Agility is commonly defined as the ability to be quick and nimble. When it comes to business intelligence (BI), agility means giving business users the ability to quickly and easily access data and generate reports on the fly on their own AND without waiting on IT. It means putting self-service BI tools into the hands of business users, allowing them to get immediate answers to their questions and respond more quickly to business change in real time.
A recent Deep Dive Report “Top Performers Embrace Simplicity to Improve Business Intelligence” produced by market research firm Gleanster features Informer Partner Hitech Systems as an example of an organization reaping the benefits of Agile BI.
Hitech Systems develops emergency response software that helps public safety organizations, including law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and EMS agencies, integrate their data operations. Dispatchers at 911 centers use the software. So do police officers in patrol cars. Hitech also handles records management for these organizations. Clients include Mexico City, which ranks as the second largest metropolitan area in the world.
Reporting flexibility is a key success factor. “It’s all about stats and numbers,” says Joe Riquelme, who serves as a sales engineer. “We pack our software with hundreds of reports, because public safety officials have to report to everybody, including the government. We’ve integrated hundreds of predefined reports.”
Even so, every public safety organization has unique reporting needs. “We could never develop every single report that everyone wants,” says Riquelme. “Different chiefs and sheriffs have different agendas and different information needs. We can’t develop a million custom reports.”
Two years ago, Hitech Systems integrated a leading Agile BI solution, Informer, into its software, giving users the ability to easily develop custom reports on their own. “With a very intuitive interface, users can now easily create reports in their own environment,” says Riquelme. “Most public safety officials are doing ten jobs. They don’t have the time to learn complex tools.”
To achieve real performance improvement, it has to be easy to not only create reports but also to dissemination the reports to the right decision makers within the organization. “Reports are worthless if you can’t get them out to people that need to see them,” says Riquelme, who uses built-in tools to disseminate the reports via email and other vehicles, in multiple formats.
With law enforcement and public safety, in general, dashboards can literally save lives. The dashboards can provide tactical information that guides medical response, police rescue and other emergency operations. “They give you the ability to visually see the information and make decisive judgments,” says Riquelme. “You can see what types of calls for service are coming in, in what areas, what are the priorities. The information is fresh so you can respond to what’s going on now.”
Another advantage is the ability within the dashboard to embed other mission-critical information. “A lot of the value is in consolidating the work environment, instead of going from screen to screen,” says Riquelme. “You can do queries within that same webpage. The user doesn’t even have to leave the dashboard screen to search on new data.”
For a copy of Gleanster’s Deep Dive Report that examines some of the trade-offs and benefits between traditional BI and agile BI solutions based on the experiences of hundreds of companies, visit http://entrinsik.com/informer-gleanster-agilebi. The report also features additional examples of organizations in other industries that have achieved success using Entrinsik Informer.