Stepping up operational performance with data mining tools

Stepping up operational performance with data mining tools

Information and Advice from Minerra

Data mining tools uncover patterns inside large sets of structured data. The CRISP-DM methodology is used by all tools. It encompasses six phases: business understanding, data understanding, data preparation, modelling, evaluation and deployment. The patterns generated in this way are used to predict future outcomes.

When run through BI and data analysis tools, they can be used to increase revenues, reduce risks and expenses, and so on. When it comes to the said tools, automated data warehousing and interactive dashboards have proven to be best practice. When choosing optimum tools, speed and relevance need to be taken into account.

We recommend Ajilius data warehouse automation tool and Yellowfin BI and analytics platform. Not only are they fully customisable and fast, but they are also cost-effective and allow for custom coding.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

What to expect of data mining software?

As already mentioned, data mining software uses the CRISP-DM methodology. The first two steps, business and data understanding, are preparatory and depend on the questions you need answered. You need to make certain that the data to be mined is centralized and accurate.

The mining tool takes it from there. It helps in data preparation, modelling, evaluation and deployment. During the data modelling phase, algorithms are applied to the data in order to define patterns. Patterns generated in this way can be used as a model and applied to new data.

There are two types of mining algorithms: supervised and unsupervised. Supervised learning algorithms require a target (predefined sets of outputs), while unsupervised don’t.

Minerra offers data mining tools that simplify this phase. In addition, we fully customise them to meet your requirements. One such tool is Ajilius, a web-based BI and analysis platform that automates data warehousing.

The next phase, data evaluation, will determine whether your model is good, bad or somewhere in between. Some examples of data evaluation processes in data mining tools include testing for false positives and cross-validation.

The final phase, deployment, is where you start using the results.

Data warehousing and data mining

Data warehousing and data mining are of immense importance for organisational performance. Data are normally pulled from various sources, such as spreadsheets, ERPs, CRMs, HRs and cloud sources. Data warehousing is the process that extracts data from all sources, loads them into a centralized location and displays them as structured data. Structured data are optimised for analytics, as they are displayed in an integrated view.

While data mining tools provide models and patters, data warehouses store fact tables and summarized business events, both of which contain descriptive attributes. These allow for in-depth, timely comparison that, in turn, enables you to make data-driven decisions at a glance. Data warehouses ease data mining, cluster and segmentation analyses, and overall managing of organizational performance.

Data warehouses cannot be altered, as they analyse historical data. They focus on data changes over time. The difference between a standard database and a data warehouse is in that the latter aggregates structured data. A database updates real-time data and keeps only the most recent information.

Data warehousing involves multiple steps. Data extraction being the initial phase, it is followed by cleaning, warehouse format conversion, sorting, consolidation and storing. More data are being added to the warehouse over time during updates.

Data warehousing and mining being both costly and lengthy, the need to automate them has arisen. The manual ELT/ETL methods involve up to 75% of manual coding, which, with volumes of data now being used, takes so much time that updates don’t even get the chance to be applied.

Best practice business analytics tools are fully automated, turning years of analyses into months and months into days. Such tools are driven by metadata, which calls for minimum manual coding. Automated BI and analysis tools compare data warehouses to the contemporary design patterns.

Ajilius and Yellowfin

Ajilius and Yellowfin are industry-leading data warehouse automation and BI and analytics tools, respectively.

Ajilius is a data warehouse automation tool that delivers on multiple DW platforms (SQL Server, Azure SQL, SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, PostgreSQL/EnterpriseDB, AWS Redshift, Exasol, Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse and MariaDB Column Store). Its three-click migration feature is one of the reasons it is among the most convenient products on the market, cost-efficiency being second.

Ajilius is a fully customisable warehousing tool that integrates with most popular BI and analysis tools, Yellowfin included. Being web-based, Ajilius can be accessed from desktop, notebook, tablet and mobile phone. It runs on Windows, Linux and OSX operating systems. What sets it apart from other similar data warehousing tools is that it supports JDBC drivers, which are synonymous with swift connection and retrieval.

Yellowfin loads Ajilius’ data into a centralised location and presents them in an integrated view. Yellowfin’s interactive dashboards and reports are shareable and report-ready. The content is always presented by relevance and in an easily understandable narrative.

What makes Yellowfin superior to other similar tools is the fact that it explains business results in addition to simply monitoring them. The Assisted Insights feature provides automated help and allows you to ask only the right questions. Instead of just listing answers, Yellowfin digs the exact information you need. The Insight Wizard feature enables you to provide the context to the question and set the depth of analysis.

Data mining tools guarantee long-term success

Data mining tools are a step towards the future, but in order to fully utilise their benefits, professional training is recommended. That is exactly what we offer at Minerra – personalised BI consultancy and Ajilius and Yellowfin training. We also offer decision-focused software versions and a number of services that will teach you how to lead your business towards ultimate success.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Top Business Intelligence Technologies With Data Automation

The importance of data automation

Information and Advice from Minerra

The importance of data automation is paramount. With customer data intelligence becoming more and more important to achieve competitive advantage, the challenge of rapidly increasing data volumes needs to be met head on. Let us consider the approaches organisations can undertake to avoid data paralysis and to maximise ROI on your data investment.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting services!

What is data warehouse automation?

Data warehouse automation is the much-needed upgrade to the traditional ELT/ETL methods. These are known well enough, but so are their flaws. On top of being time-consuming and costly, they respond too slowly to decision-making requirements. Making small changes to data warehouses built using manual methods can take weeks and months. Automated data warehousing shortens the process to hours and days.

Minerra will help you get the best solution for your business and teach you how to use it. We implement and manage decision-focused automated BI and analytics tools. We provide training and business consultancy. We listen to your specific requests and come up with optimal solutions.

