Business Intelligence (BI)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the set of tools and techniques used in the transformation of raw data into meaningful and actionable information. Business Intelligence touches all areas of the Billing interactions diagram. When thinking of Business Intelligence one needs to think about source data, ETL, operational data store, data warehouse, and reporting.

Strong BI leverages various sources of record throughout the ecosystem in order to aggregate key information for various business purposes. Strong considerations must be made when the business requires certain BI data within an environment that leverages cloud providers for key business processes.

Image

In some ecosystems, it is crucial to build robust integrations with various applications, develop thorough ETL processes, and time the execution of data processing just right in order to gather the most efficient, accurate, and complete data.

Business intelligence software can perform trend analysis on internal processes and identify the leading indicators for change within the business environment. For example, if the sales of a particular product are slipping, an actionable alert can be issued to the relevant product manager.

Business intelligence is about enabling corporate decision makers to navigate the waters of today’s complex business environments. The right tools will eliminate wasteful practices before they become a force of habit that damages the company’s bottom line. Business Intelligence software can perform trend analysis in internal processes and identify leading indicators for changes in the business environment. For example, if the sales of a particular product are slipping, an actionable alert will be issued to the relevant product manager.

Business Intelligence Components

Image

Extract Transform Load (ETL)

Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) is the set of process by which data is extracted from numerous databases, applications and systems, transformed as appropriate, and loaded into target systems like a data warehouse.

More than half of all development work for data warehousing projects is typically dedicated to the design and implementation of ETL processes. Poorly designed ETL processes are costly to maintain, change, and update, so it is critical to identify the right technology and tools that will be used for developing and maintaining the ETL processes up front.

Marketing Automation (MA) Triggers

The key to successful marketing is relevance, timeliness, and value. The first two, relevance and timeliness, are hardcoded into Marketing Automation (MA) Triggers. Value is up to the organization to align offers to its recipients. Marketing Automation Triggers gives an organization the timeliness it needs by having the system send out targeted emails to customers in advance of their contract renewal date and it does not relay on human interaction to send out those emails.

Data Warehouse

Data warehouses are often at the heart of the strategic reporting systems used to help manage and control the business. The function of the data warehouse is to consolidate and reconcile information from across disparate business units and IT systems and provide a context for reporting on and analyzing:

  • Corporate performance management
  • Profitability
  • Consolidated financials
  • Compliance

BI UI Ad Hoc Reports

The User Interface (UI) of a Business Intelligence (BI) system must be accepted and utilized by the users for the BI system to add value to the organization. To increase user acceptance of the BI system it’s crucial to involve key stakeholders from all levels of the organization. Along with a strong user interface, the Business Intelligence system needs to have the ability to create ad hoc reports without having to involve a developer for a stakeholder to run the necessary reports.

Custom Reports

Custom Reports are a critical part of a good business intelligence solution. While key performance metrics provide a good, high-level view of a company's health, it's the ability to dive deeper that identifies and solves issues. Custom reports that give analysts a layered look at the business - segmented and re-segmented - are how an organization's people, processes, and technology are optimized.

The benefits of harvesting various iterations of a company's data spans the enterprise - from marketing and sales to operations and finance. All require reporting capabilities that software manufacturers couldn't possibly anticipate.

The best BI solutions offer an easy-to-use interface for creating, charting, and exporting data not found in the standard list of reports. Less sophisticated offerings and many internally-built frameworks require a direct connection to the database and the ability to pull the data required via an API or SQL query.

Big Data

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Business Intelligence is the tool that bridges the gap of taking Big Data and turning it into actionable pieces of information.

A Closer Look at the People, Process, and Technology of Business Intelligence

People:

Business Intelligence is a valuable resource to every organization in an enterprise. However, not all are key stakeholders in the construct, customization, or upkeep and security of the data.

In complex service-provider product and selling environments, it's the teams from Customer Service, Customer Success, and IT that bear the BI weight. Data is a primary driver of the daily activities of these groups, while the Marketing, Finance, and Operations team perform key key BI functions as well.

Process:

ATG maintains a set of 75 key business processes to support management of Customers and Revenue for Service Providers. Nineteen of these processes originate, or are impacted by, the Business Intelligence function. Below are the key processes that touch BI, categorized by the Organizational Unit that owns the process:

Customer Service Organization

Up-Sell Processing: Ongoing – the primary method for increasing Average Revenue per User (ARPU), and is the process of moving a customer to a better product or service at some point during their relationship with your company.

