News & Views | Business Intelligence

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

Prophix Interview

Business Intelligence, CPM

I recently spoke with Andy Amalfitano CPA, CA, Director of Sales Central Region for Prophix about changes at Prophix and his perception of the cloud. Prophix (http://www.prophix.com/) is one of the leading solutions for Corporate Performance Management (CPM). Prophix includes:

  • Budgeting, analysis and forecasting
  • Financial, statutory and management reporting
  • Financial consolidation
  • Profitability modeling & optimization, cash flow and revenue planning
  • Operational and strategic planning

Prophix targets organizations with revenues between $50M and $2B who want to evolve from being dependent on Excel for their key financial processes. Prophix recently announced the latest version of its CPM solution, one that will provide their customers with more choice in terms of how they implement the software. Some users will want to continue to have part or all of their financial processes on premise, while others will find it advantageous to move to the cloud. Andy pointed out that one reason customers choose an on premise solution is so that they will be able to drill down to transactional detail. Andy also noted that customers are becoming more comfortable with security in the cloud but they will have the option of an on premise solution or a blended approach, where the most sensitive data is stored locally.   

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BI, CPM, and budgeting survey 2015

Business Case, Business Intelligence, CPM

June 1, 2015 from CPA Magazine and written by Michael Burns – “Every year, we reach out to vendors of BI, CPM and budgeting systems to see where they are headed. Last year, some of the big trendsetters were big data, mobility, cloud computing and in-memory processing. Those technologies are still very much with us. But this year, we’ll go back to basics and see whether there is a business case to invest in BI and CPM systems in the first place…”

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Technology investment survey

Business Case, Business Intelligence, CRM, ERP

January 1, 2015 from CPA Magazine by Michael Burns – “We all hear the bad news when a vendor is sued over a failed implementation. When this happens, we assume there are many other unhappy customers whose experiences do not get broadcast, because most companies would rather not litigate. But are there also many happy customers? And what makes a happy customer?  We have a created an online survey to determine just how successful — or unsuccessful — technology investments turn out to be…”

180 View – The survey which can be found by clicking here is for ERP, CRM and BI. Questions will include which industry, company size, system, type of system, costs of system (by license, implementation, hosting fees, maintenance and support, and internal costs), satisfaction with implementation, satisfaction with benefits and lessons learned. The goal is to determine the satisfaction of these investments and to see whether there is a correlation to industry, company size, the system or type of system. Stay tuned.

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Survey Analysis: Customers Rate Their BI Platform Vendor, 2014

Business Intelligence

October 9, 2014 from Gartner – “Based on customer surveys conducted on BI and analytics platforms, this research will alert BI leaders to the customer experiences of professionals across 42 vendors…”

180 View – If you are interested in Business Intelligence, this will be a great resource to get started. You should also check out our Systems Analysis Tool at http://www.180systems.com/tools/systems-analysis-tool/cpm/

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BI, CPM and budgeting survey 2014

Business Intelligence

April 1, 2014 from CPA Magazine and written by Michael Burns – “…Here, you’ll find a survey of many of the leading BI and CPM systems, as well as an overview of current trends, and a synopsis of what two vendors had to say about their product and costs…”

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GigaOm Pundit Suggests Enterprises Have Gone From Hadoop to ‘Hadumping’

Business Intelligence

March 20, 2014 from eWeek – “Discussion at a GigaOm conference shows that Hadoop isn’t a big success when enterprises blindly compile huge volumes of disparate data without knowing what to do with it…”

180 View – Hadoop was/is a much hyped technology for processing big data. Big data was discussed in our CPA magazine article above – “Big data is still a big trend — at least according to many pundits and vendors. We have read that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years. But whether that data comes from hundreds of thousands of health records, clicks on websites or comments on social networks like Facebook, the challenge is to use it to make better decisions. And the trick is to uncover correlations that can help predict what will happen in the future. But this can be a daunting task that may require data scientists. It can also consume big amounts of time when a more common-sense and intuitive approach might be more helpful. The best approach is a blend of BI and human insight whereby you use your own opinion but not your own facts.”

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Big Data — Are We to Repeat the Past?

Business Intelligence

December 12, 2103 from Industry Week - “Only time will tell if Big Data is the next RFID, but don’t look for it becoming universally employed in an efficient way anytime soon…”

180 View - Big Data has become the latest killer application and the vendors are making a big deal about it. The author of the article raises a number of good questions about whether Big Data is all that it is cracked out to be. We think that Big Data analysis does make sense for some larger organizations that have people with the right skills who can harness the data to make predictions about the future. But it does not replace human insight and intuition.

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5 Big Business Intelligence Trends For 2014

Business Intelligence

January 31, 2014 from InformationWeek - “In some respects, 2014 will echo themes heard in 2013, but the message is getting louder when it comes to visual data discovery, cloud, and mobile. Big data also will continue to garner attention, but people will take a pragmatic approach to adoption. Simplicity, meanwhile, will experience a second coming.…”

180 View – The article describes the trends and the corresponding new functionality from some of the vendors.

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Gartner, Survey Analysis: Customers Rate Their BI Platform

Business Intelligence

July 31, 2103 from Gartner – “This research details the perceptions of business intelligence professionals about 40 business intelligence platforms and their satisfaction with, and usage of, 15 major BI functions, based on a survey conducted for our most recent Magic Quadrant for business intelligence and analytics platforms…”

180 View – This should be a useful article for anyone in the market for a business intelligence (BI) solution. What jumps off the page is “The majority of vendors with above-average deployment sizes tend to have below-average composite product and ease-of-use scores.” This means that the more well-known BI systems don’t score as well as the small and less known systems. The top 5 systems were Panorama Necto, Birst, Bitam, LogiXML, and Board. There were 40 systems from 34 vendors included in the research based on 1,702 survey responses.

We believe that the larger systems, whether they be ERP or BI, tend to have more and more functionality included in their solution at the expense of ease of use. The trick for the vendors is to provide lots of functionality and still keep the system easy to use.

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The Difference Between BI And CPM

Business Intelligence, CPM

April 25, 2012 from CFO – “Enjoy this complimentary white paper built for non-IT professionals to learn about the differences between business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM)…”

180 View – The report was written by Prophix, one of the leading CPM solutions which includes BI. We do like their definition of CPM (CPM consists of 1) Budgeting, planning and forecasting, 2) Software for financial, statutory and management reporting, 3) Applications used for formal financial consolidation, 4) Software used for profitability modelling and optimization and 5) strategy management software.) but have used a different and broader definition for BI. We define BI as transforming data into information useful to make decisions and it could include dashboards, OLAP, ad-hoc reporting, and report writers. Technology marketers are always trying to differentiate their products with new buzzwords and technology continues to evolve rapidly blurring the lines between products.

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