performance on a day-to-day basis. It accelerates decision making by using real-time monitoring to “identify, calculate, and distribute up-to-the-moment, mission-critical information,” says business intelligence expert Justin Langseth.

With proactive business intelligence, decision-makers don’t have to go digging for data or wait for weekly or end-of-month reports. Sapho Modern Portal delivers essential, digestible pieces of relevant information to the right people at the right time—so they have a clear picture of changes as they happen.

Instead of requiring a company full of analytics experts, Sapho monitors for interesting new updates—also known as events—in your systems of record and then automatically sends information, important system changes, actionable insights, or high-priority tasks to relevant employees. This provides workers with personalized system data. At the same time, behind-the-scenes, Sapho leverages machine learning to increase productive by learning what, when, and how employees want information delivered.

Mature data-driven businesses "integrate insights into the very fiber of the business," Moscovici says. "It is a partnership between humans and machines, where intelligent algorithms keep a digital finger on every available data pulse and point out issues that humans cannot find themselves."

Sapho Modern Portal is revolutionizing business intelligence reporting. It sits on top of existing systems and helps extract more value from previous business intelligence investments by proactively delivering information to employees in a single portal that can be accessed from anywhere. By removing the traditional roadblocks to business intelligence, it makes companies far more agile and responsive to changes.

This means no more cumbersome, unwieldy month-end reports. No more confusing dashboards. With Sapho, decision makers start their day with information that’s relevant to them instead of an overwhelming deluge of unnecessary data.

Ready to learn more? See how our customers are using Sapho Modern Portal to increase employee productivity.

View Sapho use cases 

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Elle Sidell

Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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