Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence

Analysis, design, and implementation of powerful BI systems

For our clients reaching for the next level CougarTG offers BI services. Aiming for increased operational efficiency and competitiveness, companies turn to us for BI guidance and implementation.

Businesses always want the answers to questions like: “Why have product sales dropped?”; “What are the results from last week’s promotion?”; or “When can we expect the highest daily renewal load this year?” This is commonly solved with a data dump into a spreadsheet, and then massaging the numbers into charts. But this is manual, error-prone, and repetitive. If this hits a nerve, you are probably ready for BI!

BI services:

  • Project definition and team assembly
  • Technology, tools, and vendor selection
  • Design and Development
  • Maintenance

CougarTG’s expertise includes:

  • Microsoft Reporting Services, SSAS, SharePoint, and Office
  • Cognos 8.3 & 8.4
  • SAP Business Objects Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports

What is BI?

BI is made up of the people, processes, software, technologies, and practices used to support your business decision making. Managers need inputs from all aspects of your company to guide what they do next. If the data is processed and presented correctly, it simplifies, saves time and effort, and enables faster and better decisions.

Imagine how much easier it became when gauges and indicators were added to the dashboards of cars. Accurate gauges make it possible to to drive with confidence, as they display key systems status and alert you to issues — the same goes for the critical data about your company.

Let’s walk through the phases of your BI initiative:

1. Questions

The dream is for stakeholders to wake up to dashboards, scorecards and multidimensional reports. But before we can give them these you need the answers to questions like: What do you want to know? Do you have that data now? If yes, how do you get it? Why do you need it? The last question may sound trite, but you want to be confident of your motives before spending time, effort and money.

The strategy and planning phase of a BI project is not optional, and is as essential as implementation. At this stage CougarTGĀ  will help your organization to:

  • Understand business needs
  • Understand user needs
  • Identify stakeholders
  • Define BI strategy and road map
  • Prepare the project plan

BI enables you to extract the most from the data you already have to enable you to drive well-informed business decisions.

2. Data

Based on our experience, you probably have between 2 and 12 mission-critical business systems collecting data and at least one separate data storage per business user. If you are lucky, there is minimal amount of data duplications between systems, and user spreadsheets are backed up or kept in a document management system. For BI project to succeed, you will need all the relevant data to be extracted, transformed and loaded regularly and reliably; the data conflicts resolved; and the status of the data be easily determined. For example, it doesn’t help to find out that last month sales data was incomplete after the presentation to the Board of Directors!

CougarTG will provide:

  • Review of current business systems
  • Data analysis for company-wide and shadow data storage
  • Data warehouse and business intelligence architecture
  • ETL (extract-transform-load) planning
  • Data cleansing advice

3. How

With the questions out of the way, it’s time to purchase the hardware, select vendors and assemble project team. That’s right, selecting the BI software and installing new database server is not the first step of BI project. Why? You might discover your BI needs will be mostly met by what you already have. It is also necessary to select tools and technologies based on existing business infrastructure and company’s strategic technical direction.

CougarTG will assist in:

  • Defining the skill set for the project and assembling a project team of internal and external specialists
  • Identifying technologies and tools required to meet your BI needs
  • Choosing vendors
  • Installing and configuring hardware, setting up tools, and helping IT department to incorporate new processes

4. Implementation

Finally, in the implementation and maintenance phases of the BI project, in which CougarTG delivers:

  • Data warehouse design and implementation
  • ETL implementation
  • Reports development
  • Dashboards and scorecards
  • Security management
  • Data backup
  • Growth management
  • Training
  • Ongoing support