Most companies generate a lot of raw data in the day to day running of their business, whether it's something generic such as accounts and sales information or service desk support, right through to more industry specific information such as retail loyalty cards or technical data from manufacturing processes.
But making sense of all this detailed data can be difficult. If the information has been gathered by some existing computer or software system, then this will often come with some basic reporting functionality. However often it's a bit too simplistic and isn't suited to processing larger quantities of information or presenting it in an easy to digest manner. This is where Business Intelligence comes in.
Business Intelligence (or BI for short) is essentially a collection of software tools, methodologies and processes that can take large quantities of data, often from a variety of different sources, prepare it for analysis and present the information in the form of simple and flexible reports, data visualisations or real time dashboards. This information can be used at all levels of a business from operational workers through to senior management, to help them make informed business decisions.
Connexion are no different to other companies. We have a variety of business processes and systems creating lots of data but we weren't really using this information to its full potential.
One area where we are always looking to improve the way we work is our helpdesk; the place where all our service requests are logged and managed. In line with some major changes we made to how we classify and handle our service incidents and requests we also implemented a Business Intelligence system called BrightGauge which allows us to easily create real time dashboards and reporting so we can easily see how we are doing.
With BrightGauge we can easily monitor information such as the number of currently open incidents, new incidents today, how long it takes to respond (and resolve) those incidents, which incidents are the highest priority etc.
We have also started using BrightGauge to provide monthly reporting for our clients too, but specific to their account. And BrightGauge also makes it easy to add custom reporting for individual clients; for one such client we recently started sending out satisfaction surveys for each incident they logged with us. We created a report in BrightGauge to show the results of these surveys and the results are automatically emailed to the customer on a weekly basis for review.
Whilst BrightGauge is a great tool for simple dashboards and some high level reporting, sometimes you need to be able to dig a bit deeper into your data and with more interactivity.
PowerBI is a product from Microsoft that allows us to do just that. At its simplest, it works in a similar way to BrightGauge but it has a lot more interactivity allowing the user to manipulate their data in real time. For example, suppose you have a graph of your total sales over the last year. One mouse click is all it takes to show just the sales for a single customer. Or for one salesperson. Or for one product.
At Connexion, we have again used PowerBI to help analyse our helpdesk performance so we can look at long term trends, drill down into what sorts of issues users are facing, what our busiest days and times are etc.
And we have also implemented PowerBI for some our clients too, to help them perform their own data analysis.
Whilst we have currently focused on using these 2 tools for our helpdesk data, they can both be used with pretty much any database system: accounting information, tracking a sales pipeline, system backups, survey data, diary bookings - anything is possible.
If you have any Business Intelligence requirements, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
Tuesday 6 December 2016 12:35:26 by
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