Laura Timms, Product Strategy Manager at MHR Analytics, said: “Most businesses are still relying on spreadsheets to store, analyse and report on their data. The latest findings from our Data Maturity Quiz show 39 percent of medium to large organisations remain in the early stages of data maturity scale, with their data still managed in Excel.”
“The most effective and most realistic data strategy for any business is to advance on the data journey one stage at a time, gradually meeting more and more business needs through data analytics,” she said. “We have summarised some of the best available tools to make the most out of your business intelligence if you’re just getting started with analytics.”
Microsoft Power BI
This transforms complex data into rich, easy to understand visualisations using a drag and drop canvas to communicate insights in a digestible way. Users can share and connect data, access data from supported on-premise and cloud-based sources, and create and share mobile-friendly reports on the go. The solution cuts preparation time and provides freedom to use data modelling tools. Moving forward, users can also unlock advanced analytics features like quick measures, grouping, forecasting and clustering, all with the familiarity of Excel.
IBM Cognos Analytics
IBM Cognos Analytics is a self-service platform, which means the average business user with little to no analytics experience can easily see business patterns, create compelling visualisations and answer big business questions. It can produce ‘data stories’ by combining charts with overlays and voiceovers, can quickly reveal hidden patterns and hard-to-find answers and relationships, and has a natural-language assistant.
SAP Analytics Cloud
Hosted in the cloud, this latest tool from SAP provides the ability to experience everything analytics has to offer, without the need for additional infrastructure or having to spend extra money on multiple solutions. It makes data easy to understand with powerful visualisations. SAP Analytics Cloud enables organisations to plan and forecast in advance and can utilise machine learning to automatically generate insights.
IBM Planning Analytics
Effective planning is crucial for any organisation, but there are widely varying levels. Relying on spreadsheets can lead to inaccuracies, making the task of using this data in a meaningful way a near-impossible task. A more sophisticated approach to planning bridges the move from simply reporting what has already happened in an organisation, to planning for the future. IBM Planning Analytics provides a single platform that aligns financial plans with wider objectives, operational tactics and market events. It automates plans, analyses and reports, freeing up time to focus on strategy, transforming the full planning cycle.
SAP Business Objects
Collaboration of data across organisations that are still stuck with spreadsheets may be few and far between, with teams using different methods to collect, analyse and store data – often termed “messy data.” To resolve this sporadic data issue and begin to truly understand why things happen the way they do in an organisation, it’s essential to adopt a centralised system. SAP Business Objects has a single platform for reporting and visualisation, supporting anything from a handful of individuals to tens of thousands of users, giving a holistic organisational view and ensuring a single version of the truth.
In his forthcoming MHR Analytics paper, Advancing with Analytics: Spreadsheets to AI, internationally acclaimed AI expert Bernard Marr says: “The data maturity journey is about taking manageable steps, rather than huge leaps. In this way, every business can advance with analytics – every business can move from spreadsheets to more exciting, cutting-edge analytics techniques. And when you partner with a provider, they take care of all the techy nuts and bolts, leaving you to concentrate on business issues.”
Organisations can find out where they are on the data journey and get tailored advice about how to progress by completing the data maturity quiz.