How are your records stored?
There are about as many forms of business software as there are types of companies. Still, they all operate similarly by accepting data entry and storing it in a database. A database is a collection of tables containing related data connected by common data strands or keys. The second table is an example of how customer contacts may be organized and appear in a customer table. If a client has two connections, the system will show the information as follows. Most databases consist of at least twenty or thirty tables, with some exceeding one hundred. But the philosophy remains the same.
Joe’s Garage utilizes ‘Service-Station-Op,’ which, while being developed by an obscure and now-defunct software company. Dependable database that contains information on customers’ completed tasks. It can store all the info Joe needs to manage and build his prosperous business.
A specialized computer language exists for extracting and summarizing this information in various ways. SQL (Structured Query Language) is the language at the heart of all Business Intelligence reporting.
Report writing applications
SQL may be written by hand to construct data lists, but this is cumbersome, and the results are challenging to examine! There are, thankfully, software applications with a high degree of control and rapid development timeframes. Crystal Reports lead the reporting software industry. It has rightly become the de facto standard throughout the years. It is frequently updated with new editions that give more complex features while preserving the simple user interface that makes it appealing to users of all skill levels. Naturally, the more immense the popularity of a software product, the more specialized consultants are available. However, as Business Intelligence continues to grow in popularity, the top BI consultants are in great demand.
Joe has recently achieved great success after discovering BI and hiring Patrick as a consultant to examine future marketing strategies. Patrick selected Crystal Reports because he feels it would be a valuable investment for Joe. The software is intuitive enough for Joe to master the fundamentals over time, and Patrick can customize it to meet all of Joe’s requirements.
Crystal Reports is not always the best solution, as alternatives like Actuate and Sequel Server Reporter are available. Crystal Reports is, in my view, far better in terms of report creation, while the other solutions offer benefits in terms of report distribution.
Once a report has been created and populated with data, it must be delivered to those who will use it. That’s not a problem for most small organizations since only one or two individuals need to examine the findings, which can be accomplished using the report-generation software. On the left, Crystal Reports is shown in “design mode,” while the report is displayed with data on the right.
Crystal Reports offers a free report reader. However, reports must still be manually sent to the recipient and kept on a network accessible. It’s an optimal and cost-effective option for small to medium-sized organizations. However, disseminating reports across a big organization necessitates a different approach, especially if the receivers demand ad hoc access to diverse data versions. The proprietors of Crystal Reports (SAP) offer numerous alternatives for disseminating reports, the most effective of which is Crystal Server, which enables messages to be read online and automatically scheduled and emailed to permitted recipients.
This strategy may become fairly costly when distributed throughout a big organization, although other independently created solutions are available at substantially lower costs. The cost and capabilities of the different reporting software solutions that come with their distribution software vary. Most Distribution Software is licensed based on the number of customers that get reports; however, shopping around may result in significant cost savings.
Joe is the only one that needs access to the reports, and only in his office. Because Joe’s first Business Intelligence need was for a one-time solution. Patrick suggested he use the free demo of the most recent version of Crystal Reports. Joe has seen the usefulness of BI at the end of the 30-day trial and is willing to pay the modest license fee. (which he claims back as a business expense on his tax returns). As his company grows, the data for his other garages are also stored on the same system. However, Joe prefers to be able to access information when visiting the other garages, so he downloads the free viewer and carries a memory stick with a copy of his reports.
In my experience, Business Intelligence is often introduced initially for a single department, and after the advantages are seen, the whole organization adopts a more extensive reports library.
Affordable BI solutions
MS Excel, Access, or similar programs may seem to be a cost-effective alternative for BI if they are already installed for other reasons (although if explicitly purchased for BI, they are almost the same price as report writing software). However, tailoring this general-purpose software to your unique BI requirements would be more costly and time-consuming than purchasing specialized software. As the system grows more complex, a further downside of this low-cost strategy is that you become dependent. On the individual who created your reports. Whether you depend on a full-time employee who may get overburdened with additional responsibilities or a consultant who may raise their fees, future development may be challenging.
Even in large corporations with specialized BI teams, exporting data from a database straight into a spreadsheet is common. Exporting the data and formatting/summarizing it in a spreadsheet. Takes at least as long as creating a report using the appropriate tools.
And if the same data is required the following month, the same procedure must be repeated. While a report requires just a date modification or may be set to run automatically. This quick introduction to the technical aspects of Business Intelligence should have provided you with sufficient knowledge. To guarantee that future discussions with your BI consultant are firmly focused on accomplishing your objectives!
10Pearls is an offshore software development business headquartered in Washington, D.C that offers software solutions, including Web Enabled Solutions, Business Intelligence Consultants & Solutions, Custom Software Development, and Mobile Solutions, among others.