Cross-Sell Processing: Ongoing – the primary method for increasing Average Revenue per User (ARPU), and is the process of moving a customer to a similar product or service at some point during their relationship with your company.

Pro-active Customer Notification: Success Focus (Recommendations, Advice of Charge, Overage Notifications) - exceeding customer expectations by using data and triggers to notify them of an opportunity or looming risk.

Customer Success Organization

New Customer Onboarding - the process of creating a customer account, properly provisioning products and/or services, and communicating welcoming messages.

Customer Usage Monitoring - tracking and recording customer resource usage throughout a billing period and life cycle.

Retention/Churn Monitoring - the process of monitoring customer turnover.

NPS/CSAT Monitoring - process of tracking, reporting and following up on customer satisfaction metrics.

Loyalty Program Management - the way in which a business manages incentivized programs to retain its best customers.

Marketing Organization

Proactive Customer Notification - Marketing Focus (New Lead, Up-Sell/Cross-Sell Existing) - a proactive approach to obtain new leads and/or up-sell/cross-sell to existing customers.

Operations Organization

Proactive Customer Notification - operations focus (CC expiry, notification of payment received)

Loyalty Program Management - the way in which a business manages incentivized programs to retain its best customers.

Finance Organization

Commissions Processing - The process of tracking sales commissions and sales rewards programs.

IT Organization

Maintenance and Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – processes around ensuring that all touch points and connections within the ecosystem are optimized to their fullest potential.

Vendor Management of Monetization Ecosystem – oversight and communication duties of ecosystem software components and their vendors, including management of vendor road map and change logs and general relationship nurturing.

Monitoring & Testing of Vendor Functional Releases - as ecosystem components release updates and patches, each is checked and tested to confirm all systems are working together as required by the business' requirements.

Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components – process for training organizational resources on the appropriate software systems.

Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – process for maintaining and controlling access and permissions to ecosystem components.

Data Stewardship Across Monetization Ecosystem – process of assigning ownership and sources of truth for data within the organization.

All Organization

Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (Extraction, Load, Report, Dashboard) - Movement of data between domains to create single source of truth for reporting and dash boarding.

Technology:

The Business Intelligence domain consists for four distinct types of solutions.

  • Data Integration
  • Data Warehouse Plaform
  • Big Data Overlay
  • Report Writer / Visual Dashboard

These four software categories are segmented in the Key Vendor section below.

Key Data Integration Vendors

Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1911
HQ: New York, NY
Company Type: Public
Website: www.ibm.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

The IBM analytics platform provides an enterprise-class foundation for information-intensive projects, providing performance, scalability, reliability, and acceleration needed to deliver trusted information and simplify difficult challenges. The IBM InfoSphere delivers market-leading solutions to our customers, allowing them to effectively use their information assets to achieve new levels of business innovation.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • The IBM InfoSphere is a master data-management platform intended to provide the foundational building blocks of trusted information, including:

    • Data integration
    • Data warehousing
    • Big data
    • Information governance

TARGET MARKET

IBM supports businesses sizes ranging from small to midsize businesses to global enterprises from a variety of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • Logicalis US
  • Salesbox
  • Sony
  • Toys R Us
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1993
HQ: Redwood City, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.informatica.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Informatica is an independent provider of data integration software. They assist organizations around the world to realize their information potential and drive top business imperatives. Worldwide, over 5,000 enterprises depend on Informatica to leverage their information assets from devices to mobile to social to big data residing on-premise, in the Cloud, and across social networks.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Big Data Management
  • Cloud Integration
  • Data Integration
  • Data Quality
  • Data Security
  • Informatica Platform
  • Integration Platform as a Service
  • Master Data Management

TARGET MARKET

Informatica tends to target customers on the Fortune 100 list within a broad mix of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • AutoTrader.com
  • Citrix
  • EMC
  • GSK
  • Thrifty Car Rental
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1977
HQ: Redwood Shores, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.oracle.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Oracle offers an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems. Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center–from servers and storage, to database and middleware, through applications.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

Oracle specializes in the following:

  • Primavera
  • People Soft
  • JDE Systems
  • BEA Systems
  • Hyperion
  • Retek
  • Siebel

