Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Use Business Intelligence Efficiency to Drive Business Results

Profitable growth is a business objective held by nearly every company. After all, higher revenues don’t help much if they don’t come with sufficient margins. But, this goal can be difficult to reach. Competition is stiff, and a recovering economic environment is clouded by memories of the difficult conditions caused by the recession. So, how can you invest in growth without committing too much capital—and assuming too much risk? Well, the answers are already sitting inside your company. Use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to learn more about your business.

The challenge most companies have right now, when it comes to finding insights into how they do business, is efficiency. The reports that would be most useful tend to be time-consuming, and thus costly, to prepare. Rather than have an already lean staff take on these projects, they are often skipped completely, in favor of higher-priority activities. It’s a costly decision in terms of future opportunities, but there isn’t always much of a choice: your employees need to keep the business running.

The efficiency supported by SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI changes this.

Reports that currently take hours, or even days, to assemble can be prepared in minutes with SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI. Not only does this put information in your company’s hands faster, it accelerates analysis and decision-making, as well as attendant ROI. The operational efficiency that comes from being able to access your company’s various systems from a single source, pull them into a consistent and manageable report, and automate distribution lowers the costs associated with business intelligence, expanding the ROI that can be generated.

Efficient business intelligence enables your company to make smarter decisions, faster—and at a lower cost. With SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, you can cut the time and overhead associated with locating and using company insights to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The goal is profitable growth, and streamlined business intelligence will help you get there.

Source:  SAP Partner Edge

For more information visit:  http://www.crystalreports.co.uk/sap-businessobjects-edge/

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

DSCallards work with Burns Pet Nutrition to Produce SAP Crystal Reports Video!!

Under the SAP Best Run Business Initiative, DSCallards have worked with Burns Pet Nutrition to produce a video that examines how they have deployed SAP Crystal Reports Server to provide critical business insight throughout their growing manufacturing business.

To view the video click here :: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj8W4LXVjrw

Source:  DSCallards Marketing Team

Five Ways Report Presentation Design Leads to ROI

Looks make a difference—at least they do when it comes to your reports. More than merely present data, your reports are intended to make a point. Whether it’s about your company’s financial strength or a new market to be exploited, appearance can affect interpretation, and thus the decisions that are influenced by your data. A carefully designed and presented report, therefore, can shape the direction of your company.
So, does this mean you need to hire a graphic designer and incur even more overhead to drive decision-making in your organization? That just sets the ROI bar higher and puts unnecessary pressure on your margins. Instead of making it even more expensive to gain insights into your business, you can use SAP Crystal Presentation Design to make the data you present easier to read and interpret, ultimately driving better company results with no significant incremental increase in operating costs.

Here are five ways you can use SAP Crystal Presentation Design to generate ROI for your organization:

1. Use speed to lower base costs: you can create professional-looking presentations and reports in just a few minutes, preserving your own time and avoiding the need to spend on design resources.

2. Make data visual: SAP Crystal Presentation Design gives you the tools to turn rows of numbers into interactive charts and maps, not to mention other visual elements. This can make information easier to interpret.

3. Sway the crowd: visuals become compelling tools for driving company investment. Use them to make clear what you’d otherwise hope your readers to infer from the data lined up in columns and rows.

4. Understand all your options: with SAP Crystal Presentation Design, you can model several hypothetical scenarios in order to optimize company decision-making and resource allocation.

5. Accelerate results: the pre-built templates in SAP Crystal Presentation Design give you an effective and consistent starting point. You’ll be able to cut your up-front time investment and begin to realize ROI sooner.

Source:  SAP PartnerEdge

For more information:  http://www.crystalreports.co.uk/xcelsius-software-solutions/

Monday, 15 November 2010

Five Steps to Better, Faster Decisions

Business is moving faster than ever, and your company has no choice but to keep up. At the same time, the consequences of ineffective decisions are growing, and it can take a considerable amount of effort to make up for it later.