We simplify analytics by presenting data in an integrated and structured way. And we do so by compiling information into data warehouses that are optimised to support decisions. Our BI technology allows us to design intuitive dashboards that present data beautifully. We deliver fully customizable cutting-edge solutions coupled with business consultancy and professional training.

Ajilius and Yellowfin

Enter Ajilius and Yellowfin, the software solutions that will help you make data-driven decisions within your organisation. Ajilius automates ETL/ELT tasks and creates data warehouses in a fraction of the time it would take using manual methods. The structured data are easy to analyse, compare and share. Moreover, Ajilius collects information from multiple locations, providing data on performance, marketing, operations and logistics.

Ajilius connects to data sources, extracts information, transforms it into staging tables, creates dimension and fact tables, relates dimension and fact tables, and finally exports data to Yellowfin.

The data are loaded into a centralised location and presented in a ready-to-utilize format. And when we say “multiple locations,” we mean any organisational data source such as: ERP, spreadsheets, CRM, social media, Google Analytics…

Yellowfin is synonymous with easy data access. Presented in the form of interactive dashboards, the platform analyses the data in the data warehouse created by Ajilius. The immediate result is structured data shareable across the board, and the end result – data-driven decisions that will see your business perform.

ELT automation explained

What is ELT automation? It is the process of transforming all pieces of information into a report-ready data warehouse. It starts by extracting data from your organisational systems to a temporary data storage location. Data is then transformed and cleansed, before it is loaded into the data warehouse. Although a complex process, ELT automation manages the entire workflow using best-practice design patterns.

Although data automation technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is significantly more cost-effective than traditional ELT/ETL . The latter involves a good deal of time-consuming manual coding. It is often the case that entire ELT processes are abandoned midway due to failed projects, as they are expensive, error-prone, may take years to conclude, and most importantly, don’t deliver the required outcomes.

On the other hand, data warehouse automation compiles organisational data in a matter of days and weeks. It uses metadata to automate the process, with minimum coding being applied. In addition, ELT automation uses industry best-practice design patterns to create a thoroughly optimised solution.

At Minerra, we never underestimate the importance of superb data mining tools. For this purpose, we offer business consultancy and training to both point your business in the right direction and enable you to have access to your data to analyse it with ease.

Data automation, the only sustainable future of BI

Data automation is the future of BI and analytics, and there is no disputing the saying “the early bird catches the worm.” The organizations to fail to recognize the importance of the revolutionary BI technology that is now being underway are certain to regret it later. It’s all about metadata these days, after all. The competition is fierce. Are you?

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

The significance of data interpretation for your business

The significance of data interpretation for your business

Information and Advice from Minerra

Data interpretation is the most crucial and vital step when you’re using data to make decisions regarding the growth of your business. Today we can analyse everything from upcoming trends to customer feedback and job performance, which opens the door to more quality management based on statistical research and analytical reports.

However, as with any intelligence business tool, the numbers itself don’t tell you much. What is truly important is the interpretation of those numbers and how the insights you gather from them can aid you in reaching the maximum potential of your company on the market.

Contact us for a high-quality and insightful data interpretation done by our business intelligence experts!

The best way to explain the amount of data you can analyse today is through a study made by Digital Universe Study, where they found that in 2012 the total data supply was 2.8 trillion gigabytes, and just imagine how much more data we compiled in the following six years. Using data analysis and data interpretation has become a “must-have” tool for companies.

Being competitive in the market is depended on insights and findings that emerge from the numbers on the report. The critical issue regarding interpretation is understanding the presented patterns and reading them right. It is advisable you hire professionals, like the experts working at Minerra, to help you with the analysis.

The data integration services, which Minerra can provide, are going to automate the manual processes incorporating data from multiple systems in one place, where each of your colleges can have access, too. This will speed up the process of joint decision making, and it will give you a complete preview of the data you want to process with our software.

The data interpretation definition

The data interpretation definition in business terms is the implementation of different processes in which data is analysed and revised with the purpose of gaining insights and recognising emerging patterns and behaviours. These conclusions are helpful for you as a manager to make an informed decision, backed by numbers while having all the facts at your disposal. Data doesn’t come from a single source but multiple diverse sources.

Data analysis is always subjective and connected to the goals and the nature of the industry. For example, even if you’re using the same amount and the same type of data, a food chain and a fashion store will analyse it differently and gain a different awareness from it. Additionally, every business has its objective, and the interpretation of the results is going to produce a report that is uniquely qualified for them.

Data analysis has two main classifications, which we are going to elaborate on in this article: the “quantitative analysis” and the “qualitative analysis.” However, before we continue, we also have to take a look at the scales of measurement because they decide the continuing effect the data is going to have on your decision making.

  1. Nominal scale – It incorporates variables, which are exclusive and You can’t rank or compare with non-numeric classifications.
  2. Ordinal scale – It incorporates variables which are exclusive and extensive but in a logical order (online quizzes and surveys are usually done in an ordinal scale).
  3. Interval scale – With an arbitrary zero point, which systematically integrates the categories and groups them in equal distances.
  4. Ratio – A combination of all of the above.

Qualitative data interpretation

A qualitative analysis is not done by running numbers but by classifying data in categories. It’s mostly used for observations, interviews, documents, surveys, etc. This type of research is intended to gain insights by using a person-to-person method for data gathering. For example, when you complete an online survey, the answers are rated in the following manner:

  • I strongly agree
  • I agree
  • I’m neutral
  • I disagree
  • I strongly disagree

The best feature about the qualitative data interpretation is that the findings are grouped into topics and categories, which makes it easier to notice trends and collect the data. A report created from a qualitative analysis tends to be more readable for the layman.