TARGET MARKET

Oracle tends to target companies of all sizes who are seeking integrated, industry-specific solutions engineered to address complex business processes across a wide range of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • Accenture
  • Epsilon
  • Haliburton
  • SunGard Availability Services
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1972
HQ: Waldorf, Germany
Company Type: Public
Website: www.sap.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

SAP is a market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and industries run more efficiently. SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more resourcefully and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

SAP offers solutions in the following categories:

  • Analytics
  • Context & Collaboration
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Data Management
  • Enterprise Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Technology Platform

TARGET MARKET

SAP targets customers of all sizes and in all industries to assist in generating more value with SAP technology, software, and services.

CUSTOMERS

  • Day & Zimmerman
  • Serco Group
  • Wholesales Sports Outdoor Outfitters
  • Evoshield
  • Harlequin Sales Corp.
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1976
HQ: Carey, NC
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.sas.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

With SAS data integration, the right data integration solution helps companies break down data silos and address today’s data problems while giving them a plan for the future. With data integration from SAS, users can boost productivity, share more of the workload, and be confident the data is ready for action.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Customer Intel 360
  • Detection & Investigation
  • Visual Analytics & Forecasting

TARGET MARKET

SAS target companies of all sizes across a wide range of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • AstraZeneca
  • Briggs & Stratton
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • DirecTV
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2005
HQ: Redwood Shores, CA
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.talend.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Talend specializes in integration software. Through support of the latest big data platforms and innovations, Talend empowers organizations of any size to turn data into a strategic asset and competitive differentiator. Talend efficiently connects data and applications ranging from on-premise to cloud systems, from Hadoop to NoSQL and sensors. Working at the big data scale, five-times faster than the competition and at a fifth the cost, Talend enables companies to act with real-time insight about their business and customers.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

Their platform includes:

  • Big Data Integration
  • Data Integration
  • Cloud Integration
  • Application Integration
  • Master Data Management

TARGET MARKET

Talend targets organizations of all sizes across a wide range of sectors.

CUSTOMERS

  • AOL
  • Groupon
  • Lenovo
  • Sony

Key Data Warehouse Vendors

Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1911
HQ: New York, NY
Company Type: Public
Website: www.ibm.com/netezza/
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

IBM Netezza is a data warehouse appliance that exists as a part of IBM PureSystems – expert integrated systems with built in expertise, integration by design, and a simplified user experience. Part of the PureData family, the Netezza appliance is known as the PureData System for Analytics. This tool helps organizations simplify the delivery of critical insights.

Additionally, their Logical Data Warehouse application includes PureData systems for Analytics plus Hadoop, DB2, dashDB, Oracle or Spark. The IBM Fluid Query 1.5 enables deeper queries across more data and data movement capabilities. As a part of Netezza Platform Software (NPS), Fluid Query helps create powerful analytic combinations resulting in deeper insights.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

Netezza technology powers:

  • IBM PureData System for Analytics
  • IBM Netezza Replication Services
  • IBM B2 Analytics Accelerator

TARGET MARKET

IBM tends to target large businesses and enterprises in need of a fast time-to-value and simplified data analytics business solution.

CUSTOMERS

  • Safety Insurance
  • Bon-Ton
  • AmBank
  • Seattle Children's Hospital
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1984
HQ: Dublin, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.sap.com/sybase/
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

SAP ASE (SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise), formerly Sybase, was acquired by SAP in 2010 to expand their breath of database, analytics, and mobility solutions. SAP ASE is a computer software company, leading in developing and expanding innovative database technology. They deliver enterprise and mobile software to manage, analyze, and mobilize information across all systems, networks, and devices.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

SAP offers solutions in the following categories:

  • Analytics
  • Context & Collaboration
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Data Management
  • Enterprise Management
  • Financial Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Technology Platform

TARGET MARKET

SAP ASE tends to target companies with growing volumes of digital transactions in high volume trading, retail, transportation, healthcare, and telecommunication industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • Heidelberg University Hospital
  • Banco Galicia
  • Adidas Group
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1939
HQ: Palo Alto, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.hp.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

HP, the Hewlett-Packard Company, is a global information technology company that develops and provides a wide variety of hardware components and software. HP’s Enterprise Data Warehouse Appliance is optimized to support the Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) software. This Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) hardware and software combination provides end users with high levels of I/O throughput by executing queries in parallel across 10-40 multi-core servers, which are physically located within one to four data racks.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

