Things to Consider when Evaluating Business Intelligence for Your ERP System

Many companies these days are planning to enhance their ERP system’s native reporting capabilities with additional Business Intelligence (BI) tools. Here are some things to consider for this evaluation process:

  1. The role of IT vs the BUSINESS USERS when it comes to enabling users to create reports:
    • Importance of user-friendly BI tools where IT does NOT have to design reports for the business users because the BI tools are USER FRIENDLY so business users can make their own reports
  2. The role of standard reports versus ad-hoc (quick drag and drop design) reporting capabilities in order to maximize quick access to ERP data and thus improve decision-making and pervasive BI.
  3. How less is more when it comes to the number of reporting tools that users need to access in order to pull financial reports, sub-ledger reports and ad-hoc reports from their ERP system:
    • The more report writers/tools that are required, the slower response time business users will have to take care of business questions and the more costly it is to manage all the BI tools and related training.
  4. The role (and importance) of LIVE reporting on the ERP database versus use of OLAP cubes or data warehouses on top of the ERP database:
    • Advantage of LIVE reporting is instant answer to business questions based on real time data and access (with good BI tools) to all fields in the ERP database
    • Advantage of data warehouse is often FASTER reporting, less stress on the ERP server, and ability to COMBINE ERP data with other data sources (= more KPIs, etc. now available).