Quantitative data interpretation

If the qualitative analysis was contextual, the quantitative analysis is numerical. With quantitative data interpretation, you analyse the numbers in the data to gain insights, and that is achieved with statistical modelling. There are three types of statistical modelling:

  • Mean
  • Standard deviation
  • Frequency distribution

The most common technique of quantitative analysis is running tests on two or more significant variables, which are later processed together or separately and in the end, are compared to one another to sum up a report.

Benefits of the interpretation of data

The benefits of the interpretation of data are numerous and can affect your business in a number of ways, but they are mostly used for informed decision making and predicting upcoming trends and behaviours. Another invaluable resource you can tap into with data interpretation is identifying problems and solutions.

If you want to enhance work productivity, the most prudent thing to do is to gather data and make an analysis instead of following general policies that are not backed up by numbers.

Another area where data analysis is helpful is reducing costs. Deloitte did a study in which they proved that data analysis ROI could prepare management to cost-reduction opportunities and without damage to the human capital. Intel saved over $3 million in manufacturing costs because of data analysis in 2012.

However, the most prominent example of this is Norfolk Southern, a train company that saved over $200 million by making trains run one mph faster, and they managed to do that because of customised software, which monitors the rail traffic.

However, one thing you should be careful about is how statistics can be misleading and that only proper data interpretation can benefit your business. You should be careful not to make causation and correlations, which are feasible just because enough data was analysed in the process. This is one of the common mistakes managers make when it comes to interpreting data results.

Contact us for a high-quality and insightful data interpretation done by our business intelligence experts!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

The logic behind data-driven decision making

The logic behind data-driven decision making

Information and Advice from Minerra

Good business decisions don’t just happen. No one wakes up one day with the foresight and the knowledge of a business genius. Most of the time, a good “business sense” is developed after years of experience, hard work and a few failed strategies (Steve Jobs is the perfect example of this).

However, in today’s data-driven world, where we can measure the exposure and the effect of every occurrence in the industry, every new trend, product and service emerging on the market, we have the possibility to use that in our advantage. That process is called data-driven decision making, and it’s becoming a “must-have” tool for individuals in the decision making role.

The working premises of data-driven decisions are simple. You gather relevant and quality data, which is afterwards verified and analysed by specific software. The report of the analysis shows emerging patterns, which can help you make the best company decision regarding the subject.

Data science itself was introduced by Peter Naur in 1960 and has developed as an interdisciplinary field since then, which combines logical methods, procedures, algorithms and structures to extract knowledge and insights from data as formulas or reports. Processing information in a report form enables executives and managers to comprehend the data, even if they are laymen when it comes to technical analysis.

A lot has changed since the 1960’s because what was once a lengthy, manual and meticulous process, today is a business analytics software, which produces better and faster results. At Minerra, we work with high-quality software business tools like Yellowfin (business intelligence and analytics platform) and Ajilius (data warehouse automation platform), in combination with our business intelligence experts, which will deliver tailor-made reports and indicators for your company.

Making the right business decisions by using reports that compile large amounts of raw data can be extremely beneficial. Interpretation of data is the key factor in many cases where you need to make a quick assessment, and you’re not positive about the outcome.

The perfect example of ignoring data analysis and the consequences of that is IBM’s partial sale of its ROLM division to Siemens. The team did an internal review, assessing the aftermath of the sale, and it concluded that it would be a “catastrophe” if the deal went through. As we know, it did, and it cost IBM over one billion dollars.

Why you should be using data to make decisions

Using data to make decisions is becoming a blueprint for a safe business strategy. In a study done by MIT Sloan School of Management, it was shown that businesses that make data-driven decisions in the governance of their companies tend to have 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits than the average. The statistics of the study prove that data-driven decision making helps your business grow, plus it’s result oriented, providing you with the possibility to be more competitive in the market.

The most basic example to understand the logic behind the process is the business practice of the Bank of America. They use a business analytics software to check cash-back offers to credit and debit cards to determine which customers should get credit, based upon analyses of their prior purchases. It’s simple and clean decision making, with little-to-no room for error.

Another great example is the Norfolk Southern, a train company that managed to save over $200 million by making trains run one mph faster, and they accomplished this by using customised software to monitor rail traffic. That is data-driven decision making in its best light, especially if your goal is to save money and enhance productivity at the same time.

Using a business analytics software to determine future trends is also a prudent technique, because if you can anticipate the needs and wishes of your clients and the behaviour of the market, you can improve your turnover. Analyzing data is the safest way to do just that.

This is what companies like Netflix are doing. In the case of Netflix, it includes analysing the data gathered from people’s viewing habits, after which they create and buy programming that will appeal to broad audiences. They attract customers by predicting their viewing needs.

You can see the benefits from an analytics platform and determining future occurrences with data analysis in the case of Google collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Google tracks when users are inputting search terms related to flu topics, and it helps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to predict which regions may experience an epidemic.

The benefits of data-based decision making

In the previous section, we presented you with case studies that show how much you can accomplish with a data-based decision making approach. However, you need to pay attention to misleading statistics and the quality of the raw data you’re running through the business intelligence software.

Good data should pass the requirements set within the qualitative and quantitative variables that are matching the goals set by your company. Data management is a serious matter, and the information is only beneficial to you if the data is suitable and appropriately processed.

Another important step towards reaching your goals and making the smart decision when it comes to data-driven reports is tracking the right metrics and taking the opinions of your coworkers into consideration. When we present you with the report, you can analyse the key findings and insights, and sharing it with your team is the most prudent way to come to a Grade A conclusion.

Additionally, one more tip for data-driven decisions is to let the numbers speak for themselves. Managers tend to have biases from previous experiences, which are not always applicable to the current problem or situation they are facing.

In conclusion, data-driven decision making can be beneficial to the growth and expansion of your business. You can predict trends, save money and evaluate a situation or a problem better if you have a sufficient amount of information. Implementing the right tools can make or break a company, and you should take advantage of data and apply it in your decision-making strategy.

