The first comprehensive business intelligence systems were developed by IBM and Siebel in the period between 1970 and 1990. Concurrently, there were small developer teams that had established themselves with inventive concepts, which resulted in the development of a variety of products, many of which remain in use today.
The year 1988 was a great leap forward, as specialists and vendors organized a multiway data analysis consortium in Rome, where they considered options that would allow for data management and analytics to be carried out more efficiently, resulting in the products primarily becoming available to smaller and financially restricted businesses.
By the year 2000, there were a multitude of professional reporting systems and analytic programs, some of which were owned by top performing software producers in the U.S. Business intelligence software producers became interested in producing universally applicable BI systems which don’t require expensive installation, and could hence be considered by smaller and midmarket businesses which could not afford on premise maintenance. These aspirations emerged in parallel with the cloud hosting trend, which is how most vendors came to develop independent systems with unrestricted access to information.
From 2006 onwards, the positive effects of cloud-stored information and data management transformed itself to a completely mobile centered one, mostly to the benefit of decentralized and remote teams looking to tweak data or gain full visibility over it out of office. As a response to the large success of fully optimized uni-browser versions, vendors have recently begun releasing mobile-specific product applications for both Android and iOS users. Cloud-hosted data analytics made it possible for companies to categorize and process large volumes of data, which is how we can currently speak of unlimited visualization, and intelligent decision making.
This has dramatically affected the role of business finance, and in particular, the role of the CFO, which has rapidly evolved with the rise of the digital enterprise. Traditionally, the financial function was charged with protecting enterprise assets by maintaining accurate books and guarding against financial risk. Now, that role has expanded to include providing insight and direction for decision-making across the company’s functional and market-facing areas, as well as becoming an increasingly key player in shaping corporate strategy.
Effective software reporting tools provide a versatile approach to organizing data – allowing users to extract and present information in charts, tables, and other visualizations. While the main purpose of software reporting tools are to translate data into actionable information; reporting should fit within an organizations strategic business goals in order to be useful. There are also many use cases for reporting tools, from managing performance data to allowing customers, to leverage reporting of their own information.
In the context of business information, reporting is functionally critical to the early stages of corporate analysis; and as such, plays the important role of visualizing and communicating data. It does so by utilizing a number of different components from charts, graphs, tables, and other widgets. A report can be made up of one or many of these components. These representations may be used in different ways, but they are all beneficial for the purpose of presenting information in an accurate and usable manner.
Reports can also vary in their interactivity. While static reports cannot be changed by the end users; interactive reports provide navigation through various hierarchies and visualization elements; sorting, filtering and viewing data at the click of a button. This ability to access data in an adaptable, real-time format is extremely powerful for business development.
Reporting is commonly an early step in data processing that achieves the goal of delivering interactive, actionable information. All of these features provide further exploration of data for the most accurate insights. Actionable information empowers users with the knowledge to make critical business decisions.
A comprehensive software reporting solution is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Everyone has experienced buyer’s remorse at one time or another. Maybe you return the item, and maybe you pay a restocking fee, but there’s no real harm done. However, when you’re a small or midsize business (SMB), it’s not as simple to get out from under a bad project management (PM) software investment. In fact, impulse buying or getting sold on unnecessary features without proper evaluation often lead to a failed implementation - an investment that most small businesses can’t afford to waste.
We’re sharing several tips for selecting a Program Management software system to give you the best chance for success.
Follow an Outcome-Driven Approach. When considering a new program management tool, keep in mind that selection is relative and depends entirely on usage. A solution that worked for a different company, or even a different department, may not fit with your team’s workflows. So, it’s important to conduct team-specific evaluations each time you consider adopting a new tool.
Define desired outcome. Identifying the specific problem you are trying to solve helps determine what the tool is being asked to deliver. When you know what the expected results should be, you are in a better position to choose a tool that is capable of delivering those results.
Perform stakeholder analysis. Identify your key stakeholders (those who will actually be using the tool). Focus on their requirements with the goal of creating a list of “must-have” versus “nice-to-have” capabilities. Prioritizing these needs helps ensure that you are fitting the new tool to existing workflows.