HP’s Enterprise Data Warehouse also provides:

  • Horizontally scalable hardware and software used to design medium to large data warehouses/marts
  • Multiple servers (nodes), giving the appearance of a single Appliance
  • Redundant components and protection of compute nodes in the EDW/PDW Appliance
  • Hardware nodes with open CPUs, memory, and disks
  • Parallel processing across multiple servers (nodes) and across multiple cores within each server

TARGET MARKET

HP tends to target consumers, small to medium sized businesses, and large enterprises including customers in the government, health, and education sectors.

CUSTOMERS

  • Delani Advanced Integration
  • HTG Peer Groups
  • Bechtle
  • PDS

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1979
HQ: Miamisburg, OH
Company Type: Public
Website: www.teradata.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Teradata, a data warehousing and enterprise analytics company, has recently acquired Aprimo, a leader in cloud-based integrated marketing software. Now, Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud powers brand engagement, connects companies with customers one-to-one and boosts sales by leveraging individualized insights to empower every element of a data-driven marketing applications program — including processes, channels, campaign financials, performance analytics, and even digital marketing templates — in a single application, on-premise or in the cloud.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

  • Marketing Resource Management – Manage workflows, budgets, and market-ready assets that meet brand standards and industry regulations.
  • Omni-Channel Marketing – Deepen customer relationships by delivering individualized, relevant, right-time inbound and outbound communications
  • Digital Marketing – Create, test, execute, and optimize digital marketing campaigns via email, mobile, social and Web
  • Marketing Analytics – Harness the power of customer data to build relevant, sales-generating marketing strategies

TARGET MARKET

Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud (Teradata Aprimo) targets industries and companies of all sizes looking to empower enterprise-marketing programs and connect marketing and IT.

CUSTOMERS

  • Volvo
  • American Eagle
  • Samsung
  • Ebay
  • Proctor & Gamble
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2003
HQ: San Mateo, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.emc.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Greenplum, a division of EMC, was acquired in 2010 and became the foundation of the Big Data Division. Greenplum is a Big Data analytics computer software company. Its products offer breakthroughs in harnessing the skills of data science teams to assist global organizations in realizing the full potential of business agility and becoming data driven, predictive enterprises.

Greenplum embodies the power of open systems, cloud computing, virtualizations, and social collaborations to enable global organizations to gain greater insight and value from their data.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

The division’s products include:

  • Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform (UAP)
  • Greenplum Data Computing Appliance (DCA)
  • Greenplum Analytics Lab
  • Greenplum Database
  • Greenplum HD
  • Greenplum Chorus

TARGET MARKET

Greenplum tends to target large-scale computing companies and global enterprises.

CUSTOMERS

  • Amazon
  • Yahoo
  • Oracle
  • Teradata
  • Netezza

Key Big Data Overlay Vendors

Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1999
HQ: Forest Hills, MD
Company Type: Non-Profit
Website: www.apache.org
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Hadoop is an open-source software framework created by the Apache Software Foundation for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. It provides massive storage and enormous processing power to handle any kind of data, tasks, or jobs.

PRODUCT & SERVICES:

Hadoop comes in a number of modules intended for different big data needs. These modules include:

  • Hadoop Common: Comes with common utilities that support other Hadoop modules
  • Hadoop Distributed File System: Distributed file system designed to give high-throughput access to application data
  • Hadoop YARN: A framework for job scheduling and cluster resource management
  • Hadoop MapReduce: A Hadoop YARN-based system for parallel processing of large data sets

TARGET MARKET

Apache is a nonprofit company that develops a variety of open source, scalable software for a variety of companies ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises across a variety of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • Ebay
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Hulu
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1999
HQ: Forest Hills, MD
Company Type: Non-Profit
Website: www.apache.org
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Cassandra is a database created by the Apache Software Foundation. This product is highly scalable and comes with high availability with compromising on performance. Cassandra is linearly scalable and fault-tolerant on commodity hardware or cloud infrastructures.

Cassandra’s data model offers column indexes with the performance of log-structured updates, strong support for de-normalization and materialized views, and powerful built-in caching.

TARGET MARKET

Apache is a nonprofit company, which develops a variety of open source, scalable software for a variety of companies ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises across a variety of industries.