Contact us for more information regarding the data-driven decision making process!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Make Sense Of Business Data With Custom Dashboard Design

Make Sense Of Business Data With Custom Dashboard Design

Information and Advice from Minerra

There is more to dashboard design than meets the eye.

Dashboard design is not all about aesthetics. Admittedly, it counts, but what truly matters is for the dashboard to be easily interpreted correctly. This is important as a decision made on misunderstood data has a high chance of causing a negative outcome. Keeping that in mind, Minerra are specialists in designing highly intuitive dashboards using cutting-edge data analytics tools.

Seamless dashboard reporting generates optimum results.

Minerra brings dashboard reporting to the next level. Our data analytics tools will help you support your business goals at a rapid pace, allowing you to achieve your strategic objectives quickly. This is supported by an integrated data warehousing solution that organises all business data in a structure optimised for analytics.

At Minerra, it’s all about supporting decisions. We know that easy access to data is vital to allow you to make data-driven decisions with confidence. We also know that time is money and having your people manually compile data on a daily basis is expensive. And aren’t their valuable skills better utilised in other ways?

Our solutions bring together these principles and turn them into beautifully visualised dashboard reports. No matter how complex your business is, the data will be presented in a way that is understandable and intuitive.

Automated data warehousing: the future of BI technology

Minerra’s BI technology is about extracting data from all organisational sources and loading them into a single centralised location. The format in which the data are displayed is optimised for analytics (so-called “structured data”). What Minerra’s business analytics tools do is automate the entire process to provide an integrated view of all data.

This is achieved by extracting the data then loading it into a temporary location, where it is transformed into a report-friendly format. From there, it is loaded into the data warehouse and made available for reporting and analytics.

This process is known as ELT/ETL (extract-load-transform/ extract- transform- load). However, traditional ELT/ETL processes pose several problems. Firstly, they are lengthy, as they call for manual coding (up to 75% of the project time is used on coding). Secondly, they are far from being error-free (manual coding is not the most precise of approaches). Thirdly, they are costly (all that coding needs to be paid for).

Yet the output remains indispensable in terms of analytics. Simply automating the manual part is what solves the issues. Minerra’s automated BI solutions allow for a rapid build of your company’s data, which is being pulled from a variety of sources – from Excel sheets to cloud-based platforms (the latter including social media and Google Analytics).

Not only does the process take a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods, but it is also cost-efficient. Plus, being metadata-driven, automation requires minimal coding.

Because it uses automation to extract, load and transform your data, all processes use industry best design patterns to move data in the most optimal way. Finally, it bypasses the biggest issue of the previous ELT/ETL processes: your business’ specific data code will get automatically re-written if you choose to switch platforms.

Thus, no matter the platform of your choice at any given moment, your data warehouse will always move around with you – you won’t be shackled to a single platform.

User-friendly dashboard software

Minerra’s dashboard software is easily understandable to all skill levels. The interactive dashboards allow for immediate analysis, reporting and data sharing. The information is presented in a structured way, comprising fact tables and summarised business events.

Comprehensive dashboard design allows for a number of options, including all kinds of analyses (cluster, network, segmentation, sentiment, etc.), data mining and simulation modelling. The managers get to seamlessly monitor and manage organisational performance step-by-step, without wasting precious time on obsolete manual processes.

Software aside, Minerra never loses sight of customers’ specific needs. By no means do we offer the same solution to every client. We also provide business consulting. You will speak, and we will listen. Then we will come up with the best possible solution for your business, taking the following factors into account:

Dashboards design, development, maintenance and output

  • Data warehouse design, development and output
  • Report design, development and output
  • Implementation of analytics tools and BI technology
  • Dashboard usability review
  • Data visualization design review
  • Data warehouse dimensional model design review

A single data dashboard to meet all your business needs

Minerra’s data dashboard solutions help businesses comprehend organisational performance in an effortless way. We firmly believe that data analysis should be backed up by business intelligence and analytics systems that are clearly understandable – that’s exactly why our BI software solutions deliver user-friendly interactive charts and dashboards.

If you are worried about the complexity of your data, there is a simple solution to that. The data structures are designed attention to quality and consistency. In other words, we design the data structures around your business rules and organisational environment. E.g., you may need an overview of comparable marketing, performance data or logistics and marketing reports.

You may wish to compare trends, revenues and top customers. All of this information, and much more, can be integrated as to be accessible to all key people in the company. Sharing is made easy with Minerra’s business solutions.

An afterthought to Minerra dashboard design

What Minerra’s dashboard design strives to achieve (and has so far successfully attained over and over again) is to simplify the business decision-making process and make analytics straightforward. If you are having a difficult time waiting for weeks or months for changes to be applied to the existent data warehouse, our BI solutions are the right choice for you.

Contact us to discuss your requirements. Minerra’s experienced consultants will create just the solution to suit all of your needs – in a cost-effective way. Cut on the obsolete ELT/ETL processes and get an automated dashboard platform that will point your business in the right direction in a matter of minutes.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Expert business analyst skills to empower data-driven decision making

Expert business analyst skills to empower data-driven decision making

Information and Advice from Minerra

Expert business analyst skills are what it takes to set your company apart from the competition. Minerra provides specialised advice on how to always make data-driven decisions and organises decision-focused training on the monitoring and management of business performance. Learn how to respond to changing markets and always remain confident in the critical business decisions that need to be made.

The importance of business analysis

Business analysis is nowadays synonymous with data automation. With the market changing at a rapid pace, keeping up-to-date using manual methods is next to impossible. Minerra provides customised data warehousing solutions, which bring together all business aspects and turn them into structured data.

Integration is the key to optimum performance. Minerra’s solutions combine logistics, operations, performance and marketing data, together providing the ultimate BI and analytics experience.

