Accessing the right data at the right time can still be a challenge

Why BI and analytics is still a challenge

“Through 2022, only 20% of analytic insights will deliver business outcomes” (Gartner, 2019)

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

It seems strange for many companies to admit that despite countless years of investment in complex reporting, BI and analytics systems, they still have an issue getting to the right information at the right time in a way that informs better decision making.

As companies grow, change and develop, sound BI and analytics becomes harder to implement. It’s always surprising to hear many of the biggest brands in the world don’t know exactly how many customers they have, where they are most profitable or why some critical data points are missing. Problems arise when data models don’t reflect actual business activities. Suddenly there’s a compelling need to return to basics, to identify the most enduring sources of truth and move forward from there.

Our industry has been good at rebranding the challenges associated with traditional reporting needs. We’ve continually developed and released hundreds of products over the years attempting to approach many of the same problems in different ways. From the eighties onwards we’ve seen the wider adoption of “multi-dimensional” modelling tools. Ever since, there’s been far more exciting alternatives to Excel! Reporting “cubes” promised more sophisticated “drill-down”, “what-if” analysis and reporting “dashboards” for senior execs. We’ve had the introduction of data-marts, data warehouses, data lakes and latterly, cloud engineering concepts designed to reduce infrastructure costs and drive collaboration.

BI and analytics

Finding the right data at the right time can still be a challenge

Whilst a successful BI and analytics project can be a game changer, results are only as good as the underlying model accuracy and of course the state the underlying data. You need the enterprise models to strongly reflect the structure of your business. Getting this right is critical but with the shifting sand of business activity, it’s no wonder mistakes can be made.

On the plus side, more often than not, there are two main enduring sources of the truth and class of application available to the modern enterprise from which they can accelerate return on investment; the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

ERP & CRM applications, when implemented and managed well, continue to provide the most up to date system of record for any business. They are in effect the organization’s blueprint, able to map out, document and automate all business processes from customer on boarding to billing and settlement. It’s no wonder, when core systems are migrated to a new platform, the people who know what’s going on, hold their breath! In a steady state, experienced analysts will be able to investigate how best to optimize business performance if they really know their core applications well.

So how can ERP & CRM systems help drive better BI / Analytics? Silwood Technology and Safyr can unlock the value and structure of the data your business relies on by generating a datamart of core ERP & CRM system metadata. You don’t need an army of data architects, analysts and specialists to shine a bright light into some of the hardest places you can look. We do this enabling by Safyr to work with all of the most widely used enterprise packaged software applications. Our customers can, without specialist knowledge, access, curate, subset and export critical business and technical metadata to their modeling platform. By doing so they accelerate time to value by generating models that more accurate reflect their business.

Mike Sheridan
Silwood Technology Limited

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