Software application development can be an expensive and lengthy procedure, and while this is sometimes the best option, it is not the only option. When talking to clients about why they want a new application, we investigate the issues with the existing situation and what they hope to achieve with a new solution. We have found that for certain clients, we can save them time and money by adding a BI (Business Intelligence) tool and breath new life into their existing application.

So What is a Business Intelligence Tool?

“Business intelligence software is a type of application software designed to retrieve, analyze, transform and report data for business intelligence. The applications generally read data that has been previously stored” (Wikipedia).

 At a very basic level every software application needs to store data somewhere. This we usually call the state of the application. However the data is normally structured in such a way that only the application developers understand it. Many applications have some sort of reporting functionality to display the data in a meaningful, useful way. 

Lets look at an e-commerce application as an example, in standard e-commerce applications, the orders, customers and products are all stored in a database. Most e-commerce software provide a way to generate reports on this data e.g. number of orders in the last week, number of new registrations in the last 24, etc.  However often the standard reporting functionality is limited.

What happens if you have an application and it provides some reporting capability but you need more. In the past you would have had to add additional reports individually to the application or ask a database administrator to write database queries and send the result to XLS. While these could still work as ad-hoc solutions there is a much better way to do it….you guessed it, a BI tool!

We can install a Business Analytics tool and connect to your database. Once it is set up your users have the power to create bespoke reports, run reports when and as often as required, analyse all your data without requiring any input from developers or database administrators. This puts the power back in your hands. Knowledge is power as they say, will all your data at your fingertips, you can feel confident that you are making the right decisions for your company based on real, live evidence.

To summarise, just because an application is old it does not automatically mean it needs to be replaced. A cost effective way to gain new business value from your existing application is to add a business intelligence tool allowing you to better understand your company’s data and to provide insightful reports to help you make effective business decisions based on data, essentially taking the guesswork out of your decision making.

 If you are interested in finding out more about BI tools and how they can help you, then get in touch to continue the conversation.

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