We observe analytics as a service. By that, we imply that our solutions are simple to use, easily accessible and fully shareable and integrated. More specifically, we are talking about fact tables and summarized events that are simultaneously available to all decision makers, within the company and across multiple branches.

Why is this important? For data discovery techniques to become fully employable and remain useful in the long run, report-ready analytics is an absolute must. When accompanied with superb visualization, the task will run even smoother. That is, in a nutshell, what Minerra offers, along with specialised training to make the process of decision-making as seamless as it gets. We provide specialised analytics consulting services and product demonstration.

As for the products offered, these include Ajilius (data warehouse automation platform) and Yellowfin (BI and analytics platform). When combined, they deploy data warehouses and transform them into analysis- and report-ready interactive dashboards. The process takes mere hours, as compared to the months and years that are sometimes required with manual analysis.

Next-generation business analysis tools for optimum results

As stated above, data automation is what defines the best of the best business analysis tools. ELT automation is an elaborate process of compiling all pieces of information and turning them into report-ready data warehouses. To achieve this goal, automation tools first extract organisational data, store them temporarily and finally integrate them into structured data.

As opposed to traditional (manual) ELT, data automation is far less time-consuming, always up-to-date and by far less expensive. To top it off, data automation allows for the multiple comparisons of both data warehouses and the leading industry design patterns.

Combining data automation with business analyst skills

Effective communication, as one of the key business analyst skills, will get its boost from the richly visualised data that Minerra’s business analysis tools generate. Keeping in mind that analysts spend a good deal of their time communicating information to the management, developers and clients, the interactive dashboards shareable across the board are a godsend.

More often than not, a project’s success depends a good deal on analysts’ ability to communicate project requirements, updates and various testing results. With Ajilius and Yellowfin, these challenges become an easy task.

Elaborating further, no matter the automation, analysts’ problem-solving skills will always be in demand. As already mentioned, at Minerra, we pay particular attention to enabling our clients to always be able to make data-driven decisions. To that end, we have set in place a range of training programs, including Yellowfin for Busy Managers, Yellowfin Data Exploration and Analysis, Yellowfin Content Creation, Yellowfin View Creation and System Administration, and Fundamentals of Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making.

Additionally, we host one-on-one and group trainings per the client’s request. Make the best decisions at a glance and bring communication to the next level, simply by using interactive dashboards.

What exactly can you expect to get from Minerra’s BI solutions?

For starters, we provide fully customisable analysis tools and personalised BI consultancy. From data integration and preparation to data warehouse automation, data warehouse design and development, to custom-built dashboard and report design, Minerra makes certain that all your business needs are met and even exceeded.

We believe the key to a true success lies in understanding. Therefore, we first listen, and listen carefully, and only then get to working on a customised solution to suit your needs. After all, there is no magic formula to define business intelligence. Every business is an entity of its own and should be treated accordingly.

Minerra has been around since 2009, when we decided to found a business that will offer a versatile perspective to business analytics. Marketing analytics is our greatest passion, as we consider ourselves businesspeople first and technologists second. We offer a unique approach to analytics, backed up by our extensive business experience.

Most importantly, we understand that self-service is the future of BI and data analytics technologies. For that reason, we offer innovative tools that allow for custom-made dashboards, featuring the desired descriptive attributes. We make custom information implementation an easy task, and also incorporate metadata management and search capabilities that will help you find the exact piece of information you need — all in a matter of minutes.

Are traditional business analyst skills becoming obsolete?

With data warehouse automation in full swing, the question on whether traditional business analyst skills are to go extinct seems to be rather pressing to some. The answer is — no. Only by combining the right skill set with the latest in BI technology can one hope to get to the top and stay there.

Minerra provides business consultancy services that will help you learn how to combine the finest on both fronts. It’s worth reiterating that data-driven decision making is the ultimate goal. See how we can help you achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.

Contact Minerra for analytics training and mentoring!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Empowering data analyst skills

Empowering data analyst skills

Information and Advice from Minerra

Traditional data analyst skills, complemented with BI analytics tools, are the key to data-driven decision making. In the era of stellar market changes, the latter is the ultimate asset. This especially holds true in terms of traditional ELT methods. They are simply too slow to be able to keep up with the demand.

That is where data automation steps in, and is likely to remain there. Namely, automated analytics tools are way faster than manual ELT, always up-to-date, more accurate and even cost-effective.

The importance of statistical analysis

As a component of data analytics, statistical analysis remains tremendously important in the context of BI. What it does is collect and inspect each and every data piece capable of representing a sample. In statistics, a sample is a selection representing a total population.

Statistical analysis comprises five steps: data description, relation exploration, model creation, approval/disapproval of model validity and predictive analytics. These steps work in unison to predict trends and make sustainable patterns.

Minerra provides next-generation BI tools that will help you establish trends seamlessly and enable you to always make data-driven decisions. Enter Ajilius and Yellowfin (data warehouse automation and BI and analytics platform, respectively) that will transform your operational data into report-ready interactive dashboards with ease.

The dashboards are shareable across the board and fully customisable. Most importantly, the process takes a couple of hours, as compared to weeks and months needed in case of manual methods. Did we mention that information is always up-to-date?

Statistical analysis and BI reporting tools, such as are Ajilius and Yellowfin, will help you grasp general characteristics of a data set at a glance. These platforms summarise and sort data by sub-groups, allowing for additional descriptive attributes. With analytics as a service, the matter of identifying top and poor performers becomes an easy task.

Further out, automated data warehouses also help with predictive modelling by providing additional information, pointing to patterns and insights that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

The basics of business improvement

Automated BI solutions are crucial for continual business improvement. Finding the best practices to optimise decisions and performance is the key to long-term success. Thanks to big data entering the game, it is all about making better decisions by analysing information. In fact, a new term has emerged to explain the process: “data-driven.”

