We’ve discussed business intelligence in great lengths in past blogs: why it’s important, the purpose of business intelligence (BI) applications and how to use BI tools for further success. I recently read an article that discussed the importance of integrated reporting and analytics and how they compare to traditional business intelligence tools and applications.

The Challenges of Traditional Business Intelligence Tools

“Traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools and approaches focus on reporting and analysis as a distinct process and task set which requires a separate application or tool. These same tools are costly, complicated and completely severed from the transaction applications that originated the business-critical data sources.  These are challenging barriers that prevent common usage of these tools and invite understandable skepticism even when they are used.”

A New Look at Business Intelligence

I agree with the above paragraph wholeheartedly. Traditional BI tools are costly, difficult to use, connected to the database through some sort of data mapping, and focused on after-the-fact reporting. They do not meet the needs of the average user.

Application users need immediate insight and feedback into the data they are working with at that particular moment in time. In order to be effective, publishers must find a way to deliver BI within data entry screens. This will enable users to share that information with other users, allowing them to make effective, real-time decisions and drive more positive results.

For example, if a user is entering a sales order, that user would need to know vital information about the customer (account status, missing contact information, etc.) and the items being purchased (stock status, production impact, etc.), as well as any other information (internal or external to the database) that would be relevant to their sales order process. Traditional business intelligence requires the information to be entered first and then generates a report (or several reports) to determine the impact that order will have on production, shipping, etc.

Internal business intelligence offers integrated reporting and analytics to make this process easier and much more effective. Do you know of any applications offering these characteristics of internal BI?

Please share in the comments below.