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Business intelligence or “BI” is about collecting information, analyzing that information, and then making better business decisions based on that information. BI can give you the hard evidence you need in making decisions. It can also help your staff profile customers, identify trends, find successful cross-selling and up-selling strategies, and create both high level summaries and detailed operational and financial reports based on information collected from across your entire organization.

No. Big Data is really, really big. It’s the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data – for example, every tweet everyone has ever made about your industry plus every related Wikipedia page and blog post and news article and more – and it’s great at helping you see what’s going on in the world related to your industry. But it’s big and formless and not really directed in a particular area, and it can’t answer specific questions about your business. Business Intelligence is a more structured approach to helping you answer specific questions related to your business, not someone else’s opinion of the state of your industry in general. It’s about taking all the information your organization is collecting about itself and using it to discover insights that can drive decisions and deliver greater growth.

SaaS stands for “Software as a Service” and essentially it is computer software that you subscribe to rather than buying outright. It sounds crazy, only buying software for a limited period of time, but when you really look at the ramifications, it makes a huge amount of sense for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Traditionally, you purchase a software license to a particular version of software, install it on your computer, and use it. If you have a staff of 100, you purchase 100 licenses. And then, when a newer version of the software is released, you purchase it all over again.

With SaaS, you purchase a subscription to the software that lets you use it for as many months and for as many users as you purchased. Any time the software is upgraded, you automatically start using the newest version.

If you need more licenses, you change your subscription level upwards. And if you need fewer, then you simply change your subscription level downwards, saving you money you wouldn’t be able to get back had you purchased the software outright.

By subscribing to software instead of purchasing it, you save money by buying only what you need, when you need it, and never having to worry about expensive upgrades.

And speaking of money, SaaS is not only affordable and flexible, it counts as a monthly budgetary expense, not as a capital investment.

The Customer Administrator is the primary account holder. They create the organization, manage the organization’s simpleBI subscription, and control who has access to the organization’s BI information and what type of access they have.

simpleBI offers multiple account types to accommodate a wide variety of usage needs.

Users are the most basic of simpleBI users. They can create projects, manage data files, and access all of simpleBI’s basic reporting and notification capabilities using an intuitive wizard-driven system and predefined reports.

Analysts can create reports on an as-needed basis. They can also create reports for the Users in their organization.

A dashboard is a high-level view of selected performance indicators presented in a graphical format. Think of it as an all-in-one continual monitoring display of your most important KPIs and performance-driving metrics. Dashboards are made up of widgets (charts and tables) drawn from different data sources.

A project is a data mart. It contains all the information files relating to a specific type of business question you may have. Suppose you own a store and need to track inventory levels. You also need to track sales data. You would create a project for inventory and another project for sales and upload the relevant files to each project.

simpleBI supports a number of different formats for data files. You can upload Microsoft Excel (.xls), Microsoft Access (.accdb), or comma-separated text files (.csv and .txt).

If you already have a database that you want to connect to instead of the above-listed file types, you can get in touch with us by email or by phone 888.502.0399, and we can help you work out the details.

By default, the individual who first registers an organization is assigned the Customer Administrator role for that organization.

To create a project, log in to simpleBI and on the menu ribbon, click Projects. Click New Project, then type a name for your project and click Save.

You can create an unlimited number of projects.

A dashboard is a high-level view of selected performance indicators presented in a graphical format. Think of it as an all-in-one continual monitoring display of your most important KPIs and performance-driving metrics. Dashboards are made up of widgets (charts and tables) drawn from different data sources.

Every time you run a dashboard, it accesses the most current data you’ve uploaded to the cloud.

You can reassign the Customer Administrator account to someone else; however, you should be aware that when you submit another user to replace you as administrator of your organization, you will be locked out from all administrative functions.

All subscriptions come with a 2GB space limit. That means you can upload and store 2GB worth of information in the simpleBI database.

Any amount of additional space can be purchased – simply get in touch with us @ to request more.

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