In their book “Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture,” Hilary Mason and DJ Patil argue that the term is “synonymous with companies that leverage their data and analytics to unearth hidden insights that have a real and measurable impact on their business.”

By combining the benefits of data automation with data analyst skills, a company can truly show its potential in the competitive market. BI solutions can be used for analysis of any aspect of the business. E.g., you may wish to monitor the effectiveness of sales, operations, overall performance, performance by region/department, etc.

Research has shown that businesses use BI solutions in order to make better decisions (a.k.a “data-driven decisions”), as well as to increase competitiveness, improve operational efficiency and customer service, boost sales, control inventory, analyse web traffic, etc. The list goes on and on.

Automated data solutions are the only way to successfully tackle big data in a rapidly changing environment. Keeping in mind that manual methods are often abandoned midway, and rarely manage to take into account the changes occurring along the way, the conclusion that data automation tools are cost-effective (not to mention, considerably faster) is a no brainer.

Business analytics has long since evolved from Excel spreadsheets to more elaborate, comparable and shareable interactive dashboards. To utilise the full potential of this cutting-age analytics tools, knowing your priorities comes first. This goes to show that the foundation of BI remains unaltered, regardless of technological changes. And that is good news in more ways than one.

Contrary to popular belief, not all businesses have their priorities straight. As a matter of fact, BI consulting is often more valuable than the actual automation. Minerra offers expert BI consulting services, drafted to suit each customer’s goals, making it simple to learn how to always make the best data-driven decision.

To illustrate: is your objective to boost sales? To improve customer satisfaction first? To boost efficiency? To better target online campaigns? In which order should these goals be achieved? Only by defining long-term plans for your business and sorting them in an appropriate order will you be able to implement BI solutions to their full potential.

The next step is to see what information you already have. What kind of data are you collecting and what could you collect with instantaneous data automation? The primary goal of automated BI solutions is to compile and analyse data from multiple sources.

Upon answering that question, you should then focus on your primary objectives. I.e., if you already have data on employees’ performances, you might wish to deal with increasing workforce efficiency. Using data automation to that end can help you produce reports and charts on, e.g., best performers.

Yellowfin Assisted Insights and Data Storytelling

Let’s take Yellowfin as an example. The platform features, among others, Assisted Insights, which explain the business results it generates. Moreover, Yellowfin’s automated help provides a self-service analysis that actually answers all of your questions without you having to dig through all the data. You can simply ask Yellowfin to answer a specific question, and it will find only the pieces of data that need to be analysed and run it through a series of steps as to come with the best answer. The platform’s Insight Wizard helps with setting the context to the question.

Combining data analyst skills with automation

Combining data analyst skills with automation renders optimum results. The process saves both time and money, providing easily understandable insights that will boost data-driven decision making in no time. Minerra offers fully customisable BI tools and expert consultancy that guarantee long-term operational success. Keep connected with your data at all times and share critical information with ease anytime, anywhere.

Contact Minerra for analytics training and mentoring!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Data Warehouse Testing Using Business Intelligence Software

Data Warehouse Testing Using Business Intelligence Software

Information and Advice from Minerra

Is data warehouse testing essential?

The need to focus on data-driven decision making has made it essential for organisations to have access to their data. This often takes the form of a data warehouse. Data warehouses created using traditional methods made cumbersome data warehouse testing essential. Traditional ELT/ETL development is lengthy, costly and unreliable, hence the need for extensive testing. With data warehouse automation, all transformation logic is stored in metadata and creates error-free code. This dramatically reduces the emphasis on data warehouse testing.

What is a data warehouse schema?

Data warehouses extract data from relational data models and transform them to be optimised for reporting and analytics. There is many a data warehouse schema in use today, however the best structures use the Kimball approach, resulting in star and snowflake schemas. The schema that is used in your data warehouse depends on the nature of the data you are reporting on.

The star schema (the diagram resembles a star) is the most common model. The star centre comprises a fact table and the points – dimension tables. A typical fact table stores sales data, and dimension tables – data about clients, products, channels, regions and so on.

A fact table normally has two column types: dimension table keys and numeric measurements. Fact tables can contain data at various granularities – e.g. a detailed, transactional view or aggregated view of data.

Dimension tables consist of fields used to categorize data. The primary key of each dimension table is used to link to the fact table’s dimension key. Dimensional attributes (usually textual) are used to describe the corresponding data record in the fact table.

The star schema is the most commonly used data warehouse architecture type, as it has a simple structure and is easily browsable.

The snowflake schema is a somewhat more complex version of the star schema. The main difference between the two is that the star schema displays de-normalised dimension tables, and the snowflake schema – normalised.

The fact constellation schema comprises multiple fact tables sharing numerous dimension tables (called conformed dimensions). A schema becomes a constellation when multiple star or snowflake schemas share conformed dimensions. A report can contain data from multiple fact tables by joining through a conformed dimension.

Minerra data warehouses

Minerra’s data warehousing tools are automated and fully customizable. The choice of schema depends on each client’s specific needs. E.g., the schema may list summarised business events and more granular, transactional fact tables.

What all of our BI and analytics solutions have in common is – descriptive attributes that allow for ultimate flexibility. You may search for overall revenue trends, revenues by periods, top customers by revenue, etc.

Whereas traditional BI and analysis tools use the manual ELT/ETL methods, Minerra’s solutions are fully automated. Automated data warehousing has numerous benefits, with speed and cost-efficiency ranking first.

Namely, the traditional ELT/ETL methods call for a significant amount of manual coding; up to 75%, to be precise. That takes time; and by the time the process has been finished, the information requirements of the organisation have changed and the data warehouse is already behind the eight ball. This is a vicious circle and often leads to project failure. Manual coding is also highly expensive and very slow. The end result is an out of date data warehouse that is prone to errors.

