5 Must-Haves in a Mobile BI Solution

mobile biWhether it’s better workforce insight or a better bottom line, any organization can improve its day-to-day through business intelligence. In the past few years, information analytics has moved from a business augmentation tool to a standard to play in the big leagues. Now, business intelligence (BI) implementations are being turbo-charged with the addition of fully integrated mobile BI solutions.

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Whether you’ve been carefully considering your mobile BI options, or are just now looking to get into the game, it’s important to distinguish between the frills, good features, and must-have components. In this blog post, we’ll examine the five features of a mobile BI solution that are simply non-negotiable. (more…)

Don’t Start Your Business Intelligence RFP Until You Know These 7 Things

business intelligence rfpImagine going through all the work of buying a business intelligence platform only to find that it doesn’t meet your needs and is ultimately a failed implementation. Unfortunately, this isn’t too far-fetched of a scenario. By some estimates, up to 80% of all BI projects fail. Don’t be one of those statistics.

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To ensure that your BI project will be a success, put in some leg work ahead of time during the RFP process. Here are 7 things you should think about as you’re composing your business intelligence RFP to ensure that the end result (your BI implementation) is exactly what you want and can get your organization the results it needs. (more…)

Bringing Real World BI Experience into the Classroom

woman typing on computerEditor’s note: Today’s blog post has been written by Maria Lehoczky of Polk State College, a Dimensional Insight customer. Polk State is currently using Diver in the classroom to provide students with a real world BI experience. We are sharing Maria’s story so our blog readers can see an interesting use of Diver.

In education, it’s one thing to speak theoretically to students about technologies they will need in the workplace, and altogether a different thing for them to actually use those technologies themselves in the classroom.

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At Polk State College, we want all of our students in our Business Information Technology program to graduate having had hands-on experience, prepared for a career in information technology. The type of skills we expect them to learn can be broken down into four primary objectives:

  • To be able to serve as a liaison between the information technology and business divisions of a company
  • To apply an understanding of the business process in order to gather, perform, analyze, and submit information to support business objectives
  • To determine how information technology can support managerial decision-making and problem-solving
  • To be able to formulate effective business intelligence data models and design system solutions, and integrate them into a sustainable business model

That’s why when we had the opportunity to use Dimensional Insight’s Diver Platform in the classroom, we knew it would be a perfect way for students to get the hands-on experience that they will need to succeed post-graduation. (more…)

Healthcare Analytics Myths: #3 – I Need to Know All My Goals at the Outset

healthcare analytics goalsIn this blog series on healthcare analytics myths, we’ve been busting some common myths that threaten to derail your business intelligence (BI) buying journey. Our first post focused on why you don’t need a data warehouse, and the second focused on why the analytics in your EHR might not cut it.

Tweet: Healthcare analytics myths busted. You don’t need to know all your healthcare analytics goals as you start BI.

This third myth has to do with planning your business intelligence implementation and the belief that you need to know the exact end result you want before you even get underway with your project. Truth is, that’s just a myth, and BI often works better when you adopt some flexibility into your planning process. (more…)

3 Analytics Ghouls that Threaten Your BI Project

While everyone starts their business intelligence (BI) implementations with the noblest of intentions, these implementations can often turn into hair-raising experiences worthy of a horror movie. It’s great that you now have an analytics tool to help you make better business decisions, but how in the world do you implement this big hairy beast of a project? It’s a frightening prospect, and can often be fraught with delays and data issues. In fact, there are a wide variety of estimates as to the percentage of BI projects that are considered failures. Some statistics say 50% while others say 70% to 80%. Any way you slice it, that’s downright terrifying. Eek!