Determine key capabilities. Once you know your requirements, you can narrow down your list of must-have capabilities. Focus on the items that drive the most value and help you accomplish the objectives you’re working toward.
Following these simple suggestions will help you determine the appropriate system for your needs.
A comprehensive Project and Cost Tracking solution is one of the most important investments your business could make. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
BERMUDA TRIPLE CHALLENGE
Spud’s own Jeremy Smith undertook an amazing personal journey recently. He decided to spend a long weekend vacation and push his mental and physical endurance to the limits by competing in the Bermuda Triple Challenge. The BTC is part of the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship competition, the only independent global competition for the sport of OCR. The Bermuda Triple Challenge is a quite unique weekend competition, with an obstacle course unlike any other race. Competitors experience the beauty of the Atlantic island over three days undertaking three separate challenges.
First was Race 1 in the historic town of St. George. Settled in 1612, this was Bermuda’s capital for over 200 years and contains some of the island’s oldest buildings and forts, including St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Protestant church in the New World. This Argus Urban Foot Race began in this area at dusk as participants navigated throughout the town’s streets, tackling urban inspired obstacles and Crossfit workouts along the route. This 3K challenge required speed and agility as competitors’ raced through 27 different obstacles. Not an easy race by any means, and an exciting start to an amazing weekend.
The second day hosted the Sun Life Island Challenge along Bermuda’s sough shore beaches. Bathed in pink sand, this picturesque area delivered what Bermuda is so well known for; limestone bluffs, spectacular coves, natural trails and deep aqua blue waters. This 5K course began in the morning with military style obstacles overlooking the southern shore. Trudging up and along the sand dunes while carrying bags of weight and crawling beneath barb wire are just a few of this leg of the competitions challenges. As if this wasn’t already a marathon of mind and body, some competitors even completed the circuit for a second time.
The third and final day also began in the morning and set the racers along the Royal Navy Dockyards. This area was the principal base of the British Royal Navy in the western Atlantic following the American Revolution right up to the end of the Cold War. The 5K challenge in this setting included grueling obstacles such as climbing netting strung along the wharf to swimming from channel to channel in an all-out physical assault of the dockyards. Possibly the most challenging of the three events, this included log carries, spear throws and Tarzan swings with a breathtaking trek along a zip line!
Our wayward traveler, Jeremy completed this entire trek fairly unscathed. Merely a little bit of scrapes and small contusions and a bit of sunburn, but truly an adventure filled with beauty and heart. This was a unique challenge that Jeremy can look back upon with pride and accomplishment.
WELCOME TO SPUD
We are excited to welcome three new faces to Spud Software - Alex Latunski, Zack Garza and Kyle Gibbs. These young developers are an exciting acquisition and offer a unique dimension to our culture. They represent a bold new step to our future as we look to impact our community by adding the very best talent to our team. The Spud experience is both unique and distinct and they are sure to experience many new accomplishments. Let's get to know our newest members and see how they contribute to Spud.
Alex Latunski joins Spud from Morrice after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Science. While there, he participated in research on image recognition and autonomous drone movements, as well as working as a student technician for the IT Department. Spud is his first full-time position following graduation and between his new responsibilities here as a developer, he enjoys the comforts of a good read and the challenge of board game competitions.
Zach Garza carries along a fascinating element to Spud Software with his design background. A local from Grand Blanc, Zack graduated from Kendall College of Art and design following his major field of study in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. Throughout his academic career, Zach spent time honing his skills in photography and merchandising while freelancing in graphic design projects. He also maintains an active fitness lifestyle and studies film, with a deep appreciation for Japan's Toho Studios and their contributions to the motion picture industry.
Kyle Gibbs hails from Lapeer, Michigan and is currently finishing his Degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Spud is his first position in software development, although he has worked steadily in the retail environment focusing on customer relationships. He maintains that his true passion is developing gaming applications and spends much of his spare time studying design practices and developing his own programs.
Each of these gentlemen bring a fresh perspective to Spud Software and we welcome them to our team. We would also also like to thank everyone for their support in getting the word out about Spud's hiring efforts. Spud is continuing to look for new additions to the team in Sales, Development, and Administration to be a part of our growing company. Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, please visit our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to firstname.lastname@example.org.