In contrast, automation has eliminated the downsides. Automated data warehouses allow for changes to be made to the data warehouse rapidly – usually in hours and days. In comparison, the average waiting time in case of manual coding ranges from weeks to months.

Advantages of data warehouse testing

As mentioned previously, the advantages of data warehouse are more relevant for data warehouses built using manual methods.

Firstly, manual ELT / ETL methods involve many lines of code to be written from scratch. This leads to frequent errors in the code and incorrect business logic. This leads to issues that need to be found (using tedious methods) before the code is released to production.

Secondly, manual coding leads to numerous inconsistencies across the solution. When some logic is updated in one place, the developer needs to find all other areas where the logic is found and update each correctly. This is often not done correctly and results in problems down the track.

Thirdly, collecting historical data can be problematic. Changing a dimension from slowly changing dimension (SCD) type 1 to type 2 can be very tedious and cumbersome.

Manual data warehouse testing is a complex, time-consuming process. With automated data warehousing solutions, much of the testing is no longer required as the solution creates error-free and consistent code.

When it comes to manual data warehousing solutions, business logic is buried in complex code. Automated BI technology eliminates the issue completely as it is all stored in metadata that is accessible through an intuitive user interface.

With all kinds of information being loaded and stored in a centralised location, data access becomes an easy task. Moreover, the data is structured in a format that is optimised for analytics – allowing you to get the information you need quickly and easily.

All this might appear to be way too complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. A successful organisational plan starts with expert BI consulting services. And that’s where Minerra steps in. We offer customised solutions for each client, but only after we have learned all the specifics.

We listen to your requests, offer business consulting, implement solutions that suit your needs and train in you in dashboard design, report development and effective collaboration. We stay with our clients through every step of the process, making certain that they employ all available resources to achieve their desired business goals.

Data warehouse testing – a final word

Everything considered, automated data warehouse testing will always be required, but is far less relevant (and cumbersome) using data warehouse automation. Minerra will set you on the right track of always making only data-driven decisions, which are, in turn, certain to boost your organisation’s performance in the long run.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Business intelligence technologies and analytics

Business intelligence technologies for enhanced operational efficiency

Information and Advice from Minerra

Business intelligence technologies are in high demand nowadays, as the wired world is tripling the pace of the demand/supply game.

Businesses now urgently need optimized data assets, to be able to improve customer relationships and, consequently, business outcomes.

Data automation tools are best employed for this purpose – to get access to your data quickly. The trend is on the rise, allowing business to extract significant value from their data.

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Robust business intelligence architecture

Proper business intelligence architecture is crucial to long-term success. The term implies an optimized approach to the best practices, policies and standards used to analyse business data and support an improved decision-making process. It brings together a range of techniques that create computer-based systems for data analysis and reporting.

Minerra offers analytics systems that are built from the ground up to be decision-focused. We are a group of business experts with extensive business experience as a foundation on top of our solid technical knowledge.

We know the demands of the market, none better. We are adamant about the flaws in classic business reporting and data warehouses methods as being unsatisfactory to support business decision making. With the ETL methods taking considerable time, being way too expensive and providing incomplete data, it is only logical to conclude that non-automated technologies will soon be a thing of the past.

Even if that weren’t the case, why not automate the lengthy process, making it cost-effective, shorter and more reliable? We see no reason why not. Minerra offers, implements and maintains customized business analytics tools as well as BI consultancy and training.

We see to every client getting exactly what they need when they need it. But first of all, we listen. All of your specific requests will be met (and exceeded); and all of your professional goals realised with the help of our business consultants. Only upon understanding your business goals in detail will we proceed to develop a tailored solution to meet your needs.

What we are talking about are the next-generation data warehousing solutions that combine all business aspects into structured data. We offer made-to-order platforms that seamlessly integrate marketing, performance, operations and logistics data. With our highly customizable software, you will be able to automate data warehouses with ease, utilizing the best BI and analytics experience.

Optimize your business intelligence and analytics experience

Minerra’s business intelligence and analytics solutions take into account all critical factors: simplicity, accessibility, integrity and shareability. Our BI solutions make fact tables and summarized events available to all decision-makers across your company. In addition, they may be shared across the board – to other internal and external stakeholders if required.

Minerra’s business intelligence technologies work best when combined. An example: Ajilius provides fast information delivery and Yellowfin analyses the data. It goes without saying that the two are integrated, allowing you to get access to your data quickly and easily.

Last but not least, our solutions showcase an integrated dashboard design that optimises usability and makes it easy for you to use data to make decisions. See our separate articles in the blog section for specifics. Our BI technology is custom-built and all variations can be implemented. Contact us with your requests for personalized solutions. We will design your perfect fit in no time.

Finally, Minerra hosts specially tailored training sessions for our clients, depending on their specific requirements. Some of the examples include Yellowfin Content Creation, Yellowfin View Creation and System Administration, Yellowfin Data Exploration and Analysis, Yellowfin for Busy Managers, and Fundamentals of Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making.

Looking for a business intelligence analyst? Minerra has got you covered!

Every organization that means business consults a business intelligence analyst. Keeping informed about emerging BI technologies is only natural, since all market trends seem to agree on one point only —that additional data are needed.

Data volumes have already reached cosmic proportions. Merely social media metrics are capable of providing a priceless insight into online customer behaviour. New cutting-edge BI and data analytics technologies are constantly being developed to address the process efficiency and to enable fully automated decision making. Where does that leave us?

Firstly, everything points out to data discovery. Yet, the task in itself is close to useless if unaccompanied by superb visualization and report-ready analytics. Nowadays, decision makers crave more control. They seek to create their own dashboards with their chosen descriptive attributes, seeking the right data to make decisions.

