How to Better Utilize Data Mining for Business Intelligence

Data MiningWhen it comes to Business Intelligence, there are two types of users.

First, there are the power-users—data scientists with advanced computer and mathematics degrees who spend their days manipulating data.

Then, there is everyone else. The users that fall into the second category have a variety of skills when it comes to data mining for business intelligence. They run the gamut from the database-illiterate to those who have basic skills, all the way through advanced users.

Data mining is all about slicing and dicing data to make comparisons and spot trends. However, since the majority of users are not “data ninjas they are unable to get the information they need in a form that they can easily work with.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

The Data is There, But How Do You Access it?

The biggest challenge when it comes to data mining for Business Intelligence is access. Querying databases isn’t always easy, especially with legacy BI tools. Users know that the data they need exists, but they don’t know how to get to it. It’s stuck in a database that they do not have permission to access or they do have access, but they don’t know how to run a report without soliciting the help of a developer.

This lack of access slows operations. If a user needs to take action quickly to identify a problem, it’s simply impossible with legacy tools in place. Requesting data from a developer takes time, and unless a request comes directly from the CEO, it is highly unlikely to see instant turnaround. Developers are busy, and they’ve likely got a list a mile long of reports and queries they must run for others in the organization. By the time a user gets the data they requested, it is often too late to take meaningful action.

The Ability to Use Data

When users have to rely on a variety of databases and developers to access mission-critical data, timing is not the only concern. Without a centralized tool, data mining for business intelligence can become an exercise in navigating useless information. The average user doesn’t necessarily know which database they need to pull from in order to get the most up-to-date and accurate data. People stick with processes they are comfortable with.

Therefore, when they have the ability to query a database, they may find themselves relying on the tool that is easiest to use, even if that particular database does not contain the precise data they need.

Those users likely don’t know the full implications of pulling from the wrong source, or they may not even be aware that they are pulling from the wrong source. However, the end result will be the same: actions will be taken and decisions will be made based on incomplete or inappropriate data sets.

Controlling Security

There are security concerns to consider when it comes to how a user data mines for business intelligence. Let’s say, for example, that a user puts together a product sales report that includes product names, SKUs, pricing, total unit sales, and revenue. With legacy BI tools in place, sharing that report can become difficult. The user may want to share everything except revenue with another department, but they can find it impossible to eliminate that information without requesting or creating an entirely new report. Older tools limit information sharing because the user is rendered virtually powerless to control secure information flow.

How Can You Better Use Data Mining for Business Intelligence?

Legacy BI solutions limit users’ power to access critical information and manipulate it in meaningful ways. In order to give users what they need, when they need it, new BI solutions must be considered. When evaluating a potential new tool for data mining, decision-makers should consider:

  • Ad Hoc Query Building
    Does the tool give the average user the ability to see what they are interested in from an easy-to-use dashboard? Tools that require developer-level database querying will slow down operations. Choose a tool that not only gives users fast access to their data but allows them to quickly and easily refine that data to quickly find answers to their questions and take action.
  • Access to the Proper databases
    Will the tool be able to pull in information from the databases you use? Tools that are not compatible with your existing databases will not give a complete picture and will force users to continue to rely on developers for information.
  • The ability to Export
    There will be times when data will need to be exported from the BI tool to Microsoft Excel, a statistical tool, or another tool. A new solution should give users the ability to manipulate data quickly through drag-and-drop interfaces, but it should also give them the option to export that data when necessary.
  • Collaboration Tools
    Microsoft Excel worksheets are often the go-to tool for users who want to share information. But collaborating efficiently in Excel is nearly impossible. When evaluating new BI tools, look for sharing capabilities. When users can generate reports and instantly share them and collaborate, it can speed up decision-making and action.
  • Security
    Choose a tool that has strong security features in place that will eliminate the fear of a user accidentally accessing sensitive information.

If you are looking for a better way to data mine for business intelligence, Yurbi, a BI tool developed by 5000fish can provide your organization with security, end-user access, data discovery, and data sharing on the go. Users have the information that they need right at their fingertips, and they can easily manipulate it through drag-and-drop tools to help them spot trends and find answers to questions – or further refine their questions to zone in on the answers they seek. Users can share reports instantly, and collaborate without altering the report or seeing sensitive information.

If you’d like to learn more about ways you can improve your data mining for BI, request a demo today.

Click here to download “10 Signs You Need A New BI Solution”

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