BI analytics tools are the future of data management. With the market changing at a rapid pace, the task of keeping databases updated gets rather hectic. Businesses are struggling to keep the pace – manual ELT simply doesn’t seem to keep up.
It is a well-known fact that manual coding takes time, is expensive and is often late in delivering relevant results. Automated analytics tools are just the solution: they are fast, cost-effective and allow for regular updates in a matter of hours.
Choosing among BI solutions
BI solutions are not a new concept; they have been around for decades. However, with the market changing rapidly, they have been struggling to evolve as to meet the ever-expanding requests of businesses, both large and small. Various analytics approaches have emerged over the years, in an attempt to match the diverse ways businesses analyse data.
Broadly speaking, BI analytics tools fall into three categories: guided analysis and reporting tools, self-service BI and analysis tools, and advanced analytics tools.
Guided analysis and reporting tools
Guided analysis and reporting tools encompass traditional BI approaches that have been used by businesses for years. They deal with recurring analyses of target data, such as, i.e., comparison of marketing campaigns’ performance/KPIs.
Originally they generated static reports, but have now expanded to include various features, such as filtering, selection and visualisation. The key premise remains unchanged, however, guided analysis and reporting tools use predefined data sets and metrics. The usual styles of these tools include dashboards, scorecards, reports, integrated spreadsheet, BI search and performance management.
Self-service BI tools
Self-service BI tools are in high demand. They perform on-demand data analysis and are better at dealing with large data volumes than guided analysis and reporting tools. Innovative self-service BI tools are metadata driven, which steps us the analysis process and allows for timely updates.
Self-service BI tools either perform a one-time-only analysis or formulate recurring analyses to be shared across the board. As such, these tools are more often used by professional analysts (business, financial, etc.), who communicate the results with decision makers and analytics producers.
Unlike guided analysis and reporting tools that use predefined data sets and metrics, self-service BI tools allow for adding data and new metrics. The usual styles of these tools include ad-hoc analysis and reporting, data discovery, OLAP cubes and data visualisation.
Good examples of self-service BI tools are the Ajilius data warehouse automation tool and the Yellowfin BI and analytics platform. Whereas the first automates the ELT process, allowing for quick data warehouse changes, the latter analyses the data and displays the result in the form of report-ready interactive dashboards.
Both tools can be customised to suit customers’ specific needs. Minerra offers decision-focused versions of both and also delivers training on how to best utilise them.
Advanced analytics tools
Advanced analytics tools make use of predictive analytics, data mining, big data analytics and statistical modelling. They are used by data scientists to predict market trends, and require professional training.
Business intelligence and data warehousing tools
Business intelligence and data warehousing tools (when employed to their full potential) are the key to organisational success.
In order to choose optimum BI analytics tools, it is necessary to keep both front-end and back-end in mind. Some tools are web-based; others are deployed on on-premises servers and private clouds. E.g., IBM and Amazon host such services.
The decision on the analytics tool most often depends on accessibility, speed and shareability. Large organisations need to cope with massive data volumes where update speeds are of immense importance.
In those terms also, Ajilius and Yellowfin are good choices. These tools are cost-effective and fast. Yellowfin’s interactive dashboards are state of the art, and the platform integrates with all popular web connectors, such as Google Analytics.
Yellowfin generates dashboards and reports, with the data being accessible in real time. Most importantly, unlike the majority of other BI tools, Yellowfin explains business results on top of monitoring them.
The platform also features Assisted Insights, which provide you with only the answers you need. Simply ask Yellowfin the question, and it will show only the most relevant results. Yellowfin’s Insight Wizard is set in place to enable you to provide the context to the question. You can then choose the results you find most relevant and keep fine-tuning them.
Yellowfin provides seamless data point comparison, with the results being sorted by relevance. They are explained in a natural language and include summary- and detail-level explanations.
Yellowfin creates both static reports and storyboards. The latter can be edited with text, images and video, and are updated in real time.
Ajilius is an automated web-based data-automation tool. It is fast and cost-effective, with the automation taking no more than several hours (depending on data volumes).
Ajilius creates detailed data warehouses that feature table and column names, documentation and lineage.
Ajilius delivers on a number of DW platforms and cloud-based databases: SQL Server (Windows and Linux), PostgreSQL/EnterpriseDB, Exasol, AWS Redshift, Azure SQL, SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, MariaDB Column Store and Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse.
Ajilius integrates with Yellowfin and other popular visualisation tools. The integration process is what this Ajilius is famous for. Namely, it features a three-click migration between supported platforms (cloud-to-cloud warehousing included).
BI analytics training
Minerra offers BI analytics training on Ajilius and Yellowfin, as well as professional business consultancy. Learn how to always make data-driven decision and employ the world’s leading BI and analytics tools to generate best results. Learn all there is to know about best report and data visualisation principles and best practice dashboards.
Our training services are developed as to suit each client’s needs. We organise one-on-one mentoring, group training, structured learning and customised training. We are also available for conference seminars and presentations.