Data & Analytics

Standardized or Individual BI Solution - or Both?

Alfred Grünert

There’s no doubt that starting to use business intelligence solutions is not only the right step but is also a necessary step in order to get ahead of the competition. What’s frequently discussed in this regard is whether the people in charge should use a turnkey BI solution in the cloud in order to get started as quickly as possible, or whether they should rather opt for an individual solution that is tailored to their specific requirements. But why not benefit from the advantages of both options?

Bringing reporting to a new level

BI-systems help you evaluate large amounts of data and thus provide you with an overview thanks to standardized key figures. These key figures are calculated by means of data models. What can be achieved with a BI solution thus heavily depends on the data model. By defining the structure of key indicators, entities, attributes, and logic, it determines what can be analyzed and how this is done. In some areas, the structures are very similar - for example when it comes to EBIT evaluations. By means of pre-defined, standardized analytical models, key figures as well as monthly or annual financial statements can be calculated and obtained without the user having to deal with the data and the sources of data themselves.  To gain competitive advantages, Individual calculations can for example help when it comes to the development of special business models such as marketplace models or curated shopping, or special processes such as various logistics models.  Indeed, a good, established piece of BI software covers large parts of all the different areas of the business. What isn’t already covered can be incorporated in the form of individual or general extensions to the data model.

Benefiting from the experiences of other users

A BI solution provides the best results if standardized and individual processes are intelligently combined. In this regard, a standardized best-practice solution guarantees a quick start and good results as well as immediate business benefits. The necessary trust in this pragmatic solution can be ensured given that the users benefit from the experiences gained in numerous projects in which these exact standard solutions are used. This is also possible because the technical core is identical for all users - no matter whether there are 500 or 15,000 of them. All these companies improve their controlling, logistics or sales with the same key figures and methods and on the same legal basis.

Getting started quickly and customizing step by step

Once the basic BI structure has been established, individual applications will, in the next phase, help you differentiate yourself from the competitors. On the technical and organizational basis of the standard product, those responsible for digitalization can quickly develop new ideas to come up with all the evaluations and algorithms that allow you to tailor business intelligence solutions to your ERP systems. You’ll be far ahead of the competition, as you are using processes and analyses that your competitors don’t make use of or might not even know. To get started, users and those in charge of digitalization can try out the BI systems in the cloud and will get the first results within just a few hours.


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Alfred Grünert
General Manager Data & Analytics