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5 features to look for in a business intelligence solution

These days, most businesses are really beginning to understand the power and value of business intelligence (BI). We all understand the need to quickly respond to market changes, customer preferences, and our competition. A business intelligence solution is a vital tool in achieving the operational efficiency and agility your organization needs.

However, not all BI solutions are created equal. Reports or dashboards in your ERP solution can indeed help you see your data. A true BI solution takes it further so you can analyze, visualize, understand and leverage the power of that information in a strategic way. Sounds great, right? But what features should you look for in a BI solution?

1. Pre-built analytics

BI solutions commonly allow you to configure your own system and create your own reports. Unfortunately, the setup process can be time-consuming and difficult—especially if you’re new to BI. If you want a faster ROI, choose a BI solution with a pre-configured system and data warehouse. This should include pre-built KPIs, reports, and metrics.

Arbela Data Insights (ADI), for example, offers hundreds of pre-configured reports. There are ADI modules for sales, procurement, purchasing, finance, inventory, manufacturing, and projects. Additionally, the solution comes with pre-configured persona-based dashboards so you can start with a basic model and then customize it to your needs.


2. Ability to connect multiple data sources

Your BI solution should have the ability to easily combine data from not only your ERP, CRM and financial systems, but from external sources such as legacy business systems, third-party applications, and more. With ADI, you can bring in data from any external source to complement Dynamics 365 data.

3. Support for historical data storage and trend analysis

Most BI solutions will make it easy for you to compare data from the recent past, but if you want to conduct a deeper historical analysis, you need a system that will support and store large amounts of historical data from different sources. This makes it easy to fully understand trends over time.

4. Possibilities for advanced analytics

A BI solution should offer trend analysis to identify outlier statistical anomalies to look for problems that might exist in your business. There should also be the possibility to set up advanced analytics and machine learning that will identify potential outcomes based on complex, detailed data sets.

5. Near-real-time analytics

Some BI solutions only refresh nightly which may not give you the information you need when you actually need it. Choose a solution that allows you to refresh as frequently as every few minutes so you gain a whole new level of insight into your business as it is happening, not after it’s too late to do anything about it.

Arbela Data Insights with Power BI

Are you ready to simplify implementing and adopting BI for your business and maximize your ROI? Arbela Data Insights (ADI) is a pre-configured system and data warehouse that enhances the functionality of Microsoft Power BI.

ADI’s pre-built and validated data connection to Dynamics 365 lets you get started right away, reduces the cost of configuration, and enables you to start benefitting right away from powerful insights. Contact us today to speak with an expert about BI solutions to fit your business.

Recommended reading:
Gartner Report 2020 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms
9 Trends Shaping the Future of Data Analytics
How Data-Driven BI Transforms Decision Making in Your Organization