With an agile, powerful business intelligence solution, you can make smarter decisions faster. Use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to understand your company and the opportunities in front of it, and you’ll gain a significant competitive advantage.

Here are five ways you can use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to make better decisions more quickly:

1. Cut report development time: SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI streamlines the process of developing intricate reports. Spend less time piecing together spreadsheets and more time using information to advance your company in the marketplace.

2. Access multiple systems from one business intelligence solution: instead of manually pulling data from all over your company, use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to access everything you need from one place. You’ll save time and reduce the risk of manual error.

3. Automate regular reports: don’t start from scratch every time. Rather, schedule the creation of periodic reports. You can use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to have them sent directly to the people who need them.

4. Present information effectively: use SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI to present reports in a readable format. This makes it easier for business users o focus on the data, draw conclusions, and take action.

5. Foster an information culture: a streamlined reporting process makes it easier to communicate important information. By doing so, your company will become more likely to look at the data before making decisions.

Source:  SAP PartnerEdge

For more information visit:  http://www.crystalreports.co.uk/

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Importance of Finding Data Fast

When most small and mid-sized companies look at the potential afforded by business intelligence solutions, they tend to focus on the reporting process. Cost and ROI advantages are easy to gain by making it easier to develop large, intricate reports. But, there’s another way to benefit from a powerful business intelligence platform: find specific data faster. This will help your employees save small amounts of time that add up rapidly. SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI can cut the time it takes to respond to many small requests, ultimately delivering a large return.

Targeted requests for data seem mall, but they can come frequently. For each, however, it can take a while to navigate multiple systems and find exactly the information that is needed. Over time, hours add up to days, and days become full-time employee equivalents. The cost to your organization mounts—but it remains hard to see, concealed by volume and relatively short execution times. Step back from the process for a moment, and you can see how these requests can slow your employees down.

There’s a significant business opportunity, therefore, in finding data faster. A shorter time to execute these queries translates to recaptured employee time that can be used in areas with higher potential to drive profitable growth.

SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI—in addition to streamlining, simplifying, and accelerating your company-wide reporting processes—can help with targeted queries for company data. Using the keyword search feature in SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI, your organization can navigate through the systems you use to find exactly what you need quickly. The results can be viewed on an exploration panel, which makes it easier to dig deeper if there are signs of something interesting or awry in your operation. In each instance, the time savings is small. Through the course of a week (or longer), though, it accumulates to become a sizeable benefit for your company.

The SAP BusinessObjects Edge BI keyword search feature makes it possible to inform your company’s employees efficiently and accurately, with little overhead. Small savings can turn into a substantial competitive advantage, though, when your employees have more time to invest in the activities that move your company forward in the marketplace.

Source:  SAP

For more information visit:  http://www.crystalreports.co.uk/sap-businessobjects-edge/

Dashboards Make a Difference: Use Data for Fast Management

Detailed reports are crucial to effective business, but they aren’t always the best tools for the tasks in front of you. Sometimes, you just need a quick indicator of how your business is doing. Whether it’s sales or operations—or anything in between—a regular high-level view of the team’s performance can enable the rapid decision-making that supports business agility, without forcing you to sift through pages and pages of data.

Dashboards accelerate decision-making across a company, summarizing data to make it easy to draw conclusions quickly and turn them into action. This can help company leaders keep an eye on operations and deliver an early warning when a problem is about to occur. Consequently, day-to-day management is strengthened by the types of insight that are usually replaced with intuition and anecdotal evidence because timely, relevant, and aggregated information is not easily available.

Though useful, it can be difficult to develop dashboards, especially if different users don’t have the same needs. The effort can be costly and time-consuming, depending on the skills you have in your company and the IT infrastructure that’s already in place. Instead of taking this approach, however, you can drive better results at a lower cost with SAP Crystal Reports Server. This reporting platform makes it easy to create, update and manage dashboards rapidly with data from a variety of systems across your organization.

Using the dashboards you create with SAP Crystal Reports Server, you can contribute to a culture of metrics-based management, in which investments are made and operations evaluated with real information generated by your company. You’ll gain the benefit of genuine business intelligence in managing your company and increase your performance in the marketplace.