CUSTOMERS

Apache competes with other open-source software development companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and more.

Key Report Writer & Dashboard Vendors

Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2003
HQ: Seattle, WA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.tableau.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Tableau specializes in business intelligence and data visualization solutions. Tableau is available on several different platforms such as desktop, online, server, mobile, public, reader, and vizable. Their new version, Tableau 9.1, has the ability to communicate with several different web data connectors, including:

  • SDK
  • Amazon Aurora
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Microsoft Azure
  • SAP

TARGET MARKET

Tableau serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as retail and distribution, pharmaceuticals, biotech, education, construction, healthcare, and much more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Amazon.com
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Rio tinto
  • Cisco
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2004
HQ: Orlando, FL
Company Type: Privately Held
Website: www.pentaho.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Pentaho is a data integration and business analytics company that provides enterprise-class, open-source platforms that support big data deployments. Penatho’s unified data integration and analytics platform is comprehensive and completely embeddable and is designed to power any sort of analytics in any environment.

Pentaho’s mission is to help organizations across multiple industries capitalize on the value of their data (including big data and loT), allowing them to identify new revenue streams, improve operation efficiency and service, and minimize the organizations risk.

TARGET MARKET

Pentaho serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as education, logistics, healthcare, gaming, marketing, and more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Caterpillar Marine Asset Intelligence
  • Assetworks
  • BNSF Logistics
  • Cardiac Science
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 2004
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.jaspersoft.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Jaspersoft provides a flexible, cost effective, and widely deployed Business Intelligence (BI) suite, enabling better decision-making through highly interactive reports, dashboards, and analytics. Jaspersoft provides support for cloud, big data, and mobile deployments, helping its customers deliver on the promise of self-service BI at scale. Jaspersoft's modular, scalable, standards-based solution architecture is easily deployed.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Jaspersoft’s BI solution delivers functionality in several areas:

• Reporting and Analytics
• Cloud BI Solution
• Production Reporting
• Big Data Business Intelligence
Jaspersoft operates as a subsidiary of TIBCO Software.

TARGET MARKET

Jaspersoft targets businesses of many sizes across a multitude of industries looking to improve business operations and streamline business data, reports, and analytics.

CUSTOMERS

  • MSV Solutions
  • WI Bradley
  • Airlines Reporting Corporation
  • BizFlow
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1989
HQ: Tyson Corner, VA
Company Type: Public
Website: www.mirostrategy.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

MicroStrategy specializes in providing enterprise software platforms, business intelligence, mobile intelligence, and social intelligence applications. Their solutions allow for the analysis of vast amounts of data while remaining easy to use, sophisticated, and scalable.

Additionally, MicroStrategy provides mobile intelligence platforms, which help organizations, build, deploy, and maintain mobile applications by embedding intelligence, transactions, and multimedia into the applications.

Further, MicroStrategy includes a number of social intelligence platforms, which help enterprises utilize social networks for marketing and e-commerce.

TARGET MARKET

MicroStrategy serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries such as internet dating, sportswear, banking, entertainment, and much more.

CUSTOMERS

  • Netflix
  • Wells Fargo
  • Whole Foods
  • Adobe
Image

ESSENTIALS

Founded: 1969
HQ: Ottawa, Ontario
Company Type: Public
Website: www.cognos.com
Delivery Method: Cloud

OVERVIEW

Cognos provides software to organizations that need to become  performance and analysis-driven. Acquired by IBM for $4.9 billion, Congos  operated as a wholly owned subsidiary until January 1, 2009 when it was absorbed into the IBM Infosphere product line under the IBM Information Management Software brand within the company’s software group.

TARGET MARKET

Cognos serves a wide variety of customers ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to global enterprises in a variety of industries.

CUSTOMERS

  • AmeriPath
  • HealthPort
  • Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
  • TELLUS

About Us

Get to know the Quote to Cash industry's most trusted consulting resource including sections on our people, our culture, our office locations, and much more.
Read More

ATG University

Explore the Quote to Cash industry's largest collection of thought leadership, from CPQ and contract management to billing and revenue recognition.

Contact Us

We take our commitment to our clients very seriously. At ATG, our credo has always been Client Focused, Vendor Agnostic. We'll help you find the solution that's right for your business.