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Business Intelligence vs. Traditional Reporting: Understanding the Difference 

In recent years, Business Intelligence (BI) has emerged as a superior alternative to traditional reporting methods for data-driven decision-making. Here are the reasons why BI outshines traditional reporting: 

1. Real-Time Insights 

Traditional Reporting: Delivers historical data on a fixed schedule, hindering timely decision-making. 

BI: Offers real-time access to dynamic data, empowering organizations to respond promptly to changing circumstances. 

2. Interactivity and Self-Service 

Traditional Reporting: Provides static reports with limited user interaction. 

BI: Empowers users to create customized dashboards, explore data, and generate Ad-hoc reports without IT intervention. 

3. Data Integration 

Traditional Reporting: Often maintains data silos, limiting the holistic view of an organization. 

BI: Integrates data from various sources, breaking down silos and providing a comprehensive understanding of performance. 

4. Predictive Analytics 

Traditional Reporting: Primarily focuses on historical data, making it challenging to incorporate predictive analytics. 

BI: Incorporates predictive capabilities, enabling organizations to forecast trends, identify opportunities, and mitigate risks. 

5. Cost Efficiency 

Traditional Reporting: Involves manual data entry, formatting, and slower processes, increasing costs. 

BI: Automates data collection, analysis, and reporting, reducing time and expenses. 

In today’s fast-paced business world, Business Intelligence stands as the best reporting choice, offering real-time insights, user empowerment, data integration, predictive capabilities, and cost efficiency. By embracing BI, organizations position themselves to thrive in the data-driven age, making informed decisions that drive success and competitive advantage. 

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Enhancing Administrative Efficiency Through Data Visualization and Business Intelligence Tools in Higher Education

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, administrative tasks play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth functioning of institutions. From admissions and student records management to financial planning and resource allocation, administrative duties are integral to delivering a quality educational experience. However, the increasing complexity of these tasks can often lead to inefficiencies and resource drain.

In this blog, we’ll explore how data visualization and business intelligence (BI) tools are reshaping the way administrative tasks are managed in higher education, resulting in increased efficiency and improved outcomes.

The Administrative Challenges in Higher Education

Administrative tasks in higher education institutions encompass a multitude of responsibilities, ranging from student enrollment and academic scheduling to budgeting and alumni relations. These tasks often involve vast amounts of data spread across various systems and departments, making them prone to errors, duplication, and time-consuming manual processes. Additionally, the need for accurate reporting and informed decision-making adds an extra layer of complexity to administrative workflows.

Data Visualization: Illuminating Insights

Data visualization tools serve as a beacon of clarity amid the complexity of administrative tasks. By translating intricate data sets into visual representations, these tools empower administrators to uncover trends, patterns, and correlations that might otherwise go unnoticed. This is particularly crucial in the higher education landscape, where insights derived from data can drive academic and operational improvements.

Imagine a dashboard that visualizes student enrollment trends, allowing administrators to identify peak admission periods and allocate resources accordingly. Data visualization tools enable stakeholders to interact with data, enabling quick and informed decisions. Whether it’s evaluating course performance, tracking student retention rates, or analyzing faculty workloads, data visualization simplifies data interpretation and supports evidence-based decision-making.

Business Intelligence Tools: Empowering Strategic Decisions

Business intelligence tools are a game-changer in the realm of administrative efficiency. These tools consolidate data from multiple sources, providing a holistic view of an institution’s operations. From financial data to academic performance metrics, BI tools offer a centralized platform for administrators to gain actionable insights.

In the context of higher education, BI tools enable administrators to streamline administrative tasks such as budget planning, enrollment projections, and alumni engagement. Automated data collection and reporting reduce manual effort, minimizing errors and freeing up valuable time. For example, generating comprehensive financial reports or analyzing faculty workload distribution becomes more efficient, allowing administrators to allocate resources strategically.

The Synergy: Data Visualization and BI Tools in Harmony

The integration of data visualization and BI tools in higher education yields transformative benefits.