Dashboards don’t have to be expensive or unattainable. Use SAP Crystal Reports Server to make it easy for your company’s leaders to find the information they need, and generate a return on intelligence faster.

Source:  SAP

Business Intelligence Means Managing Your Strategy

Reports can be much more than occasional status checks used to make sure nothing is going awry. You can turn the data in your organization into a powerful tool for managing your strategy and reaching your company’s financial goals. Proactive reporting and analysis with a robust business intelligence solution can drive ROI, help you take market share from the competition, and know the full implications of every decision you make.

With SAP Crystal Reports, you can gain the information you need to manage your strategy effectively—without having to invest in a large, costly business intelligence solution.

Measurement is vital to the effective implementation of any strategic plan. This is the only way you can tell if it’s working! Too often, however, companies focus solely on execution, and don’t commit sufficiently to evaluating their progress. Flawed assumptions, changing market conditions, and suboptimal tactics can result in outcomes not anticipated during the strategic planning process. Unless you measure your performance against your strategy, you may not know about the consequences until it is too late to minimize their impact.

SAP Crystal Reports gives your organization the tools it needs to make ongoing analysis an integral part of strategy execution. Use this business intelligence solution to verify the results of the decisions your company makes, and identify early any situations that require a shift in direction. Not only will you mitigate risk, you’ll increase the odds of meeting your company’s objectives. Profitable growth thus becomes easier to attain.

How you use reports can become a powerful competitive advantage for your company. The business intelligence capabilities afforded by SAP Crystal Reports can improve strategy execution and your understanding of the business implications of every choice you make. Take your company’s data, and turn it into information you can use!

Source:  SAP

Monday, 1 November 2010

Fishing For Information

Feeling Hungry?

It is highly likely that the internal rate of return your organisation is reaping from its investment in business intelligence is less than it could be, due to some mundane, real life challenges which may not be mentioned in the boardroom or corridors of power.

Many people in your organisation only need to analyse corporate data sporadically and If it’s outside of their routine work they may have limited time to dedicate to the task.

Hence having the right tools for the job depends on several other factors:

    * knowing where to look – this may have changed since the last time they needed something
    * having the necessary access rights –these may have expired or the person may need something new
    * knowing not only how to use the tool(s) but also how to get it working with their own data

These type of challenges mean that people will sometimes find their own ways to manufacture corporate information, or give up trying.

Silver Bullet?

There are several recognised methodologies for getting people the numbers they need, yet these problems persist. Whilst there may not be a silver bullet, could there be a silver fish?

We know from history that “give a man a fish he will eat for a day; teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime” - how has this been applied to BI?

Firstly organisations created what might be called fish farms – teams or people responsible for finding numbers out on users’ behalf. This can result in bottlenecks getting answers.

Next they invested in rolling out rods, tackle and bait – giving people the tools they need to get the answers themselves, often supported by a function commonly referred to as a business intelligence competency centre (BICC) or centre of excellence. This model can be complex to implement, as you will know if you have looked into the details.

So whilst a BICC may be the ideal, how can you make the first steps to get there?

The “Teach a Man to fish” Service
How about putting in place an enablement service – a “999” number / email anyone can contact to get answers – the twist being instead of providing the answer it instructs the user on how to is how to find it themself.

This sets the groundwork for expanding into a more sophisticated support provision, whilst teaching your organisation to fish for itself.

It is not, however, without investment. The service needs the resources and knowledge of the organisation to advise on overcoming the problems mentioned in the first paragraph. In general it should be a service in its own right, to avoid falling into standard helpdesk procedures. It needs profile in order that it gets used.
When your employees start catching those fish though, it will be worth it.

Let us pray: God grant me strength to catch a fish so large that even I, when telling of it afterwards may never need to lie. Amen

Written by Angus Menter, Senior BI Consultant, DSCallards.
For further information visit: http://www.crystalreports.co.uk/