Is Your Business Intelligence Smarter Than You?

Submitted on: Thu, 07.24.2014 06:41pm - admin |

This is a guest blog post by Andy Weith, Founder of ASW Global Consulting and acting CIO of Crescent Parts & Equipment, an HVAC and Refrigeration wholesale distributor.

In life and business, acronyms have swallowed what seems like two-thirds of our vernacular, and have become so commonplace we may have forgotten the meanings behind those letters (ahem...ATM Machine and PIN Number).

Take BI, or Business Intelligence, for example. I argue we may have been using the wrong definition of “Intelligence” all along. What if the common definition of Business Intelligence, “a collection of information” ...about your business, instead meant “an ability to learn or understand things”...about your business? The classic definition of “Reporting” and “BI” are now used interchangeably; proposing that a sheet of green bar paper has any intelligence whatsoever. We must put a stop to this!

My Business Intelligence points me in the right direction. It warns me of impending danger. It tells me I forgot to do something (while this may not be “Andy, feed the dogs it’s 9:30!”, it could certainly be “Correct the margin on order 123 before it invoices tonight!”). It’s as intelligent as I allow it to be.

This is why MITS has become my favorite tool. It comes out of the box with Intelligence. It is not just an assemblage of data sets I utilize to gather information only to export to Excel to spend hours digging through tens of thousands of rows. Rather it:

1 - Provides ‘One Version of the Truth’ - the data is extracted and built with all joins and proper syntax in place so users need no technical understanding of the database structure. Sales are in dollars and returns are negative values. There is no question whether this figure includes nonstocks, direct orders, or freight allowances; we configure it once and it’s set for eternity!

2 - Identifies trends - prebuilt calculations, reports and dashboards point you towards anomalies, begging you to find answers: Why is this customer down in sales this year-to-date vs last-year-to-date? Why have the turns decreased for this product line?

3 - Lightens the load on IT - no client software to install (web based and functions like a charm on PC, tablet, even phone!), prebuilt content can be used as-is or tweaked easily by end users, scheduled reports eliminate need to manually process and post/email reports each week/month.

4 - Is designed intuitively! - If you know how to cruise the web you know how to use MITS. There are no tricky keyboard shortcuts or layer upon layer of menu options, simply point and click to navigate, sort, filter, or dig deeper into any data.

The entire company calls upon MITS to be an intelligent member of the team each day, and we can’t imagine where the future will take us, but we know MITS is only getting smarter, and the more we use it, the more we give it room to show us what we may not know about our business.

Andy Weith is the Founder of ASW Global Consulting, focusing on helping businesses better utilize the technology they have and improve the processes they employ. In addition he is acting CIO of Crescent Parts & Equipment, an HVAC and Refrigeration wholesale distributor, where he enjoys using MITS every day!