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Yes, business intelligence can be scary, but before you scream that blood-curdling scream that I know is just dying to come out, sit down and take a breath. You CAN do this. You just need to know the demons you’re up against, and how you can beat them. (And no, it does not involve garlic or stakes through the heart. Come on, now.) (more…)

How to Start Your BI Projects Off Right

The business intelligence (BI) buying process these days can take a long time, with multiple stakeholders involved. When it’s all said and done and you’ve picked a BI vendor and signed your name on the dotted line, you just want to breathe a sigh of relief. (Or maybe curl up under a rug and cry it out a bit. Your choice.)

Time for a reality check: you’re not off the hook. Your BI project is just beginning. Now you need to actually implement that sucker. How can you do that without driving yourself crazy?

Here’s the answer: sit down. Download our brand new eBook below. It’s that simple.

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5 Lessons You Can Learn from Organizations with BI Success [VIDEO]

When the Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study came out earlier this summer, the immediate reaction around here was to head to the rankings section to see who scored #1 among the 24 vendors evaluated. So you can imagine how pleased we were when it turned out we had the highest overall score among all vendors for the second year running. We place a very strong emphasis on meeting our customers’ needs and the results showed that our strategy is working.

But truth is, the vendor scores are just one part of this comprehensive business intelligence user survey. There are also pages and pages of interesting information about how users are using business intelligence, who is driving decisions, what’s important in BI implementations, and so much more.

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Analytics = Data in Motion (An Alternative Approach to the Data Warehouse)

The experience of organizations that have led the way in applying business intelligence and analytics technology to healthcare information suggests that the traditional ways of doing things haven’t worked particularly well. As I listen to presentations on healthcare analytics at various conferences, the “lessons learned” narratives seem very consistent:

  • Be careful about taking on too much too fast
  • Focus on delivering “early and often” to get constructive feedback
  • Make sure that the user community will derive value from what you do deliver

Tweet: Analytics = data in motion (an alternative approach to the data warehouse)

Of particular note is the dissatisfaction with the data warehouse model. One of the biggest criticisms is that this model often represents a “build it and they will come” approach. IT implements it, assuming that once this vast store of information exists, the user community will line up to take advantage of it. In reality, however, after the lengthy, resource-intensive and complicated process typically required to build a warehouse, that huge “AH-HA!” moment from the user community that IT enthusiastically anticipates seldom arrives. Unfortunately, these types of data warehouse-focused projects are often not implemented with a focus on the problems that need to be solved and end up being “solutions looking for problems”. And what ends up as the result of the inordinate amount of time, money and organizational bandwidth invested? An 80% failure rate, according to Gartner statistics.

Healthcare organizations need a new way to think about analytics – an approach that at its core considers the goals of business, operational and clinical communities, and aims to help them reach those goals quickly and efficiently. In this two-part blog series, we will examine such an approach and discuss why it may not require a data warehouse. (more…)

Top 5 Blog Posts 2014

It’s time to bid adieu to 2014 and ring in 2015. But before we do so, it’s time for a quick retrospective on the past year on our blog.

As manager of the Dimensional Insight blog, I keep close tabs on our site stats and our most popular posts. Which posts resonated most with readers in 2014? Let’s crack open the vault to find out…

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Without further ado, here are our Top 5 blog posts for the year: (more…)

Healthcare BI: 4 Ways to Achieve ROI in 12 Months (Or Less)

Medical Data

In the earlier blog post, “Charting a Roadmap for BI Success in Healthcare,” I discussed how the healthcare landscape is changing, and how business intelligence (BI) is an important technology in that discussion. I also introduced 7 steps for BI success, gleaned from the experience of our customer Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. To recap, the 7 steps are:

  1. Create a dedicated department
  2. Staff it with the best data experts
  3. Align with the hospital’s strategic plan
  4. Select the most appropriate BI platform
  5. Choose projects that yield “quick wins”
  6. Measure and monitor results
  7. “Rinse & repeat”

We examined the first 4 of these steps in the previous blog post. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at Step 5 – choosing projects that yield “quick wins” and looking at how you can achieve ROI in 12 months or less. (more…)