  • Holistic Insights: Data visualization makes it easier to understand complex data, while BI tools provide a comprehensive view of operations, leading to well-informed decisions.
  • Customized Reporting: BI tools enable administrators to generate tailored reports, and data visualization tools enhance their impact by presenting insights visually.
  • Operational Efficiency: Automation through BI tools reduces manual data entry and manipulation, allowing administrators to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Performance Tracking: Both tools enable proactive monitoring of student success, faculty performance, and institutional progress, contributing to continuous improvement.

As the higher education landscape evolves, administrative efficiency becomes increasingly vital for institutions striving to excel in academic and operational excellence. The synergy between data visualization and business intelligence tools offers a transformative solution to streamline administrative tasks, optimize resource allocation, and elevate decision-making processes. By embracing these technologies, higher education institutions can usher in an era of enhanced efficiency, enabling them to focus more on their core mission of imparting knowledge and shaping future leaders.

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How Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Software is Revolutionizing Insurance Agencies 

In the current digital era, the insurance sector is rapidly adapting to modern technology and customer expectations. One of the greatest innovations of recent years has been the utilization of business intelligence and data analytics software by insurance agencies. This technology has completely changed how insurance agencies work, granting them the ability to glean invaluable insight from their data and make sounder decisions. 

Business intelligence relates to the processes and methods used to compile, analyze, and display data to aid in decision-making. On the other hand, data analytics refers to deciphering relevant information from raw data to uncover patterns, correlations, and trends. When both are combined, insurance agencies are provided with an impressive set of tools to advance their business, amplify their earnings, and elevate customer satisfaction. 

The most beneficial aspect of business intelligence and data analytics software for insurance agencies is the capability to acquire a better knowledge of their clientele. Through examining customer data, agencies can spot trends and behaviors, enabling them to personalize their products and services to suit the distinct requirements of their target audience. For instance, data analytics can grant insights into customer inclinations, allowing insurance agencies to provide individualized recommendations and custom-made advertising campaigns. This heightens the overall customer experience and enhances customer loyalty and pleasure. 

Business intelligence and data analytics software enable insurance agencies to better their risk assessment and underwriting processes. By examining historical data and distinguishing risk indicators, agencies can accurately measure the risks associated with insuring a particular person or company. This helps insurers to make wise decisions and minimizes the likelihood of fraudulent claims, thus optimizing profitability. 

Apart from customer insight, risk assessment, and claims management, business intelligence and data analytics software also grant insurance agencies an in-depth comprehension of their operations. By analyzing internal data, such as sales, marketing, and operational metrics, agencies can pinpoint areas that need improvement and develop tactics to enhance efficiency and profitability. These technologies also enable agencies to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and determine the effects of their decisions and strategies promptly. Click here to view a sample Agency Insurance dashboard created by Informer

In a nutshell, the adoption of business intelligence and data analytics software has drastically revolutionized the insurance sector. From gaining insight into customer tendencies to improving risk assessment and claims management processes, these technologies give insurance agencies the tools they need to excel in today’s cutthroat market. As technology keeps progressing, insurance agencies must embrace these developments to remain ahead of the game and keep delivering unparalleled value to their customers. If you want to learn more about how our Informer BI tool can help your agency visualize your AMS and other data, please click here to schedule a meeting. 

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Trends in the Title Insurance Agency from TLTA 2023: Embracing Technology and Streamlining Processes 

In today’s rapidly evolving real estate landscape, the title insurance industry is experiencing significant transformations. The TLTA 2023 conference held in San Antonio, Texas provided great insights into current trends. Traditionally known for its meticulous and time-consuming processes, the title industry is now embracing technology-driven solutions to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and customer experience. Here are some notable trends shaping the title insurance industry right now: 

  • Digitalization and Automation: The advent of digital platforms and advanced automation tools has revolutionized the way title insurance companies operate. Paper-based processes are being replaced by streamlined digital workflows, allowing for faster document processing, improved data accuracy, and reduced manual errors. Digital platforms also facilitate seamless collaboration between all parties involved in a real estate transaction, enhancing transparency and communication. 
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms are being employed to analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. These technologies help identify potential risks and discrepancies in property records, improving underwriting processes. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are also being utilized to provide real-time customer support, answer queries, and assist with policy-related inquiries. 
  • Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: With the digitization of sensitive information, cybersecurity, and data privacy have become paramount concerns for the title insurance industry. Companies are investing in robust cybersecurity measures to protect customer data, prevent data breaches, and ensure compliance with privacy regulations. Encryption, secure data storage, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits are some of the practices being adopted to safeguard sensitive information. 
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Customer-centricity is a growing focus in the title insurance industry. Companies are leveraging technology to offer user-friendly online portals and mobile applications, enabling clients to access their policy information, request services, and track progress conveniently. Automated notifications and updates throughout the title process keep clients informed, enhancing overall satisfaction.