Responding to the ever-changing market needs in the hectic online era is a highly demanding task. BI and data analytics technologies are shifting ever closer to self-service data consumption and exploration. Innovative data discovery tools already allow for decision makers to not only understand the “what”, but also the “why” behind patterns in their data.

These new technologies allowing for automated data discovery provide the capability where tools of the past fall short. With Yellowfin BI, a decision maker is able to, for example, find out why sales revenue was lower in one location compared to another. This is done automatically using sophisticated algorithms, that explore all other available data to detect data patterns to explain the difference. What’s more, the output is provided to the user in natural language.

To support these new technologies, the emphasis is shifting to data warehouse management to ensure that the data available is consistent, complete and well-stuctured.

Minerra’s data warehouse management solutions bring together best of breed automated technologies, allowing for data contained in your environment to be structured and organised to support your decisions.

We know first-hand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to business intelligence. Every organization has unique targets, goals, strategies, and hence, specific requests. Let us in on yours — we will develop the perfect solution for your organization in no time.

Cutting-edge business intelligence technologies step up ROI

Everything considered (and we’ve barely scratched the surface here), making use of cutting-edge business intelligence technologies is an absolute must. Customer data intelligence is what drives N&A analytics. With over 90% of the population hanging out online, pattern recognition modules will inevitably keep expanding.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.

Business Analysis Tools

Business Analysis Tools

Information and Advice from Minerra

Business analysis tools for optimum efficacy.

Increasing the efficacy of a business starts with superb analytics and data automation. Getting the best-of-the-best business analysis tools is the smartest (and fastest) way to achieving the goal. Better business intelligence allows for making optimum data-driven decisions that inevitably lead to long-term success.

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Deciding on the best data analytics tools

Data analytics tools are abundant; the final decision depends on various factors, such as goals, budget and business plan. No matter the variations, business consulting must come first. A clear strategy is the foundation upon which to build sustainable business solutions.

How do you go about finding the right group of professionals? As it happens, there is just the business that may help you with the process, from start to finish. Enter Minerra, the company offering smart and cost-effective business intelligence and analytics solutions.

Why choose Minerra?

Founded by a team of “business people first and technologists second,” Minerra offers a unique, business-focused approach to analytics. Our team of seasoned consultants boasts extensive business experience: we apply personal approach to suit every client’s specific needs.

Minerra was founded in 2009 with one goal in mind: to offer a versatile perspective to business analytics. We make business analytics simple by organizing, envisaging and employing customized business intelligence software. But, first of all, Minerra offers business consulting and training that helps our clients make data-driven decisions.

Minerra business solutions

Minerra offers made-to-order data warehousing solutions that seamlessly integrate your organisational data. Data might be omnipresent, but are also hard to access. Unless structured and integrated with other data, they don’t provide much value. That is where Minerra steps in.
Minerra’s solutions sort dashboards and reports, operations, logistics, performance and marketing data in a way that makes it easy to utilize. Ajilius (data warehouse automation platform) and Yellowfin (business intelligence and analytics platform) help businesses deploy data warehouses within days and connect people with their data in an easily understandable manner.

Data warehouses explained

If left as-is, data are normally scattered throughout various locations: ERPs (finance), CRMs, HRs (customers), spreadsheets, Google Analytics, social media and other cloud sources.

Data warehousing extracts data from the system, loads them into a centralized location and presents them in an analytics-optimized format. That is done by creating a single uniformly structured up-to-date source of data, presented in an integrated view.

A data warehouse consists of tables containing structured data that have been optimized for analytics and reporting. A data warehouse may be ordered in various forms.

The most common one is the so-called Kimball model, which comprises fact tables and summarized business events. These contain descriptive attributes, allowing for further customization. I.e., you may look for the top customers by revenue and the overall revenue trend at the same time.

A data warehouse may be used both as a visualization tool and as a guide to making successful business decisions. By listing relevant data in an easily understandable way, a warehouse allows for, e.g., data mining, cluster analysis, segmentation analysis, monitoring and managing organizational performance, and easy data sharing

Minerra’s data analysis software at a glance

Minerra’s data analysis software will help you design and deploy data warehouses in days and connect with your data with ease. We offer two platforms: one for data automation and the other for data analysis.

Ajilius is a data warehouse automation platform that provides rapid, regularly updated information delivery. It automates most of the ETL/ELT development tasks, reducing the risk of errors and optimising consistency. It also considerably shortens the delivery and change time of your data warehouse project to weeks, and in some cases, even less.

Yellowfin is one of the most sophisticated business analysis tools on the market. It provides rich visualization and effortless mobile data access.

The interactive dashboards are easy to analyse and share; the goal is to enable every decision maker in the company to make data-driven decisions with minimum time invested. Yellowfin integrates with Ajilius, making the decision-making process as straightforward as it can get.

Minerra also provides training, with various modules being available: Yellowfin for Busy Managers , Yellowfin Content Creation, Yellowfin View Creation and System Administration, Yellowfin Data Exploration and Analysis, and Fundamentals of Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making.

BI technology can help even the smallest of businesses to make it big considerably faster. Business consultancy is the first step to a long-term success.

Hence, Minerra’s value lies first in our customized approach and second in our software solutions. In order to utilize the data to generate best results in the shortest time possible, it is advisable to first get acquainted with the stratagems of BI and analytics systems implementation, and dashboard and report development.

Good business analysis tools generate results in days, not months

Good business analysis tools are certain to point your company towards achieving its strategic goals considerably faster.

Minerra knows there are as many approaches as there are companies. We offer smart solutions that are built upon your goals and strategic direction. Get your personalized BI technology just the way you want it.

Contact Minerra for product demonstration and consulting!

Want to learn more? We can help you start your analytics journey on the right foot and set you up for success.