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Beyond Dashboards: The key to better insights

Welcome to the Beyond Dashboards blog!

In my role, I am responsible for helping companies in the Process and Discrete Manufacturing appraise, understand and realize the value of Business Intelligence. I work with our customers, partners, analysts, thought leaders and decision makers everyday and it is quite clear to me that BI is still only understood in a limited way in the manufacturing world.

So on to our first topic….what exactly is BI?

If was to go out and do a survey there would be 3 most common answers

  1. BI is dashboards (or pretty dashboards)
  2. BI provides us reports
  3. BI is data management

The reality is that BI is none of the above but actually more than sum of all 3 components put together. Simply put, it is a combination of the various tools, technologies and processes that help decision makers make decisions that can be trusted, accurate and timely. In the coming days, we will expand more on this topic and cover various aspects of Business Intelligence and how Manufacturing companies can put it to use to get real business benefits.

…so why another blog?

This blog will be focused on Business Intelligence and its applications to manufacturing industries. The purpose of this blog is to discuss all aspects of the Business Intelligence paradigm in the organization and to provide a perspective on what dashboards and analytics are and (more importantly) are not. This is not a topic that is very widely discussed or understood outside of “data intensive” industries like retail or banking. I will also try to give you the “inside take” (for what it is worth) on what SAP’s Business Intelligence strategy is and how it is helping thousands of manufacturing customers run their businesses more effectively.

So until next time, here is a useful piece of research that came out a couple months ago: The Worldwide BI market grew by 22 percent in 2008 according to Gartner. This was in addition to BI being rankedas the number one technology priority for three years in a row. An impressive showing in the face of deteriorating economic conditions!

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