The title insurance industry is embracing technology-driven advancements to streamline processes, enhance security, and improve customer experience. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to see how these trends further transform the way title insurance is provided and experienced by stakeholders in the real estate ecosystem. 

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5 Top Key Performance Indicators for Title Insurance Agents to Measure 

Title insurance agents play a crucial role in the real estate industry by ensuring that property titles are clear and free from any legal encumbrances or defects. As professionals in this field, it is essential for title insurance agents to measure their performance and track key indicators that can help them optimize their processes, enhance customer service, and drive business growth. In this blog post, we will explore some key performance indicators (KPIs) that title insurance agents should consider tracking to stay ahead in the industry. 

  1. Policy Issuance Rate by Underwriter: This measures the number of policies issued by the agent within a specific period. Tracking this KPI helps agents evaluate their efficiency in processing policies and provides insights into overall business performance. 
  1. Turnaround Time: This is the time it takes from the point of receiving a title order to issuing the policy. By optimizing this KPI, agents can ensure timely delivery of policies, thereby improving customer experience and fostering positive relationships with clients. 
  1. Revenue Tracking: This financial KPI identifies where monies are applied from each closing and tallied for any period by using accounting codes. With this data, agents can proactively see how money is being made to ensure the long-term profitability of their business. 
  1. Productivity: This can be measured by the number of policies processed per agent or the time taken to complete specific tasks. Knowing productivity levels can help agents identify bottlenecks, streamline processes, and allocate resources effectively, resulting in reduced costs. 
  1. Client Order Counts: Monitoring order counts is essential to understanding patterns and measuring agency growth and decline over time. By tracking order counts, agents can assess their competitive advantage, identify market trends, and make informed business decisions to expand their customer base. 

In conclusion, tracking key performance indicators is vital for title insurance agents to measure their performance, enhance customer service, and drive business growth. By monitoring metrics, agents can gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to improve their operations and maintain a competitive edge in the title insurance industry. 

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Why Informer 5 is Better Than Excel

Gain greater insights from your data – quickly and easily

Do you need to:

  • Pull together data from different systems or spreadsheets for consolidated reporting?
  • Cleanse and curate that data to produce department-specific reports and visuals based on one version of the truth?
  • Produce operational reports based on real-time data that users can interact with on their own and easily collaborate with others across the organization?

This is not easy with Excel because:

  • Data from other systems is not updated automatically within Excel. As a result, significant administrative effort is required to pull together disparate but related information. It’s also not uncommon for different teams to produce different answers to the same question due to the lack of a single source of truth and weak data governance.
  • Excel does not provide for convenient collaboration across teams in different departments. You could spend many hours distributing dozens of Excel spreadsheets to different groups.
  • You’re limited in the amount of data you can pull into a single Excel document.

Excel often takes a lot of time and effort to combine different data points or files within spreadsheets to build reports. It can take multiple days to complete each report. Fortunately, that approach is no longer necessary because with Informer, Entrinsik’s data analytics and BI platform, you can have one large curated Dataset where you can easily slice and dice the data and quickly create visuals for more comprehensive analysis.

Informer customers, who previously used Excel’s pivot tables, are also amazed with Informer 5’s ease of pivoting on data, its speed, and the ability to explore data in almost limitless ways.

Informer 5 is a much better alternative

Imagine having real-time operational information from multiple sources of data on one screen.

Regardless of one’s technical ability, Informer 5 makes it easy to explore data and create ad-hoc reports and dashboards.

Informer 5 radically simplifies the process of accessing, cleansing, blending, and analyzing disparate data by providing a single platform to create a cohesive, curated, governed data hub for self-service reporting across your organization. You can pull data from over a dozen data sources including, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server®, Oracle®, IBM DB2®, MySQL, Informix®, UniData, FileMaker®, etc., and large spreadsheets, and consolidate them within Informer’s data hub. And, because you’re starting from a common baseline of curated data – a Dataset within Informer – self-service reporting errors are minimized.

Informer as a data cleansing and error-checking tool

To eliminate rows containing incorrect information, some people need to take the data that resides within their reporting tool and transfer it into Excel for cleansing. However, there is a much better way! One of the common uses of Informer is to find bad data in a database and clean it up.

Informer can also be used as an error-checking tool where abnormalities in data patterns can be spotted. This opens the opportunity for more investigative questions to be asked.

Analysis and reporting made easy with Informer 5

Informer Dashboards make it convenient for you to drill down into the overwhelming amount of data that your organization produces every day so you can easily get answers to specific questions and gain new insights. From there, you can further visualize and analyze the data to find answers to additional questions and make real-time data-driven decisions.

If you want to compare information, Informer’s Comparison Boards simplify comparative analysis of segments of data against others, or against the whole, by comparing left-column Visuals with right-column Visuals.

James Slizewski, registrar at Delaware Valley University, has been assisting the University’s academic leaders and department staff with operational reporting for over five years. He understands that managers don’t like looking at spreadsheets but instead they want to see data presented visually. According to Slizewski, “Informer 5 enables academic leaders and users to view things that they didn’t know previously by looking at a spreadsheet.”

Use the data you are seeing with Informer Dashboards

Informer 5 Dashboards facilitate the interaction with data by enabling users to quickly drill down into the details to glean greater insight. These Dashboards enable the University’s academic leaders and staff to easily see, daily, if they are meeting key institutional metrics.

“If a department looks at a dashboard one way and wants to visualize the data a different way, we give them the ability to do that. What’s so beneficial is that they can use the data they are seeing. For example, they can filter on students who have high GPAs, click on that visual, view the data that includes an email address, download the data and send out an email just to those students. They can do all of this within Informer, you don’t need anything else! As compared to how we had to do it before, where we had to run the whole report, download it, and then filter it within Excel or something, said Slizewski.

You can easily create your own Informer Dashboard to be a powerful, personalized resource that displays reports you typically create more than once. Dashboards integrate data from multiple databases, data warehouses, and spreadsheets, and display visualizations using real-time data. Prior to bringing Informer 5 into Delaware Valley University, staff in various departments didn’t have direct access to up-to-date information to make informed decisions. Instead, they had to ask the registrar’s office or IT to run reports for them.

Teams of users are empowered with Informer 5 Teams

According to Slizewski, “What’s nice about Informer 5 Dashboard reports is that they can be created and pushed out to a team of users. Those users can then own that report and can manipulate it and run it in other ways. They can add their own data in and even add in other datasources. Whereas before, they had to massage that data in after the fact in Excel. So, it’s allowed those teams of people to not only design and run reports, but also use other sources of data that weren’t available to the report writers before”.

To watch James Slizewski’s customer testimonial video and learn more, click here.

To learn more, call 888-703-0016, or

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Customers Save Time & Money with Informer 5’s Aggregate Fields Reporting Functionality

The challenge with most ERP and enterprise systems is that they don’t include flexible reporting capabilities. They offer limited ad-hoc reporting at best and these custom reports can’t be scheduled, nor run on demand. As a result, business managers are stuck with legacy reports which provide minimal insight into all areas of the business.

Organizations logically turn to more robust solutions to handle their reporting and analysis needs. However, if they select a BI tool that doesn’t balance ease-of-use with the required functionality, these organizations are left with three approaches to support management reporting:

  1. Hire a consultant programmer to write custom reports. Trying to develop detailed reports using SQL to pull information from multiple locations and datasources requires employing someone with that expertise. At $200-300/hr., this is an expensive proposition because it’s time consuming to fully define use-case scenarios to get each report right. The bigger problem with this approach is, custom reports don’t offer the flexibility for users to make necessary changes to support management requests.
  2. Have in-house staff compile information manually for reporting purposes. For example, they would run a report for each warehouse to extract the necessary information, then they manually transfer each of those reports into a spreadsheet and somehow pull together the information to create a consolidated view. This is very time consuming and prone to errors.
  3. The third approach is really not a solution at all because, in this case, organizations just live without the reporting capabilities.

From a business perspective, upper-level managers often prefer to see summary information versus the details. Data aggregation is often used to project future trends and plot changes over time. Informer 5’s Aggregate functions enable you to quickly and easily summarize data from within Informer Datasets to return single values that provide more significant meaning. These functions are often used to perform calculations on a single column that could include millions of rows of data.

According to Jesse Owsley, a Project Manager at SMC Electric, a manufacturing and distribution company, “It was a breeze to query on products in multiple warehouses, sum the quantities on hand, report the average of all the average costs and also select the most recent invoice date from multiple records.”

Jesse provided three real business case examples.

Business case 1:

The VP wanted to decide whether SMC should start stocking non-stocked (special-order) products in order to provide greater customer service and reduce costs. He wanted a daily report that looked across their 12 warehouses with a 6-month view to see how many invoices included non-stocked products and the quantity sold. SMC had 50,000 stocked parts in their inventory file and one million items listed in their catalog. He contacted Jesse, who used Informer 5’s Aggregate Fields and Criteria Filtering capability, to report on the number of special-order items they were selling across all their warehouses.

Before purchasing Informer 5, SMC did this reporting manually – taking 400 hours/year
(10 minutes x 12 locations x 200 days/year). It took another 100 hours/year to gather and pull into their ERP system, all the information on non-stocked products that they wanted to stock. In total, SMC saved 500 hours a year while increasing accuracy thanks to Informer 5’s Aggregate Fields and Criteria Filtering capability.

Easily aggregate your data in many different ways











Business case 2:

The manager said, I want to know, by vendor and vendor type:
• The total quantity of products by warehouse
• The average cost of all these products
• The last time we sold these products

This entailed determining the stock status by vendor, including where the product was located and where it was staged. Informer 5’s Aggregate feature made it easy to quickly pull all this information into a report for analysis and make changes to the criteria.

Informer 5’s selection criteria is easy to use

Business case 3:

The director was considering establishing a VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) agreement with a vendor. To determine the viability of this business opportunity, he wanted a daily vendor report that showed:
• Every item sold from each of their 12 locations. He did not want to see each separate invoice line. Instead, he wanted to see each product number consolidated as well as an aggregate of the number of times it was sold in a day and the aggregate quantity.

Informer 5’s Aggregate Field feature enabled Jesse to quickly and easily get the number of transactions the product was sold on as well as the aggregate quantity sold.


Informer 5 balances ease-of-use with solid functionality to make reporting and analysis straightforward and enjoyable. Sometimes managers don’t know exactly the information they want, however with Aggregate Fields and your entire curated Dataset at your fingertips, you can quickly slice and dice the data for all sorts of views. Simply select the field-column of interest and then select from the drop-down list for how you want it aggregated, and you’ve got your answer.

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Informer for MultiValue Databases

Informer for MultiValue Databases

There are significant challenges accessing data in MultiValue databases. Originally designed as operating systems, MultiValue databases included the data processing programs with them. Reports could be printed directly from the environment by means of Basic programs, or 4GL tools such as SystemBuilder. This meant that reporting was dependent on the developers of the programs.

Entrinsik Informer enables you to surround your database with a robust metadata layer. You can define Mappings which represent database files. You define Fields to translate dictionary entries as typed, friendly named columns. You define Links to seamlessly include fields from other files, as a SQL join would. Correlatives and I-types become part of mappings.

Since multivalued data has a structure and purpose, its structure should be retained by the reporting software that presents it. Solutions that deal with SQL data, which is normalized, won’t be able to do this. Informer does.

Informer enables you to offload the nuanced approaches to complex queries to the software, giving greater access to the data and helping ensure that it will be accessible in the future. Informer will evolve with the culture of the organization, forever retaining the knowledge necessary to access the data.

Download the whitepaper to learn more.

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