In John Hiraoka’s latest Epicor blog post, he talks about the criticality of ensuring effectiveness as opposed to efficiency. Effectiveness goes beyond optimal execution of business processes; it’s about ensuring that the right processes are in place to create optimal business outcomes.
When it comes to ensuring effectiveness, there is no more powerful tool than Business Intelligence (BI) to add scientific weight to the balanced assumptions we make about the right processes. This is why, in part, you’re seeing organizations waking up to the benefits of BI and adopting enterprise wide BI strategies. For years, I have stated that “BI is no longer a nice to have but is now a mandatory and essential tool for business.” But the reality is that the need to extract business insights from the mounds of (growing) data that surround businesses every day has never been more important.
In July, Epicor’s Scott Hays wrote a blog series about post-recession business strategy and, among other things, about the need for “ruthless focus” on key performance indicators – the top metrics used to measure your company’s success – so especially critical now that companies have emerged post-recession more pared down from a resource perspective than ever before, and yet with the need to “make the rain” more than ever before.
These trends have led business application vendors, including Epicor, to move away from complex BI tools that sit apart from core business applications and instead begin to embed BI functionality deep into applications so they become more contextually relevant at the “point of process.” And yet Epicor aims to enable our customers to do even more with BI.
Last month at our Perspectives user conference, we unveiled our Smarter Business Intelligence Initiative. One tenet of Smarter BI is the democratization of business intelligence. BI is now for everyone – providing powerful plug and play tools to enable end users to easily define access and act on the information they need, wherever and whenever they need it.
Another aspect of Smarter BI is that it is delivered in context and in a role-based fashion. Smarter BI combines both historical data and live transactional information to deliver, literally, the “latest and greatest” insight to the right users in the context of business processes – right at the moment it’s needed most to improve decision making.
And since Epicor enables users to access and leverage information from anywhere, our BI tools and dashboards can be mashed up with more advanced analytics to create powerful composite applications on the Web, within Microsoft SharePoint or on mobile devices – securely and easily.
The most exciting concept embodied in our Epicor Smarter BI initiative is what we call enforcement of “analytic integrity” – giving business users access to actionable forward looking analytics and key performance indicators, so everyone companywide can understand what's important to the company, how the company is tracking, and where their work fits in to the big picture. By tying these strategic company objectives and goals back into day to day processes, users can see what the longer term results of their decisions can or will have on the business.
This final capability is yet to be delivered as a packaged function but the framework is in place through Epicor’s existing enterprise performance management (EPM), business process management (BPM), and business activity query (BAQ) suites, which when brought together enable a smarter approach to BI.
Posted by James Norwood, SVP, Worldwide Product